Chelsea can win it! Di Matteo back Blues to beat Barca and then lift trophy in Munich
19:04 GMT, 23 April 2012
Roberto Di Matteo has declared Chelsea are good enough to win the Champions League as he stood on the brink of leading them to arguably the greatest victory in their history.
Barely seven weeks since taking charge and less than seven days after masterminding an astonishing semi-final first-leg win over Barcelona, caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo arrived at the Nou Camp tonight determined to complete the job.
Chelsea have been written off this season and even before that, something that prompted Di Matteo to hit out at their critics after Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Arsenal.
In the spotlight: Chelsea boss Di Matteo takes his side in battle at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night
And he was adamant this evening they
have what it takes to end their agonising nine-year wait for Champions
League glory since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
'We do have the qualities within this team,' he said.
'I think we need away from home, as we've seen in the past, a bit of luck to be able to do well in a competition like this.
'But, certainly, the quality and the squad we have at Chelsea is very good.'
Fitness battle: Drogba took full part in the training session
Meanwhile, Petr Cech admitted it felt
like Groundhog Day as the club once again stood on the brink of
reaching the Champions League final.
Cech and his Blues team-mates arrived
in Barcelona this afternoon just 90 minutes away from one of the most
famous victories in their history.
The 29-year-old acknowledged that had
been little more than a pipe dream when caretaker manager Di Matteo was
first charged with picking up the pieces of Andre Villas-Boas' doomed
But an astonishing seven weeks later
and that dream is close to becoming a reality for a man who has played
in five of Chelsea's six semi-finals – and their only previous final –
since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
Quiet before the storm: The famous stadium is hosting the players' training ahead of the semi-final second leg
'I've been hoping for the last eight
years that it would be the year I'd have a chance to win the Champions
League,' Cech said ahead of tomorrow's second leg at the Nou Camp.
'Here we are again, in the semi-final. We always try to reach the final and go as far as we can, to try and win the competition.
'Many times we were close and haven't
managed to do so. If we have a fantastic game tomorrow, we'll have a
chance to reach the final
'But we need to play the 90 minutes tomorrow – then we might be able to think about a final.'
Final preparations: Di Matteo took his side through the session at the Nou Camp
Yet history is on Chelsea's side. They have not lost in their last six meetings with Barcelona, three of those at the Nou Camp.
Cech said: 'We always try our best to find a way to play well against them. Of course, we've put ourselves in a very good position by winning that first leg.'
Chelsea did so despite having just one shot on target and watching their opponents squander five gilt-edged chances after enjoying 72 per cent possession.
Cech said: 'I think it'll be the same as the first leg, really. A goal will make a big difference for us for the whole tie.'
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An away goal would also further dent the confidence of a Barca side whose defeat in Saturday's top-of-the-table Primera Division clash with Real Madrid was their first in 54 home games.
But Cech said: 'Although Barcelona lost the 'Clasico' on Saturday, it won't have a big impact on the game. They're a great team.
'They have a lot of experience, they know how to handle defeats.'