Chelsea lose Petr Cech, John Terry to long-term injuries
MADRID (AP) - Chelsea will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech and captain John Terry for the rest of the Premier League season, prompting manager Jose Mourinho to make the Champions League his team's priority.
The Chelsea veterans were injured during separate incidents in Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
''Petr Cech's season is over. Don't ask me to explain it technically, but it's over,'' Mourinho said. ''With John, we'll have to play in the final for him to play with us again.''
Cech injured his left arm in the 15th minute with media reports suggesting the Czech goalkeeper dislocated his shoulder. Terry came off after landing awkwardly on his foot in the 73rd.
The Premier League season ends on May 11, while the Champions League final is in Lisbon on May 24.
Chelsea was already without injured forwards Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o at Atletico, and now goes into Sunday's match at Premier League leader Liverpool with more injury problems. With three matches left in the season, Chelsea trails Liverpool by five points.
The Portuguese manager said those players he needs for the return leg against Atletico on April 30 may not play against Liverpool on Sunday. Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel could be available at Anfield since they are booked for the Atletico match.
''My priority is the Champions League,'' said Mourinho. ''(But) I can't decide by myself, that's a decision where I have to listen to the club. I'm just a piece, the manager and no more than that.''
Mourinho praised his squad's ability to adapt to the circumstances of the evening against the Spanish league leader, which he described as a ''a very tough, very physical team.''
''Everybody did a great job. A tired David Luiz, after playing in midfield, stepped back and played in central defence for the last 20-25 minutes, which wasn't easy. For Ashley (Cole) to play this type of game after so many games not playing, was amazing,'' Mourinho said. ''Mikel, Lampard and (Fernando) Torres were immense. Every player gave everything and I'm obviously very pleased.''