Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Barcelona have regressed in terms of quality from last season when they were at their peak. Barcelona will be taking on Chelsea in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final knowing that they need to win at the Camp Nou in order to have any chance of progressing to the final of the competition.
Chelsea won the first leg at Stamford Bridge 1-0, which gives them the opportunity to play for a draw at the Camp Nou. The Spanish club have been one of the best teams in the world over the last three seasons, but Arsene Wenger reckons that they are beginning to tire.
Speaking after the 0-0 draw with Chelsea during the weekend, Wenger said that the Barcelona that played against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is not the same Barcelona we have become used to over the last couple of seasons. This is certainly strange because considering the fact that Barcelona back in the 2009 Champions League semi-final created only one shot on target against Chelsea. Barcelona come into the second leg encounter with Chelsea on the back of two consecutive defeats. Lionel Messi has never lost three games in a row in his Barcelona career, but Wenger feels that Chelsea have more than a chance at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
“The Barcelona that we have seen last Wednesday is not the Barcelona of last year. It is far from impossible [for Chelsea] to qualify because they go in an even better position than we did last season – 1‑0 is a fantastic result. Barcelona will have 70% of the ball but is it not worth trying to score a goal? That would, mentally, be a massive blow to Barcelona because I have seen last year when we scored… it was a lucky goal but I could see suddenly that they became very nervous,” Wenger told The Guardian.