Chelsea must be prepared to “suffer” in Barcelona on Wednesday if they are to have any chance of progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals, manager Antonio Conte has said.
Barcelona scored a 75th-minute equaliser through Lionel Messi to cancel out midfielder Willian’s second-half goal in the first leg clash between the teams at Stamford Bridge last month. Conte said his team could face a more daunting task against the five-times European champions at the Nou Camp.
“We must be very good but when you play against this type of team, which I think is one of the best in the world, you must be prepared to suffer, in the same way we did in the first leg, where we were almost perfect,” Conte told the club’s website (www.chelseafc.com).
“This is not a (Chelsea) team with great experience, we have a lot of players who are playing their first or second season in the Champions League.
“But we have to work as a team and try to be ready to suffer the moments we have to suffer, and in every moment we have to know that we can have a chance to score.”
Barcelona dominated possession in the first leg but Conte’s side were unfortunate not to end with a victory after Willian was twice denied by the woodwork before halftime.
“Given our opponents’ ability to dominate possession, especially on home soil, we will also need to show plenty of patience and concentration in waiting for our opportunities and making the most of them when they arrive,” Conte added.