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Chelsea lacked courage says Dani Alves

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By David Redshaw

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Barcelona right-back Dani Alves says in an interview with The Guardian that Chelsea were afraid when the two sides met in a Champions League semi-final in 2009.

“There is no doubt that was the hardest game we've played,” said the Brazilian. “People say Chelsea would have won but for the referee, but what can we do about that? I think that Chelsea didn't reach the final because of fear.

“A team that has got a man more, at home, winning 1-0, should have attacked us. Chelsea lacked the courage to take a step forward. Instead, they took a step back and they paid for it.”

The 28-year-old will be hoping history repeats itself at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night and the former Sevilla player believes Barca will again go on the attack as that is the only way they know how to play. However, he baulks at suggestions that Pep Guardiola’s men cannot defend.

“People automatically think that because you attack, you can't defend. Not true,” he insisted. “What we cannot do is play with 11 men behind the ball. Defend? Defend what? You can't 'defend', in the traditional sense, a team that does not attack you. And we defend by stopping them attacking us.”

Alves is also adamant the current Barcelona outfit is taking football back to its roots with their philosophy and style.

“We're taking football back to its origins. Interests have changed everything: all that matters is winning any way you can. If you don't, you are worthless. For me, that's not football.

“When I was young I wanted to win but I played because it was fun. Our approach has a bit of that. Enjoyment. I love football, adore it. We have to give something back to the fans,” he added.

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