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Tuesday 24 April 2012

Di Matteo wants Chelsea to score in Barcelona

Blues boss will not play for a goalless draw in UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg

Roberto di Matteo watches over Chelsea training ahead of Tuesday's tie in Barcelona

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo says he will send his team out to try and score a goal in their UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona on Tuesday.

The Blues lead 1-0 from the first leg and a goalless draw would be enough to send them through in the Camp Nou, but Di Matteo says playing for a draw is too risky.

"Barca are a great team but we always find a way to play well against them"
- Petr Cech

"Ultimately Barcelona will create chances against any team and we will have to try to score a goal," said Di Matteo. "But we will also try to limit the chances they create against us.

"It is too difficult to play for a goalless draw. To score would give us a greater advantage but we all know how difficult it is going to be."

Barcelona are the Champions League holders, but they were frustrated in last week's first leg by a magnificent defensive rearguard performance from Chelsea, with Didier Drogba scoring the winner.

Di Matteo knows they will have to reproduce that form in Catalonia, with Gary Cahill once again set to partner captain John Terry at the heart of their defence.

"I always talk about the collective performance that helps us defend as a team and every individual has to do their job within it," said the Italian.

"But I am very pleased with the way our defenders have been playing lately. We have defended very well and we have been impressed with Gary since he joined [from Bolton in January]."

Favourites to progress

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech says Barca are favourites to progress to the final in Munich, but the Czech believes his team are more than capable of springing another upset.

"They are a great team but we always find a way to play well against them," said Cech. "We've put ourselves in a very good position by winning 1-0 in the first leg and we have 90 minutes to get to the final.

"I've been hoping for eight years I would have a chance to win the Champions League. We're in the semi-finals again and I hope this will be the year. Many times we've gone close but not managed to do it.

"If we have a fantastic game on Tuesday we have a chance to play the final, but first we need to play 90 minutes or more. So let's see how the game goes; it's too early to talk about the final.

"I think it will be the same type of game as the first leg, and I hope we can score again. A goal for us is going to make a big difference in terms of the whole game."

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Key Points

  • Chelsea face Barcelona in UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg
  • Blues lead 1-0 from first leg, and boss Di Matteo wants them to score on Tuesday
  • Keeper Petr Cech desperate to win the competition