Barca stars blast Blues
Barcelona's players have blasted Chelsea for their lack of fair play and ambition.
Last Updated: 30/04/09 9:13am
Barcelona's players have blasted Chelsea for their lack of fair play and ambition during Tuesday's goalless draw at Camp Nou.
Chelsea earned a hard-fought draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final with a resolute defensive display to keep Barcelona at bay.
The Premier League side's strong-arm tactics did not win favour with the Barcelona squad with the Spanish side accusing Chelsea of not playing football at all during the stalemate.
Barca skipper Xavi believes Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack was lucky to escape a red card after appearing to catch Andres Iniesta in the face with a flailing arm.
"In England they talk about fair play so much. It's a shame that they don't put that into practice out on the pitch," bemoaned Xavi.
"There was no fair play from Chelsea at all. We played football; they did not play anything at all. The Ballack challenge was a blatant red card but the referee did nothing. We had them holed-up in their own penalty area for the whole game."
Andres Iniesta was unhappy with the performance of referee Wolfgang Stark, feeling he did not give enough protection to the Barca players.
"Chelsea had the freedom to make all the challenges they wanted," Iniesta said. "We know that referees allow more in European competition than they do in the Spanish league, but there is a difference between that and simply letting teams do whatever they want, which is what happened.
"When I was brought down by Ballack I was in on goal and yet he was let off a second yellow card, which was clear as can be."
Barca defender Gerard Pique believes Chelsea's negative tactics could come back to haunt them in the second leg as he feels his side are more than capable of going through at Stamford Bridge.
"It's clear that only one team was trying to play football. The other side was just out to get the 0-0 but they achieved their goal," noted Pique.
"It is by no means a bad result for us. Far from it.
"A scoring draw in the second leg and we are in the final. This team always wants to attack and we are capable of doing it at any ground."