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Three years after Barcelona got the better of Chelsea in a controversial Champions League semi-final encounter, the two sides reconvened at the same stage of the 2011/12 tournament.
The Blues had started that season managed by Andre Villas-Boas, but the Portuguese head coach had been replaced by Roberto di Matteo by the time this tie came around. Remaining at the club as assistant manager, however, was Steve Holland.
In this exclusive Masterclass with The Coaches’ Voice, Holland – now working alongside Gareth Southgate with the England men’s national team – revisits the first leg of what became an iconic Champions League clash. He gives a fascinating insight into the team selection and tactics the Chelsea coaching staff employed to both limit the attacking influence of Lionel Messi and maximise their own threat at the other end of the pitch.
The result was a 1-0 victory that gave the team something to defend in a dramatic second leg at the Camp Nou only six days later.
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