December 18, 2018

Busquets Can't Imagine Messi In The Premier League

15 March 2018, 01:51 | Anna Jefferson

GETTY Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti has been linked with moves to Man Utd and Chelsea

Samuel Umtiti

Despite his virtually unrivalled accomplishments, even a cursory glance at social media would show there are some who believe Messi can only be considered for a place in the pantheon of football's greatest by replicating them elsewhere, as Cristiano Ronaldo did with Manchester United in the Premier League prior to joining Real Madrid.

The Blues head coach was later asked about Hazard, and, although insisting they were different players, occupying different positions, Conte says the Belgium ace must become a more prolific victor of trophies to emulate Iniesta.

The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw, after Willian opened the scoring for the Blues only for Barca's Lionel Messi to take advantage of an error from Andreas Christensen and equalise.

If Chelsea should go ahead at Nou Camp, the tie becomes more hard to overturn because the match becomes an end to end stuff.

Tonight Barcelona welcome Chelsea to the Camp Nou for a Champions League last-16 second leg tie.

Chelsea, however, enjoyed success at Stamford Bridge with a dogmatic approach, when only Messi's equaliser spoilt what was otherwise a controlled Blues performance.

Hazard is important to Chelsea, but must win "important trophies" to be considered in the same class as Barcelona's "genius" Andres Iniesta, Conte says.

"I hope my players also have the same excitement [as me]".

Chelsea have to defend in numbers and make the most of their counter-attacking opportunities at Barcelona on Thursday if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, midfielder Willian said.

"After the first leg, I think Barcelona are the favourites but you can't be sure". A lot of my players have never played in this stadium.

The most recent official meeting between both teams was in the 2011/2012 season when a late strike from Chelsea's Fernando Torres kicked Barcelona out of the race and delivered the Champions League title to Chelsea for the first time.

"But when we made a mistake, we paid for it". Barcelona beat Malaga 2-0 in La Liga match where they are pursuing the La Liga crown. But we know their philosophy.

"There will be moments we have to suffer".

"They have to be compact and when you have the ball you have to have the feeling in your heart to create the chance to score".

That's despite a magnificent game from N'Golo Kante, who clearly established that he belongs among the very best. It is down to the player.

Of course, why change a winning formula at this stage of the competition, especially in a game where you want to avoid conceding.

Conte said Antonio Rudiger is in contention after recovering from muscle fatigue but Ross Barkley (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) are out.

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