Antonio Conte: Chelsea Will Have Be Ready To Suffer Against Barcelona
Chelsea will “have to suffer” in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona, says Blues manager Antonio Conte.
Barcelona scored a 75th-minute equaliser through Lionel Messi to cancel out midfielder Willian’s second-half goal in the first leg clash between the teams at Stamford Bridge last month.
“We must be prepared to suffer in this type of game,” he said. “Because when you play against this type of team, one of the best teams in the world, you must be prepared to suffer. It won’t be easy. But we have to try. We have to try the best solution to face this game.”
As far as warm-up acts go, playing and beating Crystal Palace 2-1 five days before the tie that will define his season may not have given Conte the kind of workout he might have wished for.
Chelsea will hope to take inspiration from their 2-2 semi-final draw at the Nou Camp in 2012, giving them a 3-2 victory on aggregate.
Barcelona dominated possession in the first leg but Conte’s side were unfortunate not to end with a victory after Willian was twice denied by the woodwork before halftime.
“Given our opponents’ ability to dominate possession, especially on home soil, we will also need to show plenty of patience and concentration in waiting for our opportunities and making the most of them when they arrive,” Conte added.