UCL Weds: Barca hosts Chelsea; Bayern carries huge lead
Call it a UEFA Champions League doubleheader, with a Turkish kickoff at 1 p.m. ET and a battle in Spain at 3:45 p.m.
[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to UCL exit ]
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is demanding his side “stay in every moment of the game” as it attempts to score at the Camp Nou against Barcelona. Chelsea opens the leg with a 1-1 score line, and knows it needs a 1-0, 2-1, 2-2, or better.
And you’re not going to have a ton of the ball. Here’s Conte and one of his buzz words, suffer:
“Barcelona try to dominate the game, have a lot of possession and try to get players between the lines and go straight towards the goal. We must pay great attention, be compact and suffer. Without the ball, you suffer. You have to defend well. When you have the ball, I repeat, we must know very well which is the way to go, to try to score and create chances, in the same way we did at Stamford Bridge.”
As for Barcelona, the Blaugranas have not forgotten how Chelsea knocked them out of the UCL in 2011-12.
“You can draw conclusions from every game. In 2012, we started out really well, we went ahead on the scoreboard, we went for it in the second leg, we missed a penalty kick — that’s all part of football. It was a sad game, because we could have gone through to the final. We played great in those games, and it seems inconceivable that we didn’t go through, but that’s the way football is.”
As for the other tie, Bayern Munich visits Besiktas for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.
Besiktas is a fine team, but posting 5-0 or better over Bayern Munich in Turkey is a bit too far-fetched to consider more than a paragraph on this second leg. Expect Besiktas to show well, but keeping Bayern off the board is quite a challenge. Bayern boss Jupp Heycknes may rest a fella or two:
“We have 20 absolutely top players, and I trust all of them. There’s no preferred line-up. It varies. But of course I won’t act against my conviction that we need a good balance between defence and attack in the team. That’ll be the case tomorrow too.”