Mata insists Chelsea can beat Barcelona
Chelsea forward Juan Mata has belief that his teammates can upset the odds and conquer Barcelona to reach their first Champions League final since 2008, The Mirror reports.
The Spanish international has already beaten the reigning La Liga and Champions League holders in a semi-final with former side Valencia, scoring twice as they knocked out Barcelona. Mata has been a great signing for the Blues and scored Saturday's late winner over Wigan as Chelsea applied more pressure on fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League. The 23 year old was signed from Valencia this summer by Andre Villas-Boas, who has since left the club, and after a good run of results under interim manager Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea are confident of victory against Barcelona. Mata will be looking to get one over on his Spanish international teammates within the Barcelona side and believes that if the Blues play their football correctly, they have a brilliant chance of progressing to the final in Munich.
Mata said: "They (Barcelona) are a great team and you all know they have one of the best players in the world. But in football, nothing is impossible. We have to be clinical when we get chances and we have to be compact and defend as a team. We have to be together. We know that if we play well, we will have opportunities to qualify."
Chelsea's last Champions League semi-final came in 2009 against Barcelona, where they were undoubtedly robbed by poor refereeing decisions from Tom Henning Ovrebo. The Norwegian turned down four good penalty appeals for the Blues at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea hearts were broken by a late goal from Andres Iniesta. Henning Ovrebo has this week revealed he still receives hate mail from irate Chelsea fans who have not forgiven him for that refereeing performance.