Barcelona v Chelsea: We will reach the final, declares Pep Guardiola
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is confident his side can overturn a one-goal deficit against Chelsea and reach the final
Pep Guardiola is confident Barcelona can overturn a one-goal deficit in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
It will be the 12th meeting between Barça and Chelsea in Europe’s premier competition but the Catalans are yet to lose to the Premier League outfit at Camp Nou.
“Believe me when I say we will make the final,” said Guardiola.
“I believe this for hundreds of reasons; these players will beat Chelsea. I know there’s a wish for us not to make it, but let us believe that we will.
“All our semi-finals have been very tough and we know the first leg was disappointing, but we can’t think about that.
“I know they will do it on Tuesday because I know they can do it. They will play to win. I don’t have any doubt that we will be in Munich.”
The holders have endured a difficult week after losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, followed by a surprise 2-1 defeat by Real Madrid on Saturday to effectively end their La Liga title bid.
Yet Guardiola, who has led Barcelona to three league titles and two Champions League crowns, dismissed the suggestion that Tuesday night’s game against Chelsea represents the biggest challenge of his short managerial career.
“I don’t know if this is my greatest challenge as coach,” he added.
“I always face challenges with optimism because I have faith in this team and the players. Whenever we lose or draw it hurts for a few days, but with my faith and optimism I know we will do everything we can.
“We have to be careful, we know of Chelsea’s qualities and we have to find the way to create chances and score goals.
“We have to think about the way we can get past them, that’s the key; to see in what way we can score goals and avoid the dangers of Chelsea.
“It’s impossible not to be excited about this match. The players are human beings and they want to play well and win all competitions.
“It’s very easy to tell them not to be excited or nervous, not to lose balls, but we have to learn how to manage these situations and they know well enough how to manage these games.”