Champions League

Cech: Chelsea not scared of Nou Camp

In a team full of underachievers domestically Petr Cech has had a good solid season. He has...
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Petr Cech insisted the Nou Camp does not scare Chelsea after helping the Londoners take a crucial lead into Tuesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona.

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The Blues are still basking in their statistics-busting 1-0 win in Wednesday night's first leg at Stamford Bridge, which saw goalkeeper Cech produce one of his best performances of the season to keep Barca at bay.

Now Chelsea head to the Nou Camp, where Barcelona boast a terrifying record of 27 wins and no defeats in 30 games this season, with 104 goals scored and 16 conceded.

Cech said: "We've done well in the past there and need to reproduce the same kind of performance that we did and like we have before.

"It will be really important to score an away goal as well but we seem always to score there and, hopefully, we can replicate that."

Chelsea will need even more defensive discipline on Tuesday on a pitch bigger than their own, and the kind of wasteful finishing Barca conspired to produce at the Bridge.

Cech added: "This performance was all about the focus and concentration, to stay disciplined all the time and not give them space, even though you could run for three minutes and not see the ball.

"We had to fight from the first to the last minute. We've done the maximum we could do against such a great side.

"We've had some good results against them in the past and used that experience again.

"We made it really tight, but will have to play the same way in the second leg."

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo will almost certainly want to start with the same XI in Spain as he did on Wednesday night.

The so-called old guard once again demonstrated they had more to give, with matchwinner Didier Drogba proving he may just be impossible to replace if Chelsea do not cave in to his contract demands before his deal expires this summer.

The 34-year-old was both at his bullying best and theatrical worst, showing he could still play twice in four days after Sunday's FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham.

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Drogba said: "I just love the game. I love playing.

"Every time I have a chance to perform, I know that I am lucky to be on this kind of pitch like Wembley, Stamford Bridge because so many players wanted to become professional.

"So many didn't have a professional career, so I try to enjoy them mostly. I'm really happy when I'm on the pitch."

Drogba added: "We didn't have anything to prove against Barcelona, we just played to qualify.

"We won the first leg, there is another one coming and we will be up for it."

Before that, both sides face games on Saturday that may define their league seasons, with Barca taking on arch-rivals Real Madrid in what could be a La Liga title decider, and Chelsea travelling to Arsenal for a match that will have a huge bearing on their hopes of finishing in the Barclays Premier League top four.

Di Matteo has confirmed he will make changes, one of which will almost certainly see Fernando Torres recalled.

Cech said: "We have almost everybody fit so we can rotate the team.

"It is a massive game for us against Arsenal because we need to reach the Champions League spot.

"It is always hard to manage everything around, but Barca have the 'Clasico' as well, so maybe there is the advantage in that we have a massive game, they have a massive game and we both have to manage that.

"Who's going to do it better? Let's see."
 

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