Di Matteo defends Chelsea tactics

Roberto Di Matteo declared it was all about winning as he launched a staunch defence of his tactics in Chelsea's Champions League win over Barcelona.

Football News: Chelsea vs Barcelona

And caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo appeared not to rule out parking the bus again in Tuesday night's semi-final second leg in Spain.

Chelsea's performance in Wednesday's 1-0 first leg win at Stamford Bridge split opinion into two camps, the purists and the pragmatists.

But Di Matteo insisted their defensive display was their only hope of avoiding a drubbing by Pep Guardiola's world and European champions.

"It is about winning, yes," he said.

"Everybody seems to have an opinion about ourselves. We just have to try to do our job.

"We live in free country, don't we, in a country where everybody has freedom of speech."

Some of the fiercest criticism came from Italy, with Di Matteo's former manager at international level, Arrigo Sacchi, saying of Chelsea's win: "Di Matteo has won, but football has lost".

Di Matteo said: "I know Arrigo very well and I know his philosophy of football.

"He is probably closer to the Barca style but, ultimately, we have to look at ourselves and what's the best way for us to win and go through."

He added: "You know how many players, how many teams and managers have tried with different tactics to play against Barcelona?

"They will always create chances, whatever you do, because of the sheer quality that they have in the team, the individual quality between the players.

"They've got top players, more than one of the best players in the world in their team."

Chelsea beat Barca despite having just 28% possession and one shot on target.

Di Matteo said: "Many other clubs did exactly the same against Barca. But we managed to win."

He added: "I looked at the games that they played against other big clubs, like AC Milan, Real Madrid, Man United.

"The stats just tell you that Barcelona will have majority of the possession, a lot of possession against you.

"You might have a little bit more than the other teams I've just mentioned, but ultimately everybody gets little chances, everybody has a very limited amount of attempts."

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was smiling from ear to ear after Wednesday's win, despite the manner of the victory which appears to go against his desire to see his side emulate Barca's approach.

Di Matteo said: "I think everybody connected to the club is happy that we won. That's what most matters."



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