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Conte Defends Christensen After Error In Chelsea Draw With Barcelona

Antonio Conte defended Andreas Christensen after his mistake cost Chelsea in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Tuesday.

The Premier League side had looked to be heading for victory after Willian finished brilliantly in the 62nd minute at Stamford Bridge.

However, Christensen’s pass across his own box was punished as Lionel Messi scored to give Barca an away goal in the tie.

Asked about the mistake for the goal, Chelsea boss Conte said: “I think Christensen’s performance was a very good performance, an incredible performance. We are talking about a player who is only 21 years old here.

“It’s great that he is able to play this game with maturity and personality. I am very happy. He was one of the best players tonight.

“It is very difficult to pick one player or another player but I think Christensen played a top game. I am very pleased with his performance.”

While Barcelona dominated possession, it was Chelsea who created the better chances, with Willian hitting the post twice in the first half and Eden Hazard volleying over from a good position.

“I think we were very close to playing the perfect game,” said Conte. “I think we paid dearly for one mistake. But as you know very well, against this type of player – like Messi, like [Andres] Iniesta, like [Luis] Suarez – if you make a mistake you pay.

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