Speaking ahead of the clash on Tuesday, Paris Saint Germain’s David Luiz admits Chelsea have improved since selling him in the summer.
Luiz established himself as a popular figure at Stamford Bridge following his £25million move from Benfica in January 2011, and went on to help the Blues win the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup double in 2012 and the UEFA Europa League the following year. However, this place in the first team picture was placed in doubt when Jose Mourinho arrived shortly after the latter success.
The Portuguese coach selected Luiz just 19 times in the Premier League last term, and after agreeing to sell the player to the French champions last June, claimed he wouldn’t miss the 27-year-old in his squad. Luiz, who cost PSG £50million, comes face to face against his former club in the Champions League on Tuesday, and he admits the English side have improved since his departure.
“Chelsea are better this season,” Luiz told RMC. “They are better balanced following the arrival of [Cesc] Fabregas. He’s perhaps the player they were missing: he balances the midfield, makes the team play well and knows how to hold on to the ball from time-to-time. With the arrival of Diego Costa and the continuity provided by Mourinho in the dugout, it’s logical Chelsea are stronger this season.”
Although Luiz’s comments are sure to raise eyebrows ahead of the second round first leg clash in Paris, it is clear to see how he has come to his conclusion. Last term Mourinho’s side were never really considered title contenders despite staying in the race until late on in the campaign, yet this time round they are seven points clear at the top of the table and also in the League Cup final.
PSG, meanwhile, suffered a blow in their quest to retain the title when they surrendered a 2-0 lead in sensational style on Saturday. Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi looked to have secured three points for Laurent Blanc’s side, but Caen hit back with two goals in the final two minutes to rescue a point. Ahead of the visit of Chelsea Luiz and his pals are third place in the Ligue 1 standings, level on points with Marseille but two adrift of current leaders Lyon.