Lampard welcomes Chelsea underdog tag for Barcelona meeting

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has admitted the Premier League side will be the underdogs when they face Barcelona on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the Champions League, the Independent reports, but the England international believes the side will thrive on people downplaying their chances.

Lampard, who scored a spectacular free-kick as Chelsea defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, added: “I don’t mind if people write us off. We’re in the semi-final on merit. When they’re at their best [Barcelona can roll over anyone]. We have to take them on and play the way we did in the FA Cup.

The 33-year-old is a veteran of the last fixture between the sides, when Barcelona prevailed after a controversial second-leg at Stamford Bridge. Michael Essien originally put Chelsea a goal up, on the night and on aggregate after a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp, before a string of penalty appeals were rejected by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, who also sent off Barcelona defender Eric Abidal. Andres Iniesta eventually levelled the scores on the night and sent Barcelona through to the final on away goals with a stunning last minute goal.

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