Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said his side played nearly the ideal game against Champions League favourites Barcelona on Tuesday (February 20), but he was still disappointed with the 1-1 home leg result.
Chelsea held Barcelona at arm's length on Tuesday and would have kept a clean sheet were it not for Andreas Christensen's misplaced pass to Andres Iniesta with 15 minutes left. It was Lionel Messi's first goal against these opponents at the ninth attempt and handed the unbeaten leaders of La Liga the advantage in the tie, with Ernesto Valverde's side having won all their home games in Europe to date this season.
"Performances have not been good enough - yes they got the win the other night (against Hull City in the FA Cup) - but these next 10 days will tell us a lot about his future". I am very proud for my players.
The pattern of the match did not change as Barcelona continued to enjoy plenty of the ball, but they were finding it increasingly hard to carve out opportunities at Stamford Bridge.
"We were good, we played very well but we made a mistake and then we suffered a goal - but we can go to Barcelona and do a good job again".
This tactical change by the Argentine came off as he drew Barça level after 75 minutes, giving the Catalonian side a vital away goal going into the second leg at the Nou Camp. We were a bit unlucky.
"They had a few chances, one of the best teams in the world, but we were compact and solid".
Barcelona zipped the ball around in eye-pleasing style but apart from Paulinho's wasteful header they struggled to lure Chelsea into mistakes.
Willian had rattled both posts in front of The Shed in the first half, but he made it third time lucky on the hour, pinging a low shot into the bottom corner.
"I think we controlled the game well". [To play] 90 minutes there, defending, can be a very long 90 minutes-it's basically a suicide mission.
"At the Camp Nou we have to play another excellent game to go through".
And Fabregas feels Chelsea will have no hope of progression if they go to Camp Nou and attempt to sit back for the entire match.
They are traveling to Old Trafford to play Manchester United in top table clash of English Premier League match.
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