Fear factor cost Chelsea says Barca star Alves

17 April 2012 06:16

Barcelona defender Dani Alves has lit the touchpaper for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final with Chelsea by suggesting fear cost the Premier League side victory in the 2009 semi-finals.

Chelsea were controversially eliminated by the Catalans in the last four three years ago following a string of hotly-disputed calls from Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, who turned down four penalty appeals.

However Alves told the The Independent on Tuesday that Chelsea only had themselves to blame for failing to clinch victory, after midfielder Andres Iniesta's injury-time strike sent Barcelona through to the final on away goals.

"There is no doubt that was the hardest game we've played, but a team with a man advantage playing at home and winning should have attacked us more," Alves told the daily.

"People say Chelsea should have won but for the referee, but that is not our problem. We were there to play football, to compete and try to get to the final. Chelsea did not reach the final because of fear."

Meanwhile Iniesta himself warned his team-mates to expect another tough night against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"It's painful to be knocked out so close to the final. Now we are facing each other again and undoubtedly their desire to beat us and be in the Champions League final will be significant," he said.

"We hope that things will turn out well for us again this time.

"We are going there with the intention of winning, to have a good game and commit as few mistakes as possible, as in the Champions League they are very costly. We always go out to win.

"We know that it is a knock-out tie and there is a return game, but our only intention is to win. It will be a tough 90 minutes. Chelsea are more experienced now, inevitably, and they have also changed some players."

Iniesta also believes Chelsea's old guard such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba will post a threat.

"They are dangerous for who they are, not because they are older or that it could be their last opportunity to win the Champions League," he said.

"You have to respect them because they are great players and right now are in a very good moment. I think it's going to be a very nice tie."

Source: AFP