BARCELONA - Lionel Messi will bounce back from his subdued performance in Barcelona's Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday to be a threat in the return next week, Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink said. Messi is the top scorer in the competition with eight goals, but Chelsea's Jose Bosingwa, in for the suspended Ashley Cole at left back, and his team mates managed to thwart the Argentina international in the 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp. "Messi was rather well neutralised tactically tonight," Hiddink said at a news conference. "Bosingwa did a good job and had some help from (Florent) Malouda on the left side and good support from the centre as well when Messi cut inside," the Dutchman added. "It can happen one night that you stop him, but I don't think it will happen twice." Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said Messi had done well considering how tightly he was marshalled by a physically strong and aggressive Chelsea side. "He was the victim of extremely tight marking so it was not easy for him to find space," he told a later news conference. "I think he did great given the circumstances." Guardiola noted that Chelsea had played very cautiously with effectively six defenders and only Didier Drogba up front. "It's never easy to play well when the opposition is not playing football," he said. "I am proud of my players," he added. "You can be sure we will go to London with the same attacking spirit." The absence of Rafael Marquez, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Tuesday, and the suspended Carles Puyol for the second leg at Stamford Bridge next week was a blow, Guardiola said. "They are very important players but that's no excuse for not getting to the final and we will find a solution for sure. "Definitely the loss of Rafa is the worst news of the day but I think it will make us stronger." CHELSEA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Kerry Dixon, Guus Hiddink One on One Gianfranco Zola, Nicolas Anelka Boy's A Bit Special Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair Perfect XI Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly Celebrity fans Vidal Sassoon And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Ruud Gullit on Weekend Wonders and Chelsea on Talentspotter BARCELONA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: Q&A Samuel Eto'o, Cesc Fabregas Web Exclusives Cesc Fabregas, Gary Lineker One on One Mark Hughes, Thierry Henry, Ronaldo Perfect XI Gheorghe Hagi, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman Plus! Rate Barca players (and others) on Talentspotter
29 April 2009
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