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Ligue 1

Cech: Players to blame, not Rafa

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech believes his team-mates need to start taking more responsibility for their shortcomings this season and stop putting the blame on the club's managers.

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The Blues failed to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League, despite a 6-1 win over Nordsjaelland on Wednesday, after Juventus defeated Shakhtar Donetsk.

The result ended Chelsea's six match winless streak, relieving some of the pressure from incumbent boss Rafa Benitez, but Cech believes it is time for the onus to be placed on the players.

"Unfortunately if you change your manager, you only change the manager, but the responsibility is on everyone," he said. "We are all in the same boat, the manager and the players - the responsibility is the same for everyone. You are a team."

Cech admitted that Chelsea made qualification to the round of 16 near impossible after a string of poor performances away from home, although it was the draw with Juventus that he feels stunted their progression hopes.

"We had results where we didn't win and we lost away to Donetsk and to Juventus, but I think the main difference was the draw at home to Juventus where we had gone 2-0 up but we finished the game 2-2," he said. "This is where the difference would have been.

"Unfortunately if you drop too many points in the group it is very difficult. We are out. We knew what could happen prior to the game. The damage had been done before. We did what we could. We had a good performance and goals.

"We could only hope and, unfortunately, the other result did not go our way so we are out. Now we need to focus on other competitions."


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