Champions League: Chelsea cautiously invites Barcelona to Stamford Bridge

Champions League: Chelsea cautiously invites Barcelona to Stamford Bridge

Champions League: Chelsea cautiously invites Barcelona to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea next travel to second-placed Manchester United in the league on Sunday. Whether or not that translates to success against Barcelona-who are very much not West Brom and Hull-remains to be seen, but it should be an entertaining first leg. I am very proud for my players. "On paper, they are the favourites because they are one of the best teams in the world".

"We are talking about the best player in the world", he said when asked about a plan to cope with the Argentina ace.

"I was responsible for the decisions that were made and we can argue that, if I had taken others, maybe Chelsea would have qualified for the final", The retired referee was surprisingly understanding about the situation. You go to lose the game, not only 1-0 or 2-0 but like it happens in Spain, 4-0, 5-0, 6-0.

"Now I'm just focused on the game tomorrow to the end of the season". We know that, because the English have such a strong league, they'll all be up there competing.

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"We have players in our team who like the ball and when we have the ball, we need to play our own football and try to score goals, because the first game is at the Bridge in front of our own fans".

Blues boss Antonio Conte is confident his side can defy the odds and get the better of Barca.

Christensen's unsafe ball across his own box was a gift for an old scourge of Chelsea in Iniesta and Messi made no mistake by sweeping low past Thibaut Courtois for his 28th goal of the season.

"On the other hand we must be excited because we have a great opportunity to play a massive game against a really strong team and to show which is our level", the Italian added.

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"We were very close to the ideal game", said Conte. The two have broadcasted different form from last season, with the roles reversed in their 2017-2018 campaigns. If Chelsea keep it tight once again, they may start having flashbacks, maybe a little footballing PTSD.

However, Chelsea have won their last two games, and although they will be respectful of such top class opposition, they will be quietly confident that if they can keep things tight at the back, the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro will have enough quality to hurt the La Liga leaders. Despite his sub-par performance, Chelsea contained Barça well for most of the game, playing with a high intensity, pressing effectively and keeping a solid defensive shape.

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