On both legs of Chelsea’s Champions League round of 16 tie with Barcelona, the Blues might have shown their best form this season as a collective unit. However, individual mistakes made the difference as all of Barça’s 4 goals in the encounters came due to such incidents.
But Barça had other qualities, such as the lethality brought mainly by living legend Lionel Messi. At the end of yesterday’s game Chelsea had 14 shots to Barça’s 8. But while the Blues only hit the target 3 times, Barça did it in 7 occasions — 3 of those coming from Messi, with 2 converted into goals.
Nevertheless, there were still positives to draw from the match-ups as left wing-back Marcos Alonso reminds that better luck on the 4 Chelsea shots that hit the goalpost in the 180 minutes of play would mean the Blues making it past Barcelona. Now the aim is to improve on what was already a good show put on by the Londoners.
“They have Messi and I think maybe they were the better team even though I think we competed well in both games. If we concede these easy goals then we make our chances very difficult against this team. We knew they have top players and we cannot give them one metre because they can create and score.”
“I think we were a little bit unlucky, also, with the first two goals. We hit the post three times [over the two legs], we had so many chances in both games.”
“They were the better team but we were unlucky. We competed well and we have to improve. When you lose you have to keep training and get better.”
One thing of not during the game was seeing Chelsea dominating Barcelona at their home ground, a rather rare sight given the perceived gap in quality between both squads. On these moments, Chelsea created plenty of chances but were still unlucky with them. And this includes Alonso’s free kick attempt that hit the bar just at the end of first half.
“They were not comfortable in the first half and we just missed the chances. It could have been 2-2 at half-time at least but it was 2-0 and in a stadium like this, against a team like this, it is not easy to come back.”
-Marcos Alonso; Source: FourFourTwo
Now with Chelsea out of Champions League contention, focus is all shifted towards getting a top four berth and perhaps winning the FA Cup as a way to make up for what has been a disappointing season for the Blues thus far.
“It’s fair that they go through, but we showed we are a good team and now we have eight games to fight for a spot and play this competition again next season.”
“It’s hard, but you have to take the positives and fight. There’s no time to regret. There’s only eight games left [in the Premier League] and the FA Cup. We have to go for it 200 per cent.”
-Marcos Alonso; Source: Daily Mail
Carrying a 3-0 defeat to our meeting against Leicester City next Sunday for the FA Cup is far from ideal but as showed by Alonso, the players should focus on the positive display put by Chelsea at Camp Nou. If they carry on that attitude for the upcoming matches, there are plenty of reasons to believe we can still salvage this season on the run towards its end.