Chelsea captain, Gary Cahill has warned his teammates to stay sharp when they face Barcelona in tonights’ Champions League match at the Stamford Bridge.
The five-time European champions are strong favourites to progress from this last-16 tie having gone unbeaten in La Liga this season.
But Cahill believes Chelsea can cause another upset if they match the standards set six years ago.
Cahill said: “To keep Barcelona out, you have to be at your very best.When we beat them in 2012, the concentration at the back had to be at the absolute maximum.
“In terms of getting the ball and attacking, it was limited because they had long spells of possession.
“I was exhausted after we won the first game [1-0], mentally and physically. If you switched off for one minute, you knew they would score.
“Everyone will have to be at that level again, everyone will have to be so switched on. One lapse of concentration or focus, Barcelona will make you pay. It is still up to us to play, to create when we do have the ball. The effort it’s going to take will be immense.” according to Standard Sport
Of their 12 meetings in the Champions League, Chelsea have won four games to Barcelona’s three and knocked them out in 2005 and 2012.
Cahill said: “They will have to respect us as a team and as a force. I don’t think they would have been delighted at the draw. Hopefully, this will be a contest to remember for the right reasons. If you can’t get excited about this game, you shouldn’t be playing.
“We missed being in the competition last season. We wanted it back and we have got it back in a big way. We need to relish this, we need to enjoy it. It’s a short career. You want to play in the big games and make the most of it.”
“If we can get the same kind of result in the first leg as we did six years ago, that would be the aim,” said Cahill. “We know we have to keep things tight at this stage at home and then go away to finish the job.
“But football is not always straight forward and you have to adapt to what comes up, tactically and mentally.
“It is obviously going to be a very difficult game. They have been one of the favourites to win the competition since it started. We realise the players that they have.
“No Chelsea fan needs reminding of what we did in 2012 — it was one in a million. But we can do it again.”