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Wenger: Chelsea ideally placed for Barca upset

23 April 2012 13:51

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Chelsea have a strong chance of advancing to the Champions League final at the expense of Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola's side have lost consecutive matches for the first time in three years, against Roberto Di Matteo's men and arch-rivals Real Madrid in La Liga, and Wenger believes that Chelsea could now knock them out of the competition.

"The Barcelona that we have seen last Wednesday is not the Barcelona of last year," Wenger told The Guardian.

"It is far from impossible (for Chelsea) to qualify because they go in an even better position than we did last season – 1-0 is a fantastic result."

The Gunners were knocked out of the Champions League last year by Guardiola's side after winning their first leg 2-1 at home before going down 3-1 at Camp Nou, and Wenger feels if Chelsea score it could prove to be a killer blow to the hosts, who would then need to score three times without reply to progress.

"Barcelona will have 70% of the ball but is it not worth trying to score a goal?" asked Wenger.

"That would, mentally, be a massive blow to Barcelona because I have seen last year when we scored … it was a lucky goal but I could see suddenly that they became very nervous.

"At the moment Messi looks a bit tired, although he is still dangerous. Chelsea managed to block a few shots from him on Wednesday night but usually he has such a short back lift it is difficult to do that.

"That means he is not as sharp as he was before and, if they defend like they did the other night, Chelsea have a chance.

"Inter Milan beat Barcelona that way (in the 2010 semi-final) and nobody took any credit away from Inter Milan.

"You know, if Chelsea played like that the whole season it would be more difficult to understand but in a European Cup game, against Barcelona, you understand that.

"You want them to qualify."

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Info

2 - 2

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
24 April 2012
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
2 - 1
Full-time
2 - 2
On aggregate
2 - 3
Venue
Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Attendance
95845

Goals

Busquets 35'
(assist by Cuenca) 
1 - 0
Iniesta 43'
(assist by L. Messi) 
2 - 0
2 - 1
45'+1 Ramires
 (assist by F. Lampard)
2 - 2
90'+2 Fernando Torres
 (assist by A. Cole)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
5
3
14
4
8 43' 50'
6
16 35'
39
10 49' 71'
9
Coach: Guardiola
# Player Bookings
1 59'
3
26 37'
24
2 48'
8 72'
12 32'
16 89'
7 44' 45+1'
11
10
Coach: R. Di Matteo

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
2
37
15
11
13
17
21
# Player Bookings
17
21
9 90+2'
5
15
22
23

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