Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has admitted that his side are disappointed with their 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with Barcelona.
The Spanish giants dominated possession at Stamford Bridge, but it was Chelsea who looked most like scoring, with Willian hitting both posts in the first half before finally breaking the deadlock after the interval.
However, Lionel Messi ended his drought against Chelsea to register a crucial away goal, and Fabregas warned that it would be “suicide” to simply sit back and defend in the second leg at the Camp Nou.
“It is such a shame really. I thought we were very good, we executed the game plan really well, we were compact, solid, played as a team and created lots of chances – Willian could have had a hat-trick – but we go home sad because a fantastic performance is not a fantastic result,” he told BT Sport.
“It is still open though and we have showed that we can compete and we will need another excellent performance at the Nou Camp to go through.
“You have to have a lot of personality to play against this team who has 70% of the ball. We have to go there to attack and score because 90 minutes defending at the Nou Camp is an eternity, it is a suicide mission. We have to play our game.”
Chelsea are now unbeaten in their last eight matches with Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has lauded his Chelsea side for putting into practice what he wanted against Barcelona in the Champions League, while bemoaning the 1-1 draw.
Chelsea were on top in the first half, but needed to wait until just after the hour mark to take the lead through Willian.
The Brazilian hit a low strike from outside the penalty box to give the Blues the lead and put Conte’s men on course for a vital Round of 16 first leg victory.
But 13 minutes later Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen hit a sloppy pass which allowed Andres Iniesta to link up with Lionel Messi, who steered his shot past Thibaut Courtois.
It ended 1-1 at Stamford Bridge, meaning the tie is finely balanced ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou.
Conte feels it is a shame that Chelsea could not hold onto their lead, but praised his players for carrying out his instructions on the pitch.
“We were very close to the perfect game”, he told BT Sport.
“One mistake and we know very well when you make a mistake against Barcelona and players like Messi, [Luis] Suarez and Iniesta you pay.
“It is a pity. I am very proud for my players. They followed what we prepared.
“It’s a pity. Tonight we were a bit unlucky.
“I think when you play this game you must have a plan and respect the characteristics of the opponent. Our plan was really good.
“The effort of the players was great, we are talking about 1-1 and maybe we deserved more.”
Chelsea had only 27 per cent possession as Barcelona dominated the ball, but had more shots on goal, registering eleven to the visitors’ seven.