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
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
"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."