Chelsea players run after Lionel Messi
Chelsea players run after Lionel Messi

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar hopes Barcelona beat Chelsea in the second leg of the two sides' Champions League semi-final tie, to be played at the Nou Camp on 24 April because he feels the Blues did not deserve the 1-0 win they secured in the first leg, according to a Daily Mail report.

Chelsea's first leg win over Barcelona has had different people responding with different statements. While the club fans are obviously delighted, some others believe Chelsea were far too negative and pointed to Ivorian forward Didier Drogba's alledged diving.

"For the sake of the game and for football in general, I hope Barcelona win in the Nou Camp. I love teams who attack. Chelsea did nothing but defend with nine players and kept lots of players in the middle of the park. But this tie could have been over by now. I expected Chelsea to lose by a big figure. And it could still have been 5-1 to Barca at the end. Chelsea had just one shot at goal - and they scored," the Daily Mail quoted van der Sar as saying.

Apart from van der Sar, former Barcelona player Ronald Koeman (the Feyenoord manager) also criticised Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo's men for their defensive play against the Catalans.

"As a coach, I could never let my team play like Chelsea did against Barcelona. I watched Chelsea defend for 90 minutes and I was appalled they did not try to make something more of the game. I have no admiration for Chelsea's approach. And, let's face it, this tie could have been all over by now. Barcelona could easily have won in London," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

"Let's hope football will be the winner this week and the team with the best approach goes to the final. It is the moment when a team like Chelsea have the chance to create something and they won't which annoys me. As a team, you can't sit back and wait for Barcelona all the time," he added.

However, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has admitted Chelsea are favourites to reach the finals of the Champions League. The Catalans, incidentally, suffered their second straight loss of the year, when they were beaten 2-1,a t home, by title rivals Real Madrid; the defeat means they now trail the capital side by seven points in the league, with only four games remaining.

Meanwhile, Guardiola also said he holds no grudges against the tactics deployed by Chelsea.

"It's football. It's not a question about fair or unfair. Congratulations to Chelsea. We'd win every game if it all was about possession of the ball because our average is more than our opponents.But the most difficult thing in this game is putting the ball in the net, and that's what we couldn't do this evening," a Press Association report quoted Guardiola as saying.