Chelsea match vital to Barcelona season, admits Guardiola

Barcelona Head Coach Pep Guardiola has admitted the outcome of the Spanish side’s Champions League semi-final with Chelsea will define the club’s season, ESPN has reported.

Chelsea lead the fixture 1-0 from the first-leg and after suffering defeat to Real Madrid in La Liga this weekend, Barcelona find themselves seven points adrift of Jose Mourinho’s side with four games to play, leaving the reigning champions with much work to do if they are to retain their domestic title.

Guardiola said: “What happens against Chelsea will mark the rest of our season. Although the guys have not had long to recover, they have had setbacks like this before and risen to the challenge.

Whereas Chelsea had the luxury of making eight changes for their weekend fixture, a 0-0 draw with Arsenal, the magnitude of the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid contest meant Guardiola had to put out as strong a side as possible. He went on to say: “These guys have had four years of playing every competition possible and sometimes lack a little freshness.

In the first-leg at Stamford Bridge Barcelona had 25 shots on goal and 70% of possession, but could not equal Didier Drogba’s goal on the stroke of half-time. Drogba netted from one of only two on-target shots Chelsea recorded.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea v QPR

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