Luis Suarez Believes Barcelona Will Beat Chelsea At Camp Nou
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Feb 21, 2018,
Feb 21, 2018, 21:15
"At times it seemed like a handball match because they sat back and waited", said Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
The two sides met at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last-16 clash, with the Blues nullifying Barca - and talisman Messi - for most of the match before taking the lead through Willian.
A draw meant that English teams remain unbeaten in this season's round of 16, although Messi's strike has Chelsea's participation in the competition dangling precariously ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou on 14 March.
Willian, who drifts in and out of the team, fired Chelsea in front after hitting the woodwork twice in the first half.
"We were close to playing the flawless performance", Conte said during his post match interview. And a mistake like that takes Chelsea from having a good shot of moving on to now unlikely of advancing.
Speaking after the game, the former Liverpool striker went on to say, "It's not a bad result, knowing that they have to score at home and look for the goal".
"At least we won't be able to think defensively about the second leg because if we think defensively over there we would be in a lot of danger", Hazard said.
"We're talking about a player he's only 21".
"But we also showed we are ready to work really hard in defence and have the right feeling when we get the ball to create the chances to score".
Nevertheless, Willian saw enough in Chelsea's performance at Stamford Bridge to suggest they can upset the odds in the second leg.
Antonio Conte, who won the competition as a player back in 1996 with Juventus, has made a decision to play with a false nine rather than an out-and-out centre-forward, with Eden Hazard starting ahead of new signing Olivier Giroud.
"No, absolutely no, no, no", he insisted.
"I think it was a great performance, an incredible performance".
Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso have both missed Chelsea's last three games, but while Alonso starts from the off, Barkley doesn't make the bench tonight. Before Christensen's loose ball had even passed Cesc Fabregas, its intended target, he was already scampering forward in anticipation.
"The good thing is that we managed to get an error out of them and we got an equaliser", he said.
"The away goal is not definitive but it is important, yes".