Hiddink hails fighting spirit

28 April 2009 11:12
Guus Hiddink felt his Chelsea side did a remarkable job of stifling Barcelona on Tuesday.

The Blues emerged from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final with a creditable 0-0 draw after nullifying the attacking threat posed by their Spanish opponents.

They will now head to Stamford Bridge for the return meeting next week believing they are capable of reaching a second consecutive final.

Hiddink believes Chelsea showed enough at Camp Nou to suggest that is possible, but accepts there is still much to be done against one of the world's most talented teams.

"Barcelona play beautiful football and possession is crucial to their game," said the Dutchman.

"The only thing they couldn't do was find a goal and I think Petr Cech did a good job defensively.

"They couldn't create the big chances and we were a little bit unlucky with Didier in the first half, but we have to accept that they posed more of a threat. We fought very bravely.

"We know this is the only team in the world that can immediately take advantage when you lose your discipline and punish you. The guys did very well.

"The only thing we would like to have done is to have more possession and pose more of a threat, but this is one of the best teams in the world."

AttitudeHiddink also praised Frank Lampard for the manner in which he accepted his second half substitution, understanding that a tactical switch was required for the good of the collective cause.

"We have a very good attitude in the team when it is necessary. Even a big player like Frank has to go off for tactical reasons," added the Chelsea coach.

"It is accepted and it is great to have the players with the right attitude. If it is necessary for the result we do that."

Jose Bosingwa is also set to receive thoroughly-deserved plaudits for the manner in which he dealt with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, but Hiddink believes the Blues may not be so fortunate when it comes to the second leg.

"Messi was rather well neutralised tactically tonight," he said.

"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.

"It can happen one night that you stop him, but I don't think it will happen twice."

Source: SKY_Sports