After the game, there wasn’t much rehashing of Tuesday night’s match. Few were talking red cards, style, or missed chances. Instead, the main actors hit on the overarching stories: Chelsea’s improbably win, Barcelona having to accept defeat, and what the future holds for each club.
Here is a sampling of the reactions from Barcelona after Chelsea ousted UEFA Champions League’s holders:
- “When you lose both centre-halves it’s going to be hard. We all believed, not that many people did believe but we as a group of players did. It was hard to defend in those circumstances but we defended as a team, and got a little lucky maybe. ” – Ashley Cole, via UEFA
- “First feeling? An immense sadness. Congrats to Chelsea for the great job they did.” – Pep Guardiola, via @Barcastuff
- “It is one of the finest moments I’ve felt in the Chelsea shirt. What a performance. I know people want to see beautiful football and great play but it can’t always be that way. What spirit we showed out there. ” – Frank Lampard, via UEFA
- “I’m 24 years old, and I’ve never seen the Camp Nou reacted like this after a defeat. This is a great team, we’ll be back next year.” – Cesc Fabregas, via @BarcaStuff
- “Three months ago no one thought we had a chance. We would always believe and we knew we were good enough to be here. You can’t beat the fight and desire that we showed out there today. ” – Cole, via UEFA
- “We’re all ecstatic. We’ve achieved our goal. We had to sacrifice a lot but we were confident before the game. We are on a decent run right now and we’re looking forward to the final. Personally I would prefer to face Real Madrid in the final but we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow. ” – Juan Mata, via UEFA
- “The second half wasn’t much about tactics, it was about passion, pride, desire to get to the final. We were 45 minutes away and that was what it was about. It is an incredible achievement by this group of players.” – Roberto Di Matteo, via UEFA
- “All seemed lost with the red card, but we got that goal back from Ramires. It was not beautiful, and we were playing the best team in the world, but Barcelona did not take their chances and, in the end, it worked for us.” – Fernando Torres, via UEFA
- “I’m delighted for the lads, to play the way they did and get that result. I want to apologise to the lads and the fans [for the sending off]. I feel like I’ve let the lads down. It is a great football club and to get to the final it is what this football club deserves.” – John Terry, via UEFA
- “It does look bad on the replay. But hopefully teh people out there who know me, know me I am not that type of player.” – Terry, via BBC
- “That’s football; the best team or the favourites don’t always win. We have so much respect for Barcelona as they are the best team in the world. We didn’t try to take them on at their own game as we knew that wouldn’t work. ” – Torres, via UEFA
- “We’ve shown that we can win, and now it’s the time to show that we can lose too.” – Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, via @Barcastuff
- “I continue to think this Barça is the best team in the world. We worked hard and had the luck we needed.” – Di Matteo, via @Barcastuff
- “It has been a hard blow, but you can only congratulate Chelsea. You should be able to accept defeat.” – Rosell, via @BarcaStuff
- “A lot of people have written us off but we showed the character these players have. We didn’t expect to play with ten men so it was even more difficult than expected.” – Di Matteo, via UEFA
- “My future? I’ll make a decision in the coming days.” – Guardiola, via @BarcaStuff
Antonio Conte feels he has a bit of an embarrassment of riches in his midfield, not that it’s a problem outside of deciding who hits the pitch.
The Chelsea boss does not plan on selling Nemanja Matic despite the acquisition of N'Golo Kante — in fact Conte thinks Matic can be one of the best in the world.
[ MORE: New club for Pato ]
That’s not surprising, given that Matic was one of the keys to Chelsea’s 2014-15 PL title run.
Conte says he has some tricky selections to make in the coming days, as Chelsea prepares to open its Premier League season Aug. 15 at West Ham United.
“Kante is a good player and he was a target of our market. I am pleased the club took this player, it’s fantastic,” said the 46-year-old. “The players in a great team like Chelsea must know there are many players that can play. It’s important for me to have a good choice to try the best solution game by game. It’s important for me to see always the right attitude and behaviour from the players.
“When I have players like N’Golo, Nemanja, Cesc, Oscar and Chalobah, and Mikel who is in the Olympics, it is not easy to choose. I want to have this problem.”
For a manager who loves to keep it tight in the midfield, it would be far from shocking to see Matic and Kante behind two attacking mids (Willian and Hazard?) or even three.
Regardless, Chelsea’s match day tactics will be one of the more fascinating subplots of 2016, especially when Conte matches up against the Blues’ former boss Jose Mourinho (Oct. 22 at Stamford Bridge and April 15 at Old Trafford).
MADRID (AP) Brazilian club Corinthians says it has agreed to transfer striker Alexandre Pato to Villarreal in Spain.
Corinthians says on its club website that it has “agreed to the final administrative details of the negotiation” for Pato’s move to Villarreal.
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It adds that both clubs have agreed to not release the financial details of the transfer.
The 26-year-old Pato played for AC Milan from 2007 to 2013, before returning to his native Brazil with Corinthians. He played the second half of last season on loan at Chelsea in the English Premier League.
When news of Sigi Schmid’s departure from Seattle broke, there were plenty of folks wondering who could be the second coach in the Sounders’ MLS history.
One of those doing so publicly was ESPN writer Marc Connolly, who asked whether former Wigan and Everton boss Roberto Martinez could be interested in the gig.
[ MORE: Sounders, Schmid part ways ]
Fellow media member Taylor Twellman is obviously well-connected, and his reply raised some eyebrows, especially given the news that technical director Carlos Bocanegra is closing in on selecting the first manager in Atlanta United history.
Ryan is the quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, for those unaware. Martinez and Twellman worked together for ESPN this summer.
Is Martinez to MLS really a thing? He’s also been linked to the vacant Hull City job, and would be one of the highest profile coaches to make the switch in the history of the league.
Four Premier League teams were in action on Tuesday, with two picking up wins and not a clean sheet in the joint.
[ MORE: Sounders, Schmid part ways ]
MK Dons 1-3 Everton
Ronald Koeman‘s men got goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Muhamed Besic, but wasn’t entirely pleased with every facet of their game.
“The team, the players, we need to press better. The pitch in some stages of the game was too long. If you press up front, it means the midfielders they need to push up as well and it’s the same for the defenders.”
Bolton 1-2 Burnley
Andre Gray will likely be a well-known Premier League entity when his career is done, and the way he’s playing it could be by the time this season is complete. The Burnley man scored for the fifth time in four preseason games, and Josh Ginnelly also scored for the Clarets.
Barnsley 2-2 Hull City
Adama Diomande and Jarrod Bowen scored as the Tigers stayed unbeaten in preseason play.
Spurs 1-2 Juventus — RECAP