(Reuters) - Chelsea have to defend in numbers and make the most of their counter-attacking opportunities at Barcelona on Wednesday if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, midfielder Willian said.
Barcelona are firm favourites to advance having secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the last 16 tie at Stamford Bridge last month.
Willian, whose second-half goal was cancelled out by a 75th-minute Lionel Messi equaliser in London, said Chelsea would need to do a “perfect job” against the La Liga leaders at the Nou Camp.
“We know here the pitch is big and we have to stay together and try as hard as we can not to concede goals and to go for the counter-attack as well,” Willian told the club’s website (www.chelseafc.com).
With Spanish striker Alvaro Morata struggling for form and fitness in the second half of the campaign, Chelsea have turned to Willian to provide the main threat in front of goal.
The Brazilian has scored five times in the last five matches in all competitions.
“I’m happy with my form and I am happy with the goals that I scored. But I want more, as do the team. We respect Barcelona, they have great players and are a big club... we want do a perfect job to go through to the next round.”
Chelsea held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp in 2012, eliminating the Champions League holders 3-2 on aggregate to clinch a place in the final. They went on to beat Bayern Munich on penalties for the title.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien