Barcelona hold no fear for Chelsea, insists Ranieri

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has told the BBC that Barcelona will hold no fear for the Blues as the sides meet on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Ranieri added that while Chelsea will respect the Champions League holders, the contest will be so evenly-matched there is no reason for Roberto Di Matteo’s charges to be afraid of the opposition. Ranieri said: “They will respect Barca but afraid? No. Why? It will be a close match. They have had some close matches before and maybe it will be different this time.

The last time the two sides met, in 2009 at the same stage of the same competition, a last minute Andres Iniesta goal at Stamford Bridge sent Barcelona to the final via the away goal rule. There, goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi gave the Spanish side victory over Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Manchester United. Barcelona defeated the same opposition 3-0 in last year’s Champions League final at Wembley to record their fourth European Cup victory and the third since 2006. The closest Chelsea have been to winning the Champions League game in 2008, when they lost on penalties to United.

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