World News

Messi breaks Chelsea duck to earn Barcelona 1-1 draw

Messi breaks Chelsea duck to earn Barcelona 1-1 draw

One of the most hotly-anticipated matches of the season is finally here, as Chelsea host Barcelona in the Champions League round-of-16.

"I think we were very close to playing a ideal game", Conte said.

Asked if the tactics should be more offensive in Spain following Lionel Messi's away goal, Conte said: "I think we have to respect the opponent".

Christensen's risky 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. We have to go there and play the same game, compact and fight with every ball and I think we can do that.

"He is one of the best coaches in the world with an extraordinary CV, not just with Chelsea but also with Juventus and the Italian national side", added Valverde. "We have to try to have the flawless game".

Barcelona zipped the ball around in eye-pleasing style but apart from Paulinho's wasteful header they struggled to lure Chelsea into mistakes.

Conte had spent much of the first half hopping and skipping along the touchline, gesticulating wildly at his players to push forward in an attempt to wrest possession from the Catalan side.

More news: Emirates and Arsenal ink major sponsorship deal

"We have to go there to attack and score because 90 minutes defending at the Nou Camp is an eternity, it is a suicide mission", he said.

Andreas Christensen cost Chelsea victory against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Antonio Conte hailed the defender's "incredible" performance. "If I want to reach that level, I need to do a great game tomorrow".

Chelsea lost their EFL Cup semi-final against Arsenal in January followed by Premier League defeats by Bournemouth and Watford. But the Blues pressed the self-destruct button 15 minutes from time when Christensen played an ill-advised pass across the 18-yard box that the Blues failed to clear. "And we just had to get closer to him".

It's all to play for at the Nou Camp!

"Messi has the capacity to solve the situation and create a chance when you are not seeing the chance to score".

The woodwork came to Barca's rescue once more five minutes before the break, with Willian again rattling the other upright from the edge of the box.


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