Conte says he expects Chelsea to 'suffer' against Barcelona

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte faces a conundrum of balancing his tendency for caution with the English champions' need to score to get past the might of Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 early tomorrow morning (3.45am local time). However, Ousmane Dembele is fit for the second leg, so he can stretch Chelsea horizontally. The London side looked like they could have upset the Spanish giants but a awful clearance by Andreas Christensen lead to Barcelona tying the game as Andres Iniesta set up Lionel Messi. As for Barcelona, well memories of Chelsea knocking the Catalan giants out at the semifinal stage in 2012 remained fresh in the mind. The freakish trait of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against feeble opponents and turning adversity into triumph against the leading lights is part of Chelsea's DNA.

Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba expects Conte's men to play the counter-attacking football once again.

And elimination against the Blues in the Champions League made it a week to forget for Guardiola and also for Messi.

Chelsea felt they should have had a penalty in the second half when Marco Alonso was brought down in the box, only for the referee to wave away their appeals.

On to Leicester and a chance for redemption in the FA Cup.

The action continued to pick up for Chelsea moments later, when it appeared Alonso was through the Barcelona defense in the center of the box and in on goal only to be taken down by Gerard Pique.

"You might cry during a game if you lose a final", Alexis Sanchez told Sky Sports in an interview recently.

More news: Margot Robbie Reportedly In Final Negotiations For Tarantino's Manson Movie
More news: Emails suggest HUD Secretary Ben Carson knew of $31000 dining room set
More news: Heavy snow showers possible later; another storm possible next week

If Chelsea should go ahead at Nou Camp, the tie becomes more hard to overturn because the match becomes an end to end stuff.

"So to compare him (Hazard) with Messi or Ronaldo is hard, but Eden Hazard is a fantastic player".

Despite the promising performance of the first leg, it's hard to see Chelsea pulling off a result in Barcelona.

Curiously, if Conte is to find salvation it may lie with new signing Olivier Giroud.

Willian opened the scoring for Chelsea What are the odds? "It could have been 2-2 at half-time but, at 2-0 in this stadium against this team, it is not easy to come back". The diminutive number 10 slotted the ball through Courtois' legs to all but seal the game in the 63rd minute. Supporters are demanding the Italian sets his team up this way against Barca.

However, in spite of the fact that Barcelona went into cruise control and Samuel Garcia Sanchez was sent off for a unsafe challenge on Alba, the Blaugrana failed to score any more, retaining their eight-point league at the top of the table.

Conte described the start as "terrible", but was pleased with the response.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.