Roberto Di Matteo: Chelsea must be perfect to beat Barcelona
Chelsea go into Wednesday’s semi-final Champions League first leg at Stamford Bridge as massive underdogs to win the two-legged tie against a Barça team widely regarded as one of the greatest ever club teams in world football.
Chelsea must play two perfect games in their Champions League semi-final against holders Barcelona to have any chance of reaching the final, their caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s first leg at Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo, who has revived Chelsea’s fortunes after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas, said playing Barca represented the biggest challenge a manager could face.
Chelsea take on Pep Guardiola’s European champions after winning nine, drawing two and losing one of their last 12 matches since Di Matteo took charge and he said they were in a buoyant mood after beating Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
“I think it’s fair to say we need two perfect games from our point of view against this team. I think also the fact that the last six weeks we’ve been performing very well that gives us the belief that we can produce two perfect games against this team,” he said.
“They don’t like to play against us. The results in the past have shown that because of the way we play it’s a little bit more difficult for them to play against.