Qarabag 'will go out to win against Chelsea' in Champions League - Michel
Qarabag midfielder Michel Madera says his team can beat Chelsea in the Champions League on Nov. 22 in Azerbaijan.
Michel, who scored Qarabag's goal in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid, says his side are on the right track after their poor start to the competition.
"We will go out to win against Chelsea," Michel told Onda Cero. "We will be playing in front of our fans. We need to give our best and I believe we are going to do a very good job in our next [Champions League] game."
The Azerbaijani champions were beaten 6-0 at Chelsea in their Group C opener on Sept. 12 and then lost 2-1 at home to Roma, but have since shown a drastic improvement.
They held Atletico to a goalless draw in Baku a fortnight ago and again frustrated the Spanish club in Madrid.
Chelsea, meanwhile, lost 3-0 at Roma on Tuesday, their first defeat in the competition this season.
"I think we are progressing a lot in the Champions League," Michel said. "We started badly against Chelsea and against Roma but anything can happen. As always, we will go out determined to win."
The former Birmingham player praised his team's resilience as for the third straight game, and second consecutive match in the Champions League, they have been reduced to 10 men.
Qarabag winger Pedro Henrique was dismissed in the 59th minute for a dangerous high kick against Atletico, while two weeks earlier Dino Ndlovu was sent off with 15 minutes remaining against the Spanish side.
"In our last three games we have played down to 10 men and we have played very well," Michel said. "We defended well and held on."
Qarabag will have plenty of motivation to do well in their remaining two games as they can challenge for Europa League football next year. The top two teams in each Champions League group qualify for the round of 16, while the third-placed team move into the Europa League.
Tuesday's outcome at the Wanda Metropolitano left Qarabag at the bottom of their group with two points, one less than third-placed Atletico.
Having qualified from the group stage for the past four seasons and reached the semifinals in three of the last four years, Atletico are on the verge of elimination from the Champions League.
They trail second-place Chelsea by four points and group leaders Roma by four and are still winless after four games.
Atletico captain Gabi says his team's chances of progressing in the competition are all but over.
He told Onda Cero: "We are out. "We still have options but they are very remote."
Gabi says his team's struggles in front of goal are a problem.
Atletico have not scored more than one goal since beating Sevilla 2-0 in La Liga on Sept. 23.
"Before we needed little to score and now it's the opposite," he said. "We have to be self-critics. We have to get up and stand together. If we begin to look elsewhere for blame then that's when we will truly sink."
Asked about the possibility of having to play in the Europa League, Gabi said: "Right now I would tell you it would be s---."
Atletico, who have not kept a clean sheet in their last three games, host Roma on Nov. 22 and end the group stage at Chelsea on Dec. 5.
Atletico defender Diego Godin says the only person that can help his team out is coach Diego Simeone.
"The only one that would have the solution for this is 'Cholo' [Simeone]," the Uruguay international told Cadena Ser. "Right now we are out of the Champions League and we no longer depend on our results. When things don't go well you have to look at yourself in the mirror. We are in a negative spell and we have to give a bit more and help our teammates."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.