Belfast Telegraph

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Blues bemoan bad luck as clinical Barca ease through

Barcelona 3 Chelsea 0

By Matt McGeehan

Marcos Alonso felt Chelsea were unfortunate to lose to Barcelona last night after hiting the woodwork three times and creating numerous opportunities.

The Blues fell behind courtesy of a Thibaut Courtois error that allowed a Lionel Messi drive to find the net after just three minutes, with Ousmane Dembele doubling the hosts' advantage soon later.

Messi wrapped things up with a confident second-half finish, but Alonso - who struck the post with a first-half free-kick - reflected: "We knew they have top players and we cannot give them one metre because then they can create and score.

"I think we were a little bit unlucky also with the first two goals and also we hit the post three times.

"We had so many chances in both games, and they were the better team, but we were unlucky. I think we competed well and we have to keep training and keep getting better.

"They were not comfortable in the first half and we just missed the chances. It could have been 2-2 at least at half-time, but it was 2-0, and in a stadium like this, against this team, it isn't easy to come back."

Boss Antonio Conte Conte also felt his side were unfortunate to be beaten 3-0.

He said: "I think over the two legs we were a bit unlucky because we hit the post four times and in our best moment they scored, they were very, very clinical tonight. I think we created many chances but we didn't take them. I'm very proud of my players because they gave everything tonight and maybe we didn't deserve to lose 3-0."

Courtois accepted he was to blame for Barca's opener, saying: "Individual mistakes cost us in both legs. I didn't expect Messi to shoot from there and I was too late to close my legs so that was a mistake on my part. It's not nice to start an evening like that.

"For a goalkeeper like me from two metres, it's my weakest point between my legs. Even if I'm standing in a normal position there's a lot of space in between.

"It's annoying but I don't think I have to hide inside. I have to come out and be a man and show you made a mistake and move on."


BARCELONA: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba, Dembele (Vidal, 67 mins), Rakitic, Busquets (Andre Gomes, 61 mins), Iniesta (Paulinho, 56 mins), Messi, Suarez. Unused subs: Cillessen, Alcacer, Digne, Vermaelen.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses (Zappacosta, 67 mins), Fabregas, Kante, Alonso, Willian, Giroud (Morata, 67 mins), Hazard (Pedro, 82 mins). Unused subs: Caballero, Bakayoko, Cahill, Emerson.

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

Man of the match: Lionel Messi

Match rating: 8/10

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