News Update :

Mata eyes Barcelona scalp

18 Apr 2012

koclokindoblog, 18 April 2012, Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata says beating Barcelona to reach the Champions League final would be a good end to a difficult season.

Roberto Di Matteo's side host the reigning European champions at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in the first leg of their semi-final tie and their confidence heading into the fixture will be buoyed after securing a place in the FA Cup final following a 5-1 victory over Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday.

Mata admits that his first term at Stamford Bridge has failed to match pre-season expectations so far, but hails the advancement to two finals as a sign of improvement in the second half of the campaign