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Marcos Alonso says Chelsea must learn from Barcelona defeat to return to Champions League next season | The Independent

Marcos Alonso says Chelsea must learn from Barcelona defeat to return to Champions League next season

But Alonso would not be drawn on whether top-four and an FA Cup would constitute a good season

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The Independent Sport

Marcos Alonso says Chelsea must show the spirit displayed against Barcelona to get back into the Champions League next season, and win the FA Cup, as he maintained that the side were merely “unlucky” at Camp Nou.

Although the English champions were beaten 3-0, that has generally been put down to the genius of Leo Messi undoing what was a solid overall performance. Alonso pointed to how Chelsea had hit the frame of the goal four times over the two legs. The wing-back similarly defended Thibaut Courtois as “unlucky”, as Messi twice put the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs. Alonso would not be drawn on whether top-four and an FA Cup would constitute a good season.

“Well, if we play every game like we played against Barcelona then yes [we would be in top four],” Alonso said. “But it’s not the case so it’s another thing we have to take into consideration and again learn from this defeat and get stronger and improve.

“I think there’s been a lot of positives, a lot of positive things in both games against Barcelona and I think we have to show this desire in the next games and make sure that we win every game.

“I think we showed until the last minute that we can play against any team and now we have eight finals and we have to make sure we play Champions League next year.”

Asked why Chelsea had suffered such an inconsistent season as champions, Alonso said: “It’s difficult, so many games, so many games this year and we have not got the deepest squad, maybe, new players this year, I don’t know, we can only look forward and start fighting for fourth spot in the Champions League and to win the FA Cup.”

It was then put to the Spaniard whether that would represent a good season.

“That’s difficult. It’s what we have left and at the minute we can only fight for this and learn from the defeats that we’ve had this season and next season will be another season.

“It is what it is, we have to start fighting these last eight games because I think we deserve to play this competition again next year.”

Alonso was much more positive about the display against Barcelona.

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Antonio Conte embraces Lionel Messi after the match (AFP/Getty Images)

“We played a very good game but we conceded too much, the first two goals were maybe too easy against a team like Barcelona but we had so many chances.

“I think we showed great character, we played good games both in the second leg and in the first leg and maybe the score is too much but it’s fair because they put the ball in and we didn’t.

“[Courtois] was just unlucky, if it happened again 10 times then he [Messi] doesn’t score because Thibaut is a great goalkeeper and I think it was just an unlucky action.

“But even if they had scored those goals, if we had scored our chances, I think we had 10 or 12 chances, hit the post twice first in the first leg, once in the second, it’s also very unlucky.”

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