Conte barks orders at his Chelsea players in the Barcelona game

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Antonio Conte has defended his tactics during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Blues started the game without a recognised centre-forward and head into the return leg at the Camp Nou having conceded what could be a crucial away goal.

Andres Iniesta pounced on a defensive error to lay the ball on a plate for Lionel Messi.

However, the result does not tell the full story as Willian gave the hosts the lead having already hit the post twice in the first half.

And Conte has taken umbrage at those criticising his tactics.

He said: “I think that tonight I don’t remember a great save from Thibaut [Courtois].

“They had one chance in the first chance with Paulinho and then the second half with Suarez.

“I think we played a really good game and I must be pleased because my players did a great effort.

“They followed the plan and the programme we prepared and tomorrow we have to rest and then to prepare for the game in the league.”

Chelsea will be hoping for a small miracle when they travel to Catalonia for the return leg on March 14.

The Spanish giants have not lost a competitive home game since Alaves stunned them in 2016.