Lady Luck was not smiling on
profligate Barcelona in Wednesday's 1-0 Champions League defeat
at Chelsea but the holders expressed confidence they could turn
the semi-final around in the second leg at their daunting Nou
Camp arena on Tuesday.
The English Premier League side turned in a gritty
performance to deny the Spanish champions and managed to keep
World Player of the Year and competition top scorer Lionel Messi
quiet to boost their chances of making next month's final.
A large slice of good fortune also helped inflict only a
third defeat this season on Barca, who dominated possession, hit
the bar and the post and had a Cesc Fabregas effort cleared off
the line by Ashley Cole.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola, whose side host bitter rivals and
fellow Champions League semi-finalists Real Madrid in La Liga on
Saturday, acknowledged that Chelsea, chasing a first European
crown, were now favourites to progress.
However, he said recovering from the one-goal deficit and
eliminating the Londoners was a "great challenge" he and his
players were happy to accept.
"I don't expect Chelsea to attack or pressure us high up the
pitch but to deploy 10 players in their half and look to counter-attack," Guardiola, bidding to lead the Catalan club to a third
Champions League title in four years, told a news conference.
"They will probably hold back and try to look for their
chance," the former Barca and Spain midfielder added.
"We must not forget that Chelsea, with very little, can be
an extremely dangerous opponent and they do what they do
"We just need to find a way of creating goals."
Barca had 72 percent of possession and 19 attempts on goal
at Stamford Bridge compared to four for Chelsea but striker
Didier Drogba proved more clinical than the visitors' forwards
when he slipped away from his marker and fired low past
goalkeeper Victor Valdes moments before half-time.
Playmaker Andres Iniesta, who had a claim for a penalty
waved away by the referee in the first half, said Barca would
seek to be more effective in front of goal on Tuesday.
"We have the feeling that we created a lot of clear chances
but we were just lacking the goal," he told reporters.
"We were on the wrong end of a defeat and we need to up our
game significantly," added the Spain international, who scored
the dramatic late goal that knocked Chelsea out on away goals in
the 2009 semi-finals.
"The team is capable of doing that. It's not just a matter
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