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How can Chelsea stop Barcelona?

April 16, 2012

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Barcelona has scored 33 goals in the UEFA Champions league so far, most in the competition by any team.  Their semi- final opponents, Chelsea has scored only 21 goals so far. This fact clearly shows that Barcelona is better out of the two. Barcelona not only defeats other teams, but also makes their opponents dance to their tune. They have scored 3.3 goals on an average. These stats are only going to make any opponent nervous, especially defenders. Chelsea has a lot of homework to do in the drawing board, before they get ready to play against the Spanish giants.

It could be an impossible job to stop Barcelona from scoring goals. Many talk about the number of quality stars that are at Barca’s disposal, such as Messi, Iniesta, Sanchez, Xavi, Pedro, etc. But it is the same bunch of players that have been playing for the club, so they have a great understanding between them, unlike Chelsea, which are still seeking their best eleven. The semi finals clash between these sides could pose as Chelsea defence Vs Barcelona attack.

Messi – Biggest threat

Barcelona has one of the best players of the world, Lionel Messi. He has the ability to turn the game on its head. Chelsea must mark him very closely, if they are to make him ineffective. Various clubs have done that but still he has had its way through sheer class of his own. Still, he could run the show with his magical feet. It could be wise, if Chelsea play man to man with Messi. M. Essien could be the right player to mark him close, with his well built body and good football brains.

They must make sure that Messi does not get huge space to run at defenders, as he can create havoc and make defenders look stupid. When the ball is on his feet, it’s very difficult to steal the ball away from him. So, it is better if Chelsea does everything to stop Messi receiving the ball, which is an improbable task. The best thing Chelsea can do is to man mark the player and hope that the player has an off day. Even his off day might include some magical moments during the game.

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Messi may be the difference between the two sides.

Stop their free flowing game

Barcelona is known for their free flowing game, which looks very pleasing to the eye. They love passing the ball from one corner of the field to the other by involving every player in their maroon and blue stripes. They do not keep the ball for long, which makes man marking more important. Their players play the game off the ball equally well, which might be a cause of worry for Chelsea. It may be very difficult for Chelsea to make them play differently, but Chelsea’s think tank has to think out of the box to stop them from playing their natural game.

Play a physical game

EPL sides have been known for their strong physical game. They need to show that side of their game against Barcelona, who have a soft, beautiful and elegant looking game. With this approach (physical), they can break Barcelona’s rhythm, which might hold the key for the result of the match. This bunch of Barcelona players could fail if they are not allowed to play their style of football. If we compare the Chelsea players physically, the English side looks in better shape.

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Counter Attacking Football

The Chelsea attacking line, whoever they decide to play has plenty of pace in them (Torres, Drogba, Sturridge, Kalou) along with raw muscle power, needs to come back and support the midfield, hence bringing the Barca defence along the half line. At this juncture, Chelsea can capitalize on the counter attack, which they are also good at. They can kick the ball upfront (not blindly) and make use of their strikers.

Exploit their weak point

Barcelona players may not be good header of the ball (not all), especially when it comes to set pieces. Chelsea needs to exploit this by whipping in quality balls, which needs some good header for a clinical finish. Chelsea have great players who can head the ball into the back of the net, such as Terry and Ivanovic (most dangerous) along with Drogba, Torres (who over plays), Essien etc. Chelsea players have more pace upfront. So, if one on one chances come along Chelsea’s way, they will have an upper hand.

When the two teams met for their last UCL semi finals in 2009, it was a match, where Chelsea played a tight game and Barcelona were not able to score any goals only until the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Will Chelsea stifle Barcelona for goals this time too? During the time, it was Gus Hiddink, the then manager, who was master at the technical aspect of the game and planned the game accordingly.  Di Matteo is no Hiddink, but one can expect him to come with different tactics in an effort to make Barca players sweat. But, has anyone seen Barcelona players sweat on the field? If they sweat, it is rest assured Chelsea did their homework pretty well.

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From → Football

5 Comments
  1. Adipden permalink

    i guess itz the other way round ” How 2 beat Chelsea”

    • Adipden, I am sorry, but Barcelona looks favourite for the match, hence my question, how can Chelsea stop Barcelona?

  2. nish permalink

    2009 was a farce!

  3. Chelsea will scracht barcelona bcos petre cech is more better than victor valdes

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