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Five-star Chelsea delight Di Matteo

Having demanded perfection before Chelsea FC met FC Barcelona, Roberto Di Matteo said he almost got it as the English side claimed a first-leg lead in their semi-final tie.

Five-star Chelsea delight Di Matteo
Five-star Chelsea delight Di Matteo ©UEFA.com

Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea interim coach
It was almost perfect. Against Barcelona you have to do a lot of defending and be clinical when you get your chances. They are going to have a lot of possession. My players have shown the determination they have, with the courage to play against the top team in the world – they showed good quality. It was a collective performance by the whole team. We knew we would get chances and Didier [Drogba] was in the right spot at the right time. It is still 50-50 and we know the second leg will be difficult.

There's a lot of quality in this team – they have the experience, ambition and drive to show they are still up there with the best. This group of players amaze me every time they go out on the pitch. It has been a great European night for this football club. It is good that we didn't concede – we go into the second leg with a little advantage. I believe we will get chances over there and hopefully we can take them. We have to be confident and believe we can go through to the final.

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
We knew it was going to be difficult. I felt beforehand that it might cost us a lot of effort to create chances but we managed to do so on many occasions. I was expecting more long balls and throw-ins from Chelsea but that wasn't the case. Even so, when we passed halfway they were waiting for us, defending deeply and in number. It's not easy. Congratulations to Chelsea. We had more possession but that doesn't mean anything; that doesn't win games. They outjumped us tonight and were physically stronger.

We played well, created 24 chances and still lost – what can you do? We need to create 24 more chances at home in the return and hope that some go in. We need to find more ways of creating danger. My players are disappointed but I know them and they will give absolutely everything they have to reach the final. We will need to be patient and ambitious at our stadium. Chelsea are the favourites, though, and a 1-0 win is good for them. Our challenge now is to reverse the result and it is a challenge we accept.