Marcos Alonso gave a lot of answers in his post-match comments following Chelsea’s ouster at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League.
Turns out he only really needed the first four words.
“They have Lionel Messi and I think they were the better team even though we competed well in both games. If we concede easy goals and miss the chances, then it is very difficult against this team,” Alonso said.
Messi had two goals and an assist in the 3-0 second leg win, and scored in the first leg after entering the tie goal-free in his career versus Chelsea.
In a word, he was incredible.
Italian defender Alonso was one of several players, with Willian and N'Golo Kante sure to be mentioned by many, to put in industrious efforts in the loss, but the critical focus will be on a near invisible Eden Hazard and off-balance goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Both of Wednesday’s goals were put between the legs of Courtois. He wasn’t pleased.
“I don’t think we deserve to be out, but individual mistakes cost us in both legs. The first goal, I did not expect Lionel Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs. It was a mistake on my part.
“I played against Messi a lot of time. I have already conceded goals like that before. The weakest point is between the legs or a goalkeeper, it is annoying, I cannot hide inside, I have to be a man and come out. I made some good saves too but we go out with conceding four goals from four mistakes.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte pointed to a possible penalty when Alonso was taken down in the box, but mostly lavished praise on the Argentine wonder.
“Tonight (and) in the two legs, Lionel Messi made the difference,” Conte said. “We are talking about the best player in the world.”
“Over the two legs we were a bit unlucky,” he continued. “We hit the post four times. In our best moment today they scored. They were very clinical. We created many chances. We are talking about a player (Messi) that every season he scores 60 goals. We are talking not about a top player but a super top player. He made the difference. We have no regrets. I must be pleased for the commitment. They gave everything tonight. We didn’t deserve to lose 3-0.”