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Conte takes time to laud Messi after Champions League exit

15 March 2018

Tied 1-1 on aggregate in their Champions League Round of 16 matchup, Barcelona and Chelsea head to Camp Nou for the second leg on Wednesday.

The Catalans ended up with 1-1 draw against the Blues in Stamford Bridge as Lionel Messi struck in the advanced minutes of the game canceling Willian's effort.

However, the Italian was quick to mention if they are to stand a chance they will need to be at their very best, something they have failed to do at times this season. The two teams enter the second leg with everything to play for in Barcelona.

"I don't think we deserve to be out, but individual mistakes cost us in both legs", the Belgium worldwide told BT Sport.

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They unfurled a giant banner - "God Save the King" - prior to kick-off with Lionel Messi then making his regal presence felt as Barcelona swept Chelsea out of the Champions League.

"That's a pity. We could have played on for three hours, and I [still] wouldn't touch a ball".

While attending a press conference the Brazilian said, "In the Camp Nou you have to play the ideal match". "In fact he will be more motivated than what we are used to and physically he is going to be great, after having an extra game's rest".

Antonio Conte's Blues know they will have to score tonight or go out as a 0-0 draw will do for Barca, however a score draw higher than 1-1 will send last season's Premier League champions through.

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"Every team must be prepared to suffer their possession because Barca like to dominate the game".

The Spaniard is also goalless in the Champions League despite making six appearances, though he did suffer from a back injury in early February.

He may, however, be selected to face Chelsea at the Camp Nou due to his experience playing against the La Liga side in his time with Real Madrid and Juventus. If you score (to make it) 2-1 you can put a bit of pressure on Barcelona.

"There is no chance of signing Messi", City sporting director Ferran Soriano said, per Goal's Robin Bairner. "We know here the pitch is big and we have to stay together and to not concede goals and go for the counter attack as well". Likewise, Giroud has made just three starts and scored one goal since crossing London to join from Arsenal.

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Conte takes time to laud Messi after Champions League exit