x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Goalless draw with Barca a hard ask, says Roberto Di Matteo

Chelsea will try and score instead of just holding to their 1-0 advantage at Camp Nou, their interim manager has said ahead of Champions League semi-final.

Roberto Di Matteo, the Chelsea interim manager, refused to be drawn into his future at Stamford Bridge. Andy Rain / EPA
Roberto Di Matteo, the Chelsea interim manager, refused to be drawn into his future at Stamford Bridge. Andy Rain / EPA

BARCELONA // Jose Mourinho's name is never far from what happens at Camp Nou.

The Real Madrid coach oversaw the victory which ended Barcelona's title aspirations on Saturday and one journalist asked Chelsea's Petr Cech, who faces Barcelona tonight, if he has spoken to his former boss about the best way to play the Catalans.

"Yes, we spoke to him only two hours ago," said the Chelsea goalkeeper. "We've had the meeting and he gave us the file [on Barca]."

Such is the paranoia about all things Mourinho in Catalonia, not everyone was convinced Cech, who conversed in Spanish, was joking.

There were no jokes from his manager Roberto Di Matteo, who gave short answers and refused to be too drawn on his future, which is looking brighter after leading Chelsea to the FA Cup final and the cusp of a Champions League final.

Asked whether his side were favourites given their lead, Di Matteo said: "It's 50/50 for both teams. We have a 1-0 lead, an advantage, but it's going to be difficult to play for a goalless draw. We have to try and score."

The caretaker Chelsea manager was relaxed about the anticipated onslaught.

"Barcelona will create chances against every team they play against," he said.

"We have to limit the chances they create against us. I’m pleased with how the defenders have been playing lately. We’ve been playing well and keeping clean sheets."

And on whether his side are good enough to win a first European Cup.

“We have the qualities in this team, but as we have seen in the past, you need a luck on your side to win a competition like this."

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