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Mar 27, 2012

Luiz cools talk of Drogba taunt

David Luiz has denied Didier Drogba mocked Benfica after Chelsea were drawn against the Portuguese side in the Champions League quarter-finals.

• 'We're not as good as we used to be'
• Johnson: Spain to be top league

Chelsea's last-eight opponents appear to have taken offence at a video on the Premier Leaguer club's official website which some have claimed shows Drogba feigning fear at being paired with Benfica.

Former Benfica defender Luiz has insisted, though, that Drogba was reacting to the prospect of facing Barcelona in the semi-finals, and was not being disrespectful Benfica.

"If people watch the video closely, it's not directed at Benfica," Luiz said ahead of Tuesday night's quarter-final first leg in Lisbon.

"He was talking about Barcelona because Barcelona are a very, very big team. Chelsea know how Benfica reached this far. They're a strong team. Drogba's character wouldn't allow him to disrespect another team."

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus accepted Drogba was "probably just joking" but warned his side are capable of ending Chelsea's Champions League hopes.

Jesus said: "Drogba only knows what he's thinking. You have to remember that Benfica and Sporting Lisbon eliminated Manchester United and Manchester City, the two top teams in England, from Europe.

"Any responses we'll be giving to Drogba will be on the field and proving we are better than him."

Chelsea caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo was also on the defensive on Monday night after Frank Lampard claimed he and his squad were "not as good as we used to be".

The Italian said: "Everybody seems to have an opinion, and they have that right, but I disagree. I believe in my team, my squad, my players. I don't think we're a weak team, not at all."

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