11:01pm Tuesday 22nd April 2014
© Press Association 2014
Jose Mourinho has confirmed Petr Cech's season is at a premature end after the Chelsea goalkeeper was injured in the Champions League semi-final first leg goalless draw at Atletico Madrid.
The stalemate came at a cost for Mourinho and the Blues as Cech went off after 18 minutes with a shoulder injury and captain John Terry departed after 72 minutes with a foot problem.
Midfielders Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel also picked up bookings which will see them suspended for next Wednesday's return.
Cech was injured as he punched the ball from underneath his own crossbar, with David Luiz pushing Raul Garcia into the Chelsea goalkeeper who hit the ground with a thud and was replaced by Mark Schwarzer.
The Czech Republic goalkeeper will miss the final three matches of the Premier League season, beginning at leaders Liverpool on Sunday, as well as the conclusion to the European campaign.
Mourinho said: "Petr Cech's season over. Don't ask me technically, but season over.
"And John - we have to play the final for him to play with us."
Chelsea lost 2-1 to Sunderland in the Premier League last Saturday to leave the European Cup they won in 2012 their most likely trophy chance this term.
Given the Blues are five points behind Liverpool ahead of the trip to Anfield, Mourinho believes Europe is now the priority.
But he will consult the Chelsea hierarchy before deciding which players to field at Anfield, with his preference to opt for those who will not feature against Atletico next Wednesday due to the proximity of the matches.
"I can't decide by myself," Mourinho said.
"I think that's a decision I have to listen the club. I'm just a piece, I'm just the manager and no more than that.
"I have to listen to the club. I think the fact that the match is on Sunday I think puts the problem not in my hands.
"We represent English football and we are the only English team that is European competition. Spain has four and gave them all the conditions to try to have success.
"I know what I would do, but I'm not the club. I have to speak with the club.
"I would play with the players that are not going to play Wednesday."
Chelsea opted for a defensive approach against Atletico and succeeded in frustrating their hosts, leaving the second leg to determine who advances to the May 24 final in Lisbon against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.
"We didn't start the game thinking of a 0-0," Mourinho said.
"But the game goes in a certain direction where you feel you have to be safe, don't concede and try to score in one of the few chances you create.
"If we score one goal in one of those situations the result would be very good. We didn't.
"We go with a result that decides everything at Stamford Bridge."
Chelsea were without Samuel Eto'o (knee) and Eden Hazard (calf) entering the match and encountered further issues in the game, with Mourinho praising the character of his players ahead of the decisive second leg.
"We had problems before the game, we had problems during the game, we lost four players during the game, two with injuries, two with yellow cards, but we will fight," he added.
"(Branislav) Ivanovic is back (from suspension), Schwarzer showed clearly that we can trust him.
"People that is not playing a lot, like for example Ashley Cole, (did an) amazing performance."
The character in adversity was reminiscent of the Chelsea side which won the 2012 trophy and thrived in Mourinho's first spell.
"Many years ago Chelsea started building a team with great characters, with great personalities," Mourinho said.
"In football you can use the word heritage. The people that is arriving and the young people, they see the examples, the smell that heritage and goes on and on."
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone conceded his side were unable to break down the Blues, but will chase victory at Stamford Bridge.
"This is a typical match for the semi-final," Simeone said.
"Each team had objectives. Ours was to score. They had a very good defence.
"We knew the way they were going to play away and our intention was to try to break their defence.
"It was impossible, they did their job really well and this leaves the qualification open.
"It is true that they play at home where they feel comfortable, but we are going to go out to play. Next Wednesday we'll be there to start playing.
"They will be playing at home, they will be feeling better and we will have to wait till next week to see what happens."
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