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Intelligent Chelsea can beat Barcelona at the Bernabeu, says Conte

Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona

By Andy Simms

Defiant Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes his side can still stun Barcelona in the Champions League despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last night.

Lionel Messi scored an equaliser in the first leg of their last-16 tie to deny the Blues a famous win ahead of the return at the Nou Camp.

Willian fired Chelsea ahead but in the 75th minute, Andreas Christensen played a loose pass and Andres Iniesta linked up with Messi, who slotted it past Thibaut Courtois.

"I think in the second leg we have to play a game against Barcelona and we know this team is very strong and fantastic," said Conte.

"It won't be easy, we must be realistic, we are talking about Barcelona.

"But we have showed that if we are ready to work hard together defensively and at the same time continue to have the right feeling when we have the ball, to have the chance to score, then we can try to do something incredible.

"You have to respect the opponent, in this case when you play Barcelona box to box you know very well you are crazy and you can lose the game 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0.

"When you play this type of game you must use intelligence. You must play an intelligent game, and we are not stupid."

The visitors predictably dominated possession at Stamford Bridge, racking up 73 per cent while making 887 passes to Chelsea's 325.

But Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said: "We still have to be respectful of their style of play. Anything can happen.

"Yes we passed the ball more. But they pressed us high and they made life very hard for us.

"The away goal is not definitive but it is important, yes."

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