Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Antonio Conte happy at Chelsea, keen to 'respect' contract with the club

Antonio Conte happy at Chelsea, keen to 'respect' contract with the club

"We were the stronger team, in fact we dominated most of the game", the Croatian told reporters (via Football Espana).

Despite the result, Rakitic claims Barcelona were the better side, suggesting the La Liga leaders are confident of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"It was fascinating and Chelsea almost got the ideal performance", Gerrard said.

But Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said: "We still have to be respectful of their style of play".

Barcelona enjoyed almost 70 per cent of the possession, but lacked the penetration to open up Chelsea's well-organised defence.

"We will go there trying to win because we have to score and we will try to pull off the ideal game as we did today except for the small mistake that we made", added the Belgian.

"To restrict a team like Barcelona to one or two chances and one being the mistake that led to the goal..."

The home side pressured the Spanish titans for several stretches of the match, but settled for just a solid strike by Willian in the second half to take a 1-0 advantage. 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.

Barcelona are still as fearsome as ever even without Neymar, according to Chelsea attacker Willian.

Willian had the game of his life against Barcelona on Tuesday, getting off three incredible shots.

"We have confidence", Willian added.

"If you want to face Barcelona box to box, you are insane", he further added.

The Italian tactician surprised Blues fans by deciding against playing a recognised striker in the last-16 Champions League bout, with both Alvaro Morata and Oliver Giroud on the bench. They followed the programme we prepared and understood the plan.

Conte also revealed that the second leg in Spain billed for the 14th of March won't be easy despite trailing by away goals. However, they did virtually nothing with it - their only other chance of the game being a tame Paulinho header that went wide. "The away goal was not definitive but it was significant".

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