Champions League

Cahill joy at 'fantastic result'

Defender sounds note of caution ahead of second leg

Gary Cahill: Put in a great defensive performance against Barcelona

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Gary Cahill says Chelsea's 1-0 UEFA Champions League win over Barcelona is a "fantastic result" but has reminded his team-mates they have achieved nothing yet.

"You can't get the ball off him (Messi) can you?! Even if you have four or five surrounding him, but I managed to get the tackle in."

Gary Cahill

Quotes of the week

Didier Drogba scored to give the Blues the advantage in their Champions League semi-final.

The Londoners rode their luck at times, and Barca enjoyed an incredible 72% of possession, but the fact that they suppressed the magical talents of Lionel Messi and co has given the club a belief that they can upset the odds in Tuesday's second leg at the Camp Nou.

Pep Guardiola's side have a mightily impressive home record - they have not lost there since September 2010 - and Cahill has warned Chelsea they still have a huge mountain to climb before they can reach what would be only their second Champions League final.

"It was a fantastic result but it's only half-time," Cahill said. "I thought as a team tonight we were well organised. Everyone was on the same page.

"The gaffer gave us a game plan before the game and we stuck to it. It worked really well, but it's half-time and it's going to be really hard over there but it's a good start for us."

Cahill has found himself in and out of the Chelsea first team since he transferred from Bolton in January, but the England centre-back put in a potentially career-defining performance last night to stop the likes of Messi and his strike partner Alexis Sanchez.

The former Aston Villa man, playing only due to David Luiz's hamstring injury, was outstanding, putting in tackle after tackle, the most notable of which was in the second half when he hooked the ball away from Messi as the 63-goal hitman was about to pull the trigger.

The tackle led to an outburst of "there's only one Gary Cahill" from the home support - the first time that has happened since his move to Stamford Bridge.

"I could hear that being sung and it was obviously tremendous and a proud moment for me," Cahill added.

"You can't get the ball off him (Messi) can you?! Even if you have four or five surrounding him, but I managed to get the tackle in."

Cahill admits Chelsea may have been lucky not to concede, but praised the way the home side maintained their shape and discipline.

"Defensively, I thought as a team everyone stood up to their task and the reason we won was because of the concentration levels," he said.

"The shape was a bit more defensive than we are used to but you have to play like that considering the amount of possession that they have.

"There's always an element of luck you have to ride against them but we stuck to our task."

Who will contest the Champions League final?

  • Chelsea and Real Madrid
  • Chelsea and Bayern Munich
  • Bayern Munich and Barcelona
  • Real Madrid and Barcelona

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