Posted: Friday 16th March 2012 at 12:00 pm

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay happy with Champions League draw against Benfica

Chief executive Ron Gourlay is pleased that Chelsea will travel away to Portugal first before bringing Benfica back to Stamford Bridge in their Champions League quarter-final tie.


The Blues face Jorge Jesus’ side, who drew 2-2 with Manchester United at Old Trafford in the group stage to eliminate the Red Devils, with the first-leg in Lisbon scheduled for March 27.

And Gourlay feels that there is an advantage to be had when hosting the second-leg at home.

“It doesn’t matter who you get at this stage,” he told Sky Sports News. “It will be a difficult game but it’s important to have the away game first and build the foundation from there.

Chelsea’s Brazilian stars Ramires and David Luiz both moved to Stamford Bridge from Benfica, and Gourlay believes their knowledge could help the Blues succeed.

“Ramires and David Luiz will know quite a bit, and we also know about them because they came from Manchester United’s group. They are a very strong side and we will look forward to the upcoming games.”

Gourlay was quick to praise both the players and the fans after Wednesday night’s superb comeback victory over Napoli.

He added: “The fans were exceptional once again and they always raise the bar for us when we need them.

“Over the two games it was end to end football, and Napoli were fantastic opponents. We deserved it but it was tense in the end.

“We need everybody to raise their game and it was a wonderful team performance on Wednesday night. If we show the same character and effort we can turn things around this season.

“You need experience, you need youth and you need a little bit of luck. Any team that has won it will tell you this, hopefully we get that but let’s worry about Benfica, give them the respect they deserve and take it from there.”

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