Di Matteo defends Chelsea tactics in Barcelona victory

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has rejected criticism of the Blues’ approach in their first-leg Champions League win over Barcelona, Sporting Life has reported, with Di Matteo insisting the most important statistic was the score line.

A Didier Drogba goal just before half-time gave Chelsea a 1-0 win but Barcelona dominated the contest, boasting 70% of possession according to the BBC’s match report. The same article notes that the Spanish side had 25 shots on goal to Chelsea’s four, with 15 of Barcelona’s finding the target compared to two for Chelsea. The La Liga club also hit the bar and had an effort cleared off the line.

But Chelsea held on to their slender advantage to take a precious goal to the Nou Camp, and Di Matteo said: “Many other clubs did exactly the same against Barca. But we managed to win. I looked at the games that they played against other big clubs, like Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United. The stats just tell you that Barcelona will have the majority of the possession.

The return leg will be played on April 24. In Barcelona’s last Champions League match at their own ground, the quarter-final second-leg against Milan, Pep Guardiola’s side recorded 60% of possession and 17 efforts on goal. Milan managed two, only one of which was on target, according to UEFA’s report on proceedings.

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