Di Matteo: Chelsea need two perfect games
Roberto Di Matteo tonight admitted Chelsea would need to play two "perfect" games to win their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
Di Matteo has transformed the fortunes of the Blues since being appointed caretaker manager just over six weeks ago, culminating in Sunday's 5-1 FA Cup semi-final thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur. But the 41-year-old had no illusions Chelsea would need to hit new heights tomorrow and next Tuesday to beat the team some regard as one of the greatest of all time.
"It's fair to say we need two perfect games," Di Matteo said. "But I think, also, that the fact we've been performing very well in the last six weeks gives us the belief we can produce two perfect games in this match.
"It's the biggest challenge for any manager to play against the best team in the world, but for every player as well, to be able to compare themselves against one of the top teams in the world."
Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has claimed the exceptional Lionel Messi is "only human" and believes his side are capable of stopping the Argentinian. Cech has lauded Messi and his Barcelona team-mates, but believes Chelsea can triumph in their semi-final.
Cech said: "Barcelona alone are an exceptional team with a fantastic generation of players and he is the most exceptional among the exceptional. He is even better than the rest. Messi in his current form is an enormous threat. He is for sure one of the best players in the world but, as I said before, no team is invincible.
"His ball technique is superb, but most importantly he can react to how the game develops. At the last possible moment in any situation he can find the ideal solution. There are a lot of ways that Messi can finish an attack. On the other hand, he is also only human and, if we perform to 100 per cent, we will be able to defend against him."