Chelsea had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Champions League round of sixteen tie.
Willian had put Chelsea in front after the hour mark, but a mistake from Andreas Christensen allowed Lionel Messi to cancel out Willian’s opener.
The Blues sat deep for most of the evening, with Eden Hazard being played as a false nine – flanked by Pedro and goalscorer Willian, and former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes the formation was too dangerous.
“It was a surprise that Antonio Conte chose to leave both of his strikers, Álvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud, on the bench at the start,” the former Chelsea striker wrote in The Times.
“It meant that Chelsea were playing Barcelona at their own game, which is a very dangerous tactic. The Italian was opting to play a fast footballing match with the ball on the floor, which completely suits Barcelona.
“Over two legs it’s very difficult for Chelsea to beat Barcelona at that kind of game. Remember that Manchester City totally outplayed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league in September, which should have been a warning to Conte.
“There was very little aerial threat from the Premier League side.”