Tags Posts tagged with "Stamford Bridge"

Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas believes the Blues deserved a better result tonight vs Barcelona at Stamford Bridge based on the performance Antonio Conte‘s side produced on the pitch vs the Spanish giants.

It is such a shame really. I thought we were very good, we executed the game plan really well, we were compact, solid, played as a team and created lots of chances – Willian could have had a hat-trick – but we go home sad because a fantastic performance is not a fantastic result,” Fabregas told BT Sport. “It is still open though and we have showed that we can compete and we will need another excellent performance at the Nou Camp to go through. You have to have a lot of personality to play against this team who has 70% of the ball. 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. We have to play our game.”

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Speaking to BT Sports tonight during the coverage of the first leg of the Champions League last 16 between Chelsea and BarcelonaManchester United legend Rio Ferdinand claimed he was impress both by Willian‘s performance and the Blues’ tactical display.

Conte got his tactics spot on today”. Rio Ferdinand said. “It was a very compact team and they picked their times well in coming out and causing Barcelona problems. Willian today was the one who produced.”

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Goalless draw at half-time between Chelsea and Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 which is been playing at Stamford Bridge.

Ernesto Valverde‘s side dominated the ball possession, but the best chances were for Antonio Conte‘s Blues: Willian hit the post twice with two shots from outside the box, at 33′ and 43′.

Hazard went close to score twice as well, but his shots were just a little wide.

The only chance for Barcelona was an header by Paulinho that went wide.

A very unlucky Chelsea that showed character and pace.

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CHELSEA – Courtois, Rudiger, Alonso, Moses, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Kante, Pedro, Willian, Hazard

Subs: Caballero, Zappacosta, Cahill, Drinkwater, Hudson-Odoi, Morata, Giroud

Manager: Antonio Conte

 

BARCELONA – Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba, Busquets, Paulinho, Rakitic, Iniesta, Messi, Luis Suarez

Subs: Cillessen, Denis Suarez, Dembele, Digne, Gomes, Vidal, Vermaelen

Manager: Ernesto Valverde

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-Off: 7.45PM BST

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill is among the players who spoke ahead of tonight’s clash against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge. The England international, who faced several times Luis Suarez – when the Uruguayan was playing for Liverpool as well as at World Cup – knows the damage the 31-year-old can cause.

Cahill said: “There have been games where he has killed me and won the game for the opposition, but I have also had moments where my team has won and it’s been good. There have been a lot of different performances but I have to respect he is a very special player”.

“The last time I played against him in a competitive match was in the World Cup and I will never forget it.  He scored a great first goal and the second was very fortunate because one of our players deflected the ball back towards our end and he went on to finish. It meant we were out of the World Cup. It wasn’t just one of my worst moments playing against him, it was one of the worst moments during my time in the game.

“I had good experiences too. Even though I was injured for the 2012 Cup final, I picked up a winners’ medal and there were also some big League wins against his Liverpool side. Anyway, you have to be a special player to go to Barcelona and make your mark like he has done at a club where Messi is revered”.

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Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger suffered a hugely disappointing defeat when faced Barcelona at Nou Camp in November 2015 as the Spanish giants won 6-1 against the Serie A side, who earned an 1-1 draw in the first game of Champions League group stages.

Rudiger himself, speaking ahead of tonight’s clash against Barcelona, said: “It was important for us to bounce back after two defeats and is just what we needed. We can go into the first leg with a good feeling: our mental side of playing in Europe is different. You can see Real Madrid haven’t been doing as well as they’re used to in the Spanish league, but in the Champions League they did very well against Paris St Germain”.

Chelsea play the first leg at Stamford Bridge, before facing Barcelona in Spain on 14th March: “This is a different competition, it’s two games, this is a chance for us to do things right and we have to take it” Rudiger said.

“We all know Barcelona like having the ball. We have to try to make the match cat and mouse. Of course, it is important we have experienced players. In the last 16, everyone is tough. We are playing at home first and it will not be easy for them to come here, with the fans behind us. We have to do our job and try to do the best we can.”

“Everyone knows what kind of quality Messi has. But we have to take this match. We are playing at home and it could be an advantage for us. When I was younger, I was dreaming about playing in a game like this. I think everyone does. I played against them before with AS Roma, but now I’m with Chelsea.”

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, who recently warned his players ahead of Champions League clash against Chelsea, spoke yesterday at Stamford Bridge as the game takes place tonight (8.45PM BST)

About the Premier League champions, Valverde said: “Yes, it’s a strong league, we’ve seen a 5-0 win from Liverpool against Porto, we’ve seen what Manchester City have done so far and we would have wished that Chelsea had finished first in their group so we wouldn’t have to play them right now”.

