| 16.9°C Dublin

Delighted Di Matteo insists Blues deserve final berth

INTERIM manager Roberto Di Matteo believes Chelsea deserve their place in the Champions League final after overcoming Barcelona.

The Blues came into last night's semi-final with a 1-0 first-leg lead but went behind to goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, either side of John Terry's sending off for inexplicably kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind.

However, Ramires clawed a goal back in first-half stoppage time with a deft chip and, after Lionel Messi missed a penalty and hit the post, Fernando Torres came off the bench to wrap up victory late on.

Asked whether he thought Barcelona's exit was harsh, Di Matteo said: "No, we haven't lost over two legs against Barca. I think we deserve to be in the final.

"We play a different style to Barcelona and their style is unique and is different from ours.

"I don't think they deserved to go through. I think we did.

"I am just delighted for the players. They put so much effort into this.

"We seem to always to find some reserves from somewhere, playing against the odds.

"We obviously weren't the favourites, even after that first leg.


"We had all the difficulties that you could imagine in any football game tonight, particularly with the way Barcelona play, but we still managed to qualify. It's quite incredible."

While Di Matteo was understandably proud, Chelsea's progression from the semi-finals has come at a huge cost.

Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles are all suspended for the final, while the Blues saw Gary Cahill limp off with a hamstring complaint early in last night's match.

"For the moment, we'll try and enjoy this night because its quite historic for our club," Di Matteo said.

"On the sending off, we're all human beings. We are put under pressure every three days.

"This was our fourth game in nine days, and you know everybody can make a mistake.

"We work as a group and we're delighted we've gone through."