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Chelsea are the team to avoid in Europe now: Lampard
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#1
LONDON: Frank Lampard believes Chelsea are the team everyone will want to avoid in the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals.

Guus Hiddink's side booked their place in the last eight with a gritty 2-2 draw at Juventus in Tuesday's last 16 second leg in Turin.

The Blues are unbeaten in six matches since Hiddink replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari as Chelsea boss and the Premier League outfit are beginning to rediscover the swagger that characterised their successful era under Jose Mourinho's leadership.

Lampard is adamant Chelsea have the character and ability to beat any team in Europe, making them the team to fear in next Friday's quarter-final draw in Nyon.

"Maybe no-one will want to face us the way we are playing," Lampard said. "When you get to this stage your away performances are important and it is a good sign we scored two against Juventus.

"Away games may not always be the most beautiful of performances and you have to be very strong at certain points of the game. You have to be very clever and we weren't like that in the group games.

"Now is the crunch time and we did very well. We have had quality and spirit in the squad for the past five years but at times this season we didn't have and it showed.

"But against Juventus and the previous five games we have shown we are together and, when we have the spirit combined with our quality, we can do whatever we want."

One of the biggest pluses for Hiddink was Ghana midfielder Michael Essien's display in his first competitive start since he damaged knee ligaments on international duty last September.

Essien had played just one game for the reserves before returning to first team as substitute against Coventry in the FA Cup last weekend.

But Hiddink gambled on starting him against Juventus and was rewarded when Essien gave Chelsea a vital away goal on the stroke of half-time, cancelling out Vincenzo Iaquinta's 19th-minute opener by reacting quickest when Lampard's shot bounced off the underside of the crossbar.

The midfielder was quick to celebrate with club physio Thierry Laurent, the man behind his full recovery.

"He has been with me for the past six months and I had to go hug him to thank him for what he did for me," Essien said.

"I'm fit now but I was happy to be picked in the first XI and I think I did a good job.

"We didn't get off to a good start but we just kept going and had to believe we could get back into the game, and we did.

"Scoring just before half-time was a big moment for us. As soon as I saw the ball come back off the bar I knew I had to go for it."

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Quote: Chelsea are the team to avoid in Europe now: Lampard

Really they must avoid this team enable to join the championship. work at home on the internet
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