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Chelsea Made Life Difficult For Barcelona- Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admitted Chelsea made it difficult for them at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea initially took the lead in the Champions League round of 16 first leg through Willian before Lionel Messi equalised with what was his first goal against the west London club in nine appearances.

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He told reporters: ‘They might be happy with the result. Yes, we passed the ball more but they pressed us high and made it difficult for us but anything can change in the Nou Camp.

‘The away goal isn’t definitive but it is important.’

Barcelona may have had more of the possession throughout the match, but it was Chelsea who made the clearest chances with Willian hitting the post twice in the first half before finally finding the back of the net.

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The Brazilian received a pass from Eden Hazard on the edge of the box and danced around Sergio Busquets before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner.

Valverde believes Busquets gave the Brazil international too much space to shoot, but admits Hazard’s pass and Willian’s control were exceptional pieces of play.

The former Athletic Bilbao manager added: ‘We gave too much space to Willian to shoot. The pass to him was perfect, the control was perfect.’

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