FC Barcelona have struck 19 goals in 11 UEFA Champions League games this season, a further 83 times in the Liga and enjoyed 68% possession even in defeat by FC Internazionale Milano in last week's semi-final first leg. It is therefore no surprise that Sergio Busquets is urging the European champions to play in their natural fashion when they seek to overturn a 3-1 deficit in Wednesday's second instalment.
"We have to take the ball, control the match, and create chances," said the midfielder. "We have to make the most of this and just be ourselves. It's a special match and we have to turn the tie around because the final is one step away. We can't go mad with chances and just shoot from anywhere. I'm sure chances will come along as usual. [But] Inter are very dangerous on the counterattack with [Samuel] Eto'o and [Goran] Pandev down the wings, so we will have to watch out for that."
The Nerazzurri did indeed last week defy any suggestion that coach José Mourinho viewed defence as the best form of attack. Eto'o, Pandev and Diego Milito – whose brother Gabriel could replace the suspended Carles Puyol in Josep Guardiola's defence on Wednesday – formed a three-pronged attack which was further supported by the progressive Wesley Sneijder.
Busquets was one of those overrun by Inter's second-half surge after the Serie A titleholders had fallen behind, but he feels the Azulgrana will have one very telling advantage at the Camp Nou. "We have the best crowd in the world. It's an important match and this is the moment of truth; we have to get a positive result and we expect a lot from the fans. The bond between fans and players will be vital. There's a lot of positivism and we've always been ambitious but I can sense a special atmosphere. It's 90 minutes and with the help of the crowd we think we can fight for it."
Barcelona are striving to become the first team since AC Milan two decades ago to defend the European Champion Clubs' Cup but, for Busquets, the Santiago Bernabéu showpiece on 22 May must take a back seat to the visit of Inter. "I have thought about the match like a final," he added at the pre-match press conference. "We can't think of anything else and we all dream about how things will go and what we can do. I hope it has a happy ending for us all."
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