losangelesnewstoday.com April 22, 2018

Conte takes time to laud Messi after Champions League exit

18 March 2018, 01:27 | Nina Hammond

PA HAPPY? Costa is watching the action at Camp Nou from home

     HAPPY? Costa is watching the action at Camp Nou from home

"We are aware of reports of incidents outside the ground before the game where a number of Chelsea fans were hurt", said the club.

Alonso believes that if Chelsea play like they did against Barcelona in the season's remaining games, that not only will the team qualify for the Champions League but they could also win the FA Cup. Let us know in the comments section below.

Thibaut Courtois was beaten through his legs twice by Lionel Messi against Barca, the goalkeeper accepting he made mistakes in the tie, but Conte indicated he will not take the Belgium global out of the firing line.

"We deserved more, but against this team you can not concede and then miss chances", Alonso added. "They have stuck with it, they have made mistakes, but they've kept going". His team, which had been averaging 61 to 63% ball retention against their opponents at domestic and continental level, had several spells in our meeting last night where they had to endure the advances of a Chelsea team who created loads of chances with high and effective pressing.

Willian, who has been Chelsea's brightest performer of late, said: "Now we have to look forward".

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Courtois added that they should focus on the FA Cup now with that being the only chance at silverware.

Messi has since thanked the manager for what he said following the game, and added that he is delighted Barca have reached the next stage of the competition. We will see what happens in Champions League.

And Andy Jacobs, one half of Hawksbee and Jacobs - on talkSPORT every weekday from 1pm-4pm - has insisted they could have done better had it not been for Conte. "Scoring so early meant we could control the game, but we didn't feel we had sentenced the tie until we got our third goal". Now we fight until the end of every competition. Then [we have to] do our best also in the league, to find a place in the Champions League.

Chelsea FC haven't won the Champions League since 2012.

"Now we are not playing every two days - we played against Barcelona but we have the full week to rest and recover - so I'll pick the best solution for tomorrow's game".

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