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Rediff.com  » Sports » Conte says Chelsea should be ready to suffer at Barca

Conte says Chelsea should be ready to suffer at Barca

March 12, 2018 14:31 IST

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is put under pressure by Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Cesc Fabregas

IMAGE: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is put under pressure by Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Cesc Fabregas. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Chelsea must be prepared to "suffer" in Barcelona on Wednesday if they are to have any chance of progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals, manager Antonio Conte has said.

 

Barcelona scored a 75th-minute equaliser through Lionel Messi to cancel out midfielder Willian's second-half goal in the first leg clash between the teams at StamfordBridge last month.

Conte said his team could face a more daunting task against the five-time European champions at the Nou Camp.

"We must be very good but when you play against this type of team, which I think is one of the best in the world, you must be prepared to suffer, in the same way we did in the first leg, where we were almost perfect," Conte told the club's website (www.chelseafc.com).

"This is not a (Chelsea) team with great experience, we have a lot of players who are playing their first or second season in the Champions League.

"But we have to work as a team and try to be ready to suffer the moments we have to suffer, and in every moment we have to know that we can have a chance to score."

Barcelona dominated possession in the first leg but Conte's side were unfortunate not to end with a victory after Willian was twice denied by the woodwork before halftime.

"Given our opponents' ability to dominate possession, especially on home soil, we will also need to show plenty of patience and concentration in waiting for our opportunities and making the most of them when they arrive," Conte added.

Mourinho unsure about Pogba's availability for Sevilla game

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Paul Pogba

IMAGE: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Paul Pogba. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters

Manchester United are uncertain about midfielder Paul Pogba's availability for Tuesday's Champions League last 16 clash with Sevilla, manager Jose Mourinho said after the Frenchman missed their 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool at the weekend.

Pogba was ruled out after picking up an injury in the team's final training session before the match and Mourinho is awaiting information on whether he can shake off the knock in time for the visit of the Spanish side.

"I don't know," Mourinho told British media when asked about Pogba's availability for the second leg of their last 16 match.

"The injury? It was contact with a player in the last minute of the training session.

"If I finished the session one minute before it wouldn't have happened," the Portuguese manager added.

United's record signing Pogba has been criticised for his performances this season and Mourinho benched the 24-year-old for their goalless draw at Sevilla in the first leg last month.

Pogba came on as a substitute early in that game after midfielder Ander Herrera pulled up injured.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini returned to action against Liverpool to boost Mourinho's midfield options against Sevilla. The Belgium international has been out since January after undergoing minor knee surgery.

"I want to praise every player but Marouane Fellaini had to go to knee surgery," Mourinho said. Fellaini replaced goalscorer Marcus Rashford in the 70th minute.

"To return ahead of time, he did fantastic work to recover outside the club with the people who have his trust. He arrived to train a couple of days ago and made himself available."

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