London: Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard insists Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final mauling of Tottenham has given his side the confidence to overcome the challenge of gaining revenge on Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side advanced to the FA Cup final after destroying Spurs 5-1 at Wembley on Sunday and will renew hostilities with the European defending champions at Stamford Bridge, three years after their controversial exit at the same stage of Europe’s premier club competition.
The sides have met four times in the knock-out phase of the tournament, with Barca prevailing three times, most notably three years ago when Chelsea were on the brink of reaching the final before Andres Iniesta's stunning stoppage-time strike broke their hearts.
Lampard believes Chelsea must show “no fear” against the Catalan club, despite their dominance in Europe over the past two seasons.
"From the start of every game, it's 50-50. Barcelona are favourites because of the way they play and the players they have in their team, but if we play like we did against Spurs in the two games, then we will have a chance. It [the FA Cup semi-final win] gives us confidence. We have to carry that on. There's no point in resting on that because the game on Wednesday's huge," said Lampard.
"We need to take that into the Champions League games and all the rest of our league games. Any team's beatable. They [Barcelona] are the best, but we can't show too much fear. We have to take them on and I think we can do it."
Barca have been on a dizzying run of form, winning 14 of their last 15 matches and drawing the other 0-0 against AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. Lionel Messi has scored 26 goals in 14 games during that run and the Argentine World Player of the Year has set a new Champions League season record of 14 goals. His incredible 63 goals in all competitions this term is only four short of the all-time season record of 67 set by former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Mueller in 1972-73.
"We have huge respect for Barcelona, the best team in the world over the last two or three years. All that matters in the two games is that we perform on the night. Barcelona have so many players that can hurt you, the greatest player in the world in Lionel Messi, so it's a tough task for us, but we have to be confident," Lampard said.
Fellow midfielder Juan Mata also believes the task ahead of Chelsea is difficult, but not impossible. "As soon as we found out that we were playing against Barca, everybody knew it would be difficult but not impossible," he said. "Chelsea's hope is to progress, Barca will try to hold possession and force us to defend, but we have a lot of experienced players in these type of ties."