Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has revealed the real reason behind Lionel Messi’s much publicised inability to score against the Blues in his previous eight attempts.
The two teams meet tonight at Stamford Bridge in the first-leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. Writing in his Evening Standard column, Lampard admitted a lot his former club’s ability to keep the Argentina superstar off the scoresheet in previous meetings has been down to little more than lady luck, when he said:
“You have to have an element of luck to prevent Messi from scoring. There were times in games I played for Chelsea where we had a bit of fortune.
The thing we worked on to negate Messi was trying to deny him space as much as possible and we did it really well.
We got physical — especially at home. It is something you have to do against Barcelona. You have to be strong and not let them settle into their game. Messi is so good that if you give him space and time, he will destroy you.”
Chelsea and Barcelona have played out some epic ties in the Champions League over the years, and the two clubs are finely matched in term of the head-to-head stats with each club having won five, lost five and drawn five.