Barcelona - Chelsea: We Can't Afford To Waste Any More Chances >> Culé Talk

Last Thursday morning I got up very early with the usual mixture of anticipation and trepidation I have whenever Barcelona are about to play an important match. I was desperately hoping that we would score an early goal against Chelsea but it never came.

It should have as Alexis and Cesc both wasted early opportunities. Just before half time, my worst fears were realised as Chelsea scored a goal that their play hardly merited. Messi lost the ball in transition and good play by Lampard and Ramires created a chance that Drogba coolly finished. Our defence should have done better as Puyol, Masche and Adriano all focused on the ball instead of someone marking Drogba.

The second half was no better with more missed chances culminating in Pedro hitting the post and Busquets blasting the rebound over the bar. However, the first leg is now like spilt milk. There is no point crying over what could, and should, been a comfortable victory.

My mood has only become worse after our defeat in El Clasico. It was a game in which both teams played exactly as expected. We looked to dominate possession and control the game and Real Madrid looked to be strong defensively and counter attack quickly and effectively. On the day, they played their game better than we played ours. Madrid capitalised on our defensive weakness at corners to score their first and their winning goal was a classic Madrid counter attack. Barcelona struggled to break down the "circled wagons" that teams are now putting around their penalty areas.

On the other hand, Chelsea ground out a 0-0 draw with Arsenal even though they had the luxury of resting most of their best players. Following our defeat, we have to accept that La Liga is gone and focus on Tuesday night return clash with Chelsea.

Barcelona don't have to change much at all to win the second leg and progress. We just have to score goals from the opportunities I am sure that we will create. We also have to be strong defensively and not give Chelsea any soft goals.  I think that we will have everyone available for this clash. The most interesting selections will be Messi's forward line partners and whether Gerard Pique will be recalled to the team.

A major concern for me is that at times we looked tired and flat against Madrid. This is quite understandable as it has been a long and difficult season. However, we need to lift for this one and it is up to the crowd at Camp Nou to help the team with fervent vocal support. It has been a sad few days for Cules everywhere.

The right result against Chelsea will alleviate that hurt and put a smile back on the faces of the millions of Barcelona fans throughout the world.

Posted by: Drago , Columnist at 'Culé Talk'