Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

UCL: Barcelona, Chelsea Clash For Last Eight

UCL: Barcelona, Chelsea Clash For Last Eight

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has urged his players to produce their best in Wednesday's second leg Champions League last 16 tie against Barcelona.

That's despite a magnificent game from N'Golo Kante, who clearly established that he belongs among the very best.

Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes preview the return leg between Chelsea and Barcelona, and discuss whether the Blues can spring a surprise at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi led the way as he opened the scoring early on, with both his goals going through Tibaut Courtois' legs. Pique goes down holding his face but there's no intent from the Frenchman as play continues.

It buoys Chelsea supporters in times of trouble, and rightly so.

"It's important to understand that we must be prepared to suffer, if we play with Hazard as number nine, or if we play with (Olivier) Giroud or (Alvaro) Morata as number nine and Hazard as number 10". We went out to attack and were 2-0 up, after that they made it 2-1.

"I feel better every day, I keep learning and [I have gained] much more experience than in other years".

"There may be times that we suffer, but we have to stay compact and when you have the ball you must have the belief in your head and heart that you can score", Conte said Tuesday.

- Barcelona have only lost four of their 40 Champions League knockout games at home (W26 D10), with Liverpool the only English team to secure a victory there (2-1 in February 2007).

With Chelsea adrift of the Champions League qualification places in the Premier League, defeat to Leicester in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final and then to Tottenham on April 1 could result in a premature departure for Conte, whose position has been the subject of speculation all season. If you play against Barcelona, to have opportunities you must be ideal. Therefore, they basically have to play a ideal game at Camp Nou.

"They gave everything. We have to continue this in this way, with this will to fight, with this desire to play together".

11 - Messi has not always been accurate from the penalty spot, but he has converted 11 of the 14 spot-kicks he has taken in the Champions League. Likewise, Giroud has made just three starts and scored one goal since crossing London to join from Arsenal.

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