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Chelsea, Barca happy with own performances


Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said his side played almost the perfect game against Champions League favourites Barcelona on Tuesday (February 20), but he was still disappointed with the 1-1 home leg result.

The Italian’s Premier League champions have struggled to impose themselves in domestic football this season but soaked up Barcelona pressure before Willian scored in the 62nd minute of their last-16 first leg tie.

Barca had two shots on target and scored with the second, when Iniesta cut the ball back to Messi in the 75th minute with the Chelsea defence out of position.

The statistics, 68 percent possession for the visitors against 32 for the home side, disguised an absorbing, balanced match in which Chelsea enjoyed the better chances.

Willian hit the post twice in the first half before putting the ball away into the bottom corner set up by Eden Hazard.

Conte said the team’s performance gives them confidence that they can progress and knock Barcelona out of the competition.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said the match pitted two contrasting styles but was pleased his side grabbed an away goal before the end.

Chelsea travel to Barcelona for the second leg on March 14.