Conte draws confidence from Chelsea's near ideal game against Barcelona

  • Conte draws confidence from Chelsea's near ideal game against Barcelona

Conte draws confidence from Chelsea's near ideal game against Barcelona

ANTONIO CONTE FELT Chelsea were close to delivering a "perfect" game against Barcelona in the Champions League before Lionel Messi's leveller salvaged a 1-1 draw for the Catalan giants.

The Italian tactician spoke to Mediaset Premium after tonight's 1-1 Champions League draw with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.

Willian, who had twice hit the post in the first half, put the Blues ahead with another low strike from outside the penalty area.

But Messi's goal means Chelsea must now score in the return leg at the Nou Camp on March 14 to have any chance of progressing.

"I'm happy for the goal but I'm a bit sad with the result".

"We were very close to the flawless game", he told BT Sport.

Before the match, we had talked about Chelsea needing to play a flawless game, about not crumbling under pressure, and about being clinical and efficient with our chances.

And from an nearly identical position Willian hit the woodwork again, this time clipping the outside of Ter Stegen's right-hand post with a strike that curled away from the goalkeeper. "I thought we were very good and went with the game plan and we executed it really, really well".

I think when we have to have a plan for this game, respect the characteristics of the opponent and understand the best way to face them.

"I think the equaliser was very important".

With Hazard as a false nine and the remaining nine outfield players charged with sitting sturdily before striding out - and that best displayed by the mostly brilliant Antonio Rudiger - Chelsea had initially done a fine job of so frustrating Barca.

"It will be hard, it's not simple to play away against them, but our performance will give us confidence to try and do something". We knew it was going to be hard.

Barcelona now sit top of La Liga, clear of second place Atletico Madrid by seven points, and a mighty 17 points of arch-rivals Real Madrid. We lacked clear-cut chances.

"The good thing is that we managed to get an error out of them and we got an equaliser". The one notable difference was a greater threat from Suarez, who forced Thibaut Courtois into a decent save after a terrific touch took him past Cesar Azpilicueta.