“They are the current Premier League champions” he reminded “that gives you an idea of how tough the league is. Maybe they were having a tough time at the beginning of the season but now they seem to be coming on”.

Valverde added: “They have very good players like [Alvaro] Morata, [Eden] Hazard, Pedro and [Olivier] Giroud, they are a very difficult team to face”.

 

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Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic spoke ahead of tomorrow’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

When asked if Eden Hazard could be considered one of the most important players in world, he warned: “Yes, he is probably one of the most important players for Chelsea, but they are not only Hazard. He is really fast and in the last games he has been in really good form: It will be a really special game.”

Rakitic added: “We know Chelsea’s players, we know they are very strong, You start the game to not think about the end, we want to score a goal away from home but it won’t be easy.”

“In this sense we just want to play another game, manage it and control. Everything is going to plan but tomorrow we are playing against the English champions and it will be a hugely tricky game. We want to win the game and we will give everything.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke ahead of the really important Champions League game against Barcelona:

“For sure we are talking about a massive game, a big challenge for us, against one of the best teams of the world, “ the Italian coach said while facing the international press in Stamford Bridge press room tonight.

“We must be excited to play this game against Barcelona.

“We must pay great attention but at the same time we must have ambition.

“We know their characteristics, they like ball possession and to dominate the game. We try to do what we like as well, what we try during the trainings.

“I think we start this game as underdogs, for sure, Barcelona are favourite to go through next round, but at the same time we’re excited to get this challenge. This game will let us understand what is our level in this competition. 

“Barcelona are having a fantastic season, they are top of the league, they are the Spanish cup final. This game will let us understand which is our level in the present.

Messi… we’re talking about the best player in the world, he’s got the capacity to solve situations, even with a chance. He’s a fantastic player, but we’ve to pay attention also to other players, like Suarez, Iniesta or others. 

“We have to work very hard, we have to know that during the game we must be prepared to suffer, but we also know that in every moment of the game we have to be ready to score.

“I think that after the game in FA Cup it was a bit difficult to sleep, because when you have to play these kind of games you have to prepare everything, you have to prepare the details because it’s what sometimes move the result. 

“I think that in this specific moments for us it’s very important to stay at a top level.

“As I said before, we’re talking about a tough game, for this reason we must pay great attention, we must have a plan, Barcelona have specific characteristics , we studied the opponent very well, we try to do what we know and what we prepared.

“I don’t know how many times I felt the pressure, but this is football, if you want to compete at the maximum level you have to cope with this pressure, the pressure must be your friend not your enemy.

“We have to play a perfect game if we want to win tomorrow, you start these two games with one favourite, and it’s Barcelona, because of what they have been doing for many years in football.

“At the end of the game if we are very good we will win the game.

“When you are top of the table and win a game you don’t feel the fatigue, in this case we’re speaking about a Champions League game and in Barcelona there are many players that are used to play these games.

“We have to play and to face a great team like Barcelona with our strength, tomorrow we must be excited and play with enthusiasm, passion. 

“We start the game 0-0, it doesn’t matter what the other side did in the past, now the most important thing is the present, and Barcelona is our level. It’s a great chance for us to prove what kind of team we’re and we will try to go through the next round.”

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Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso is thrilled to face Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 and he believes he knows how the Blues can overcome their rivals.

We know they’ve been one of the best teams in the world in recent years, if not the best, and it will undoubtedly be a very tough tie,” Marcos Alonso told Chelsea official website. “I think we’ll have to defend very well and take our chances because, like I said, they’re a very tough team to beat, let alone over two legs. Still, we will prepare as best we can and give it a shot, and we’ll see how the tie unfolds. The general consensus has been that it’s better to be at home in the second leg, but I don’t think it matters much. Obviously, it will be important to acquit ourselves well on home turf in the first leg so that we’re in with a good chance going to the Camp Nou, which is a very difficult place to win.”

Also, Marcos Alonso claimed that the fact Chelsea won the Premier League last season, made him desire to win a trophy also on European stage.

Yes, of course,” Alonso responded, when asked if last season’s title triumph has inspired him to want to achieve even more. “Especially considering how hard it will be for us to win the Premier League at this point. The whole team are raring to do well in the Champions League and we’re looking forward to a fantastic tie against Barça. Now that I know how amazing it feels to win an important trophy such as the Premier League, I’m hungry for more. This year we’ll fight until the end.”

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