Lampard: We have unfinished business with Barca
Published 22:44 04/04/12 By Darren Lewis
Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea have ‘unfinished business’ after the Blues set up a Champions League semi-final blockbuster against Barcelona.
Raul Meireles hit a stoppage-time screamer to add to Lampard’s 21st-minute penalty to sink ten-man Benfica.
Lamps was part the side which was controversially beaten by Barca in the semi-finals three years ago.
And after sealing a last-four showdown, he said: “Everyone’s got unfinished business with them.
“You have to respect that they are the greatest team in the world. They have been and still are at this present time.
“That game is still in our minds obviously but this is a completely different year so we need to try to beat them this year.”
Chelsea will have to sweat on the fitness of John Terry, who went off suffering from suspected fractured ribs.
But Lampard insisted Blues will go in full of confidence.
He said: “They are going to be favourites because of the way that they’ve been playing but we’ve got a lot of belief in ourselves here.
“We know we are going to have perform at our absolute best to get a result against them and we believe we can do that.”
Chelsea exited acrimoniously in 2009 after a string of highly-contentious decisions by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo.
Last season Madrid were beaten by Barca at the same stage, losing 3-1 on aggregate in a game where tempers spilled over.
And ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho sensationally claimed neither his old club nor his current outfit Real Madrid will make the final.
The Special One, notorious for claiming referees favour Barcelona, said last night: “Let me be honest, I don’t think the final will be a Real Madrid Chelsea final. I don’t think.”
Speaking after his side beat Apoel 5-2, he added “I don’t think it will be Real v Chelsea. It could be Bayern or Barcelona I just don’t think it will be Real Madrid v Chelsea - and we know why.”
This year’s clash pits interim coach Roberto Di Matteo against dual Champions League-winning Nou Camp chief Pep Guardiola, among the favourites to become the next permanent manager at Stamford Bridge.
Despite their numerical advantage last night - after defender Maxi Pereira was sent off in the 38th minute - Chelsea missed a string of chances to build on the win.
Forwards Salamon Kalou, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata were all wasteful in front of goal.
Midfielder Javi Garcia, who conceded the penalty from which Di Matteo’s men led, ensured a tense finish when he headed in from an 86th-minute corner.
But the win means Di Matteo has picked up seven wins and a draw from his nine matches in caretaker charge.
Barca, however, are bidding to become the first side ever to retain the title having lifted the crown last season.