SETANTA NEWS

Di Matteo delight at Barca beating

by Cian O'Callaghan , 18 April 2012

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo was understandably delighted with his side's 1-0 win over reigning champions Barcelona in Wednesday's first-leg of the Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge.


Despite Barcelona dominating possession it was Chelsea who took the lead through a Didier Drogba strike just on the stroke of half-time and the Blues fended off the challenge of the Catalan giants to take a crucial 1-0 lead to the Nou Camp next week.

Di Matteo had asked his players to produce a perfect performance and he was delighted with the response.

"It was almost perfect. It's a great result for us," Di Matteo said afterwards.

"When you play Barcelona you have to do a lot of defending and they have all the possession, you have to limit their threat and be clinical when you get your chances.

"Didier Drogba scored the crucial goal for us but it was a collective performance."

The Italian, when pressed on whether this result would help his application for the job full time, deflected the praise onto the Chelsea players and warned the tie was far from over.

"I've proven nothing. This group of players has shown the determination and courage to play against the top team in the world and they showed their quality," he added.

"It's 50/50 now, there is still a second leg to be played away from home."

Captain John Terry was equally pleased with his team's performance and full of praise for the goalscorer.

"It will go down as one of the best performances. We had to be patient, we didn't touch the ball in the first 10 or 15 minutes and we had to work very hard. It was a tireless performance. Didier Drogba was incredible and that's what he's all about.

"He was up there against some of the best in the world on his own but he holds it up and makes us play.

"It will be tough in the second leg, they had a lot of chances but quite clearly they will have opportunities there. We are not in awe of them, we respect them but another performance and we'll be OK."

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