No time for regrets, we have to fight on, says Chelsea’s Alonso
Antonio Conte said Lionel Messi was the difference between his Chelsea side and Barcelona.
Marcos Alonso says Chelsea have no time to dwell on their Champions League exit and must refocus on domestic duties and securing qualification for the competition next season.
Lionel Messi scored twice and made another as Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona on Wednesday night in a 4-1 aggregate defeat in the last 16.
The Blues go to Leicester in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final and their next Premier League fixture is on April 1 against top-four rivals Tottenham.
Antonio Conte’s side are fifth with eight games remaining, trailing fourth-placed Liverpool by four points and third-placed Spurs by five.
Speaking after the Barca loss, Alonso told Chelsea TV: “It’s fair that they go through, but we showed we are a good team and now we have eight games to fight for a spot and play this competition again next season.
“It’s hard, but you have to take the positives and fight. There’s no time to regret. There’s only eight games left and the FA Cup. We have to go for it 200 per cent.”
😤 Missed chances— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 15, 2018
Barcelona vs. Chelsea had it all... pic.twitter.com/V2jNgfCpsV
Conte’s future has been the subject of speculation all season and defeats to Leicester and Spurs could lead to questions over whether the Italian will complete the season as boss.
Chelsea won the Premier League in Conte’s first season in charge, but this has been an at times tumultuous campaign.
The Italian was keen to praise his players following the loss at the Nou Camp, saying Messi was the difference.
Barca – and Messi – capitalised on errors across the tie to advance at Chelsea’s expense.
“We deserved more, but against this team you cannot concede and then miss chances,” Alonso added.
“We knew we had to take advantage of our chances. They arrived three times and scored three goals. We had so many chances and we didn’t put the ball in.”
Willian, who has been Chelsea’s brightest performer of late, said: “Now we have to look forward. We have FA Cup and Premier League to fight for.”