However, after successfully limiting their visitors to a smattering of paltry half-chances, the Blues were ahead for precisely 13 minutes before their sole defensive lapse of the evening gifted Barca an equaliser.
Kante's incredible year at Leicester saw him head to Chelsea, but with uncertainty over Champions League qualification and a high chance of no silverware this season, could he be tempted by another switch?
"Life's all about making mistakes and learning lessons, so I think the more creative children are the better". They even seem to have mastered the art of rest and recovery in the middle of the game, occasionally slowing it to a walk, or seeing out long periods of aimless possession, confident in their ability to find a breakthrough.
In contrast to winning the title last season, this campaign has been disappointing and tensions have risen with Conte highly critical of his employers' transfer strategy. "Now they are obliged to go looking for a goal at the Nou Camp and we'll have more space".
"As with a marriage, both parties need to be happy, yet in this profession, we always have our suitcases ready".
Conte sprang a surprise before kick-off by leaving out both Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata with Eden Hazard instead operating in the middle of a front three. The game could not only be 1-0 but 2-0, or 4-0, 5-0, 6-0.
He said: "After two tough defeats a few weeks ago the team responded with two wins against West Brom, and then Hull City in the FA Cup".
BC-SOC-Chelsea-Barcelona, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 551Messi scores vs Chelsea at 9th attempt to give Barca CL drawAP Photo EM127, EM103, XTS103, LON823, LON824, XTS106, XTS102, EM117, XTS110Eds: Updates with details, quotes. 'One error, one goal. The pitch is bigger too in Barcelona, so we will see which surprise the manager has in store for us.
"To play football well is to dominate the situation, among other things".
Lionel Messi scored his first goal against Chelsea in nine Champions League appearances.
Tuesday's Champions League encounter was the ninth time that Messi had faced Chelsea, a run of games stretching back to 2006 when the sides met in the competition's group stages.
It says much for the Belgium international's mentality that he has survived and, to a large extent, thrived at Stamford Bridge. "I think he can be captain".
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