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'Chelsea will not be able to stop Messi and Barcelona'

09:54 GMT 14/03/2018
Lionel Messi Barcelona
The Argentine gave the Catalan giants a vital away goal at Stamford Bridge and Gaizka Mendieta does not expect the Blues to be able to shackle him

Chelsea cannot stop Lionel Messi in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie at Camp Nou, according to former Spain international Gaizka Mendieta.

The Blues turned in an excellent defensive performance at Stamford Bridge, taking a 1-0 lead through Willian's superb finish.

However, a defensive lapse in the second half allowed Messi the chance to shoot and inevitably score, giving Ernesto Valverde's side a priceless away goal.

The result means that Chelsea will have to score in Spain, and attempt to keep a clean sheet, though Mendieta insists that it is impossible to limit the Argentina superstar.

"You cannot stop Messi," he told Goal in an exclusive interview. "You can stop Barcelona but (Lionel) Messi is difficult. If you try to stop (Lionel) Messi, then you have (Andres) Iniesta.

"Then, you also have (Luis) Suarez, there is so much individual talent in the team."

Mendieta believes Chelsea have a chance of progressing, despite the exits of fellow English clubs Tottenham and Manchester United from the competition.

The 43-year-old spent a season on loan at Barca and, though he does not believe the Blues will be able to keep a clean sheet, he insists the Premier League club can pull off something of a shock, despite him supporting the Catalan giants.

"Do Chelsea have a chance? Yes, of course," he added. "They have shown before that in football anything can happen. They played against Barcelona and defended really well, which wasn’t easy.

"In my opinion, playing at Camp Nou will be difficult. I cannot see Barcelona not scoring. We have seen few matches this season where they haven’t scored so hopefully they will score and go through."

Barca prepared for their encounter with the Blues with a 2-0 win over Malaga in La Liga, while Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 2-1.