Champions League Soccer / Press Rebukes Grant After Chelsea Loss

U.K. papers - most of them at least - showed no mercy for Chelsea coach Avram Grant the day after Fenerbahce defeated his club in a Champions League match in Istanbul.

The Daily Mail demanded Grant provide explanations for the defeat, while The Sun celebrated with a silly headline: "Turk that, Avram."

Higher brow papers gave Grant credit, however. The Times wrote that Chelsea can only blame its players for their near-misses, not the coach.

It added, however, that a loss next week at the encounter's second leg at Stamford Bridge could end Grant's tenure.

Grant himself again used the cliche - "that's football" - adding that they could have and should have won 4-0. But because of a one-second lack of concentration, the entire match was botched, Grant claimed.

This was Grant's first loss in eight Champions League matches under his tutelage, and the first goal the team conceded in the tourney since Grant's first match, when Chelsea won 2-1.

Chelsea's German striker Michael Ballack supported the Israeli coach's analysis, blaming the defeat on a temporary lapse of concentration.

In Turkey, the victory was celebrated. Fenerbahce's Brazilian coach and former national team player Zico agreed that it could have worked out differently had Chelsea cashed in on opportunities in the first half.

Zico showered praise on his striker Colin Kazim-Richards, as did Grant. "Only three matches away from the finals!" the Turkish papers' headlines shouted.