With the euphoric feelings from a stunning midweek Champions League win now subsided, thoughts turn to the Barclays Premier League, and Sunday’s visit to Swansea City. Speaking to the official Chelsea website, David Luiz explains how, with the Blues still just two points behind leaders Liverpool, the focus of the players is now firmly back on domestic matters.
Jose Mourinho takes his side to the Liberty Stadium eager to rectify a disappointing sequence of results on our travels and maintain our pursuit of Brendan Rodgers’s side, who entertain third-placed Manchester City earlier in the day.
David Luiz is delighted with the manner in which we fought back against Paris to set up a Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, but acknowledges the importance of Sunday’s fixture.
‘When you play for a big team you have to take it game by game,’ he says. ‘Tuesday was a very important win for us because we wanted to stay in the Champions League, but we want to win the Premier League as well.
‘Mathematically it’s still possible but every game in the Premier League is difficult, as it will be on Sunday. Swansea are tough opponents and we’ve seen in the last few seasons, every time we go there it’s a difficult game. We need to try to do our best and win the match.
‘It’s still possible to win the league, so come on, let’s enjoy the position we are in and believe, like we did against Paris Saint-Germain. We need to have faith because we can still do it.’
In the wake of Tuesday’s victory, Mourinho said the Brazilian, who started alongside Frank Lampard in midfield, had performed ‘like a monster’ due to the fact he’d covered every blade of grass and ran himself into the ground.
The player himself smiles at the mention of his manager’s comments, but is eager to praise the collective desire displayed by every member of the group.
‘I played a fantastic game in Paris but I was unlucky with a couple of moments. I was thinking about it between the two matches and I felt I had to play the same way at Stamford Bridge,’ he explains.
‘I knew if I prepared right I would be able to have a good game and help my team, so that’s what I did in the week leading up to the game.
‘I was happy with my performances in both legs; when you win people look at the game in a different way but that’s football, it’s about results, not performances.
‘Everybody knows when I’m on the pitch I give everything and play with my heart, but everybody played with the same spirit. I watched the game back at home afterwards and it was fantastic to see every player working hard, wanting the ball and helping each other.’
Having been in direct opposition to a number of his international team-mates in midweek, David Luiz also explains the feelings experienced when playing against close friends.
‘It’s a nice feeling to know you’ve done your job, but not to beat your friends,’ he said. ‘What is a nice feeling is seeing your friends, Thiago Silva, Lucas, Alex, Thiago Motta, Maxwell and Marquinhos, coming from the same country and playing at such a high level.
‘That’s why our national team is so strong, because everybody sticks together. Sometimes you will have to play against your friends but you can do it with respect.’
With little over a week until the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, our first visit to the Vicente Calderon Stadium since the group stages of the 2009/10 competition, the 26-year-old provides his thoughts on the draw.
‘You cannot choose who you play, all four sides are great teams, that’s why they are in the semi-finals,’ he explains. ‘Atletico are a top team, they beat Barcelona, they’re top of the league and they have a great manager.
‘Their philosophy is a good one and it will be a tough game, but I love big matches, I love the pressure and the responsibility it brings, so I’m looking forward to it.
‘It’s always good to play the second leg at home, but only if you do well in the first leg. If not, your heart can stop, especially if it’s like the matches in Paris and Napoli [in 2012], we don’t want that to happen again.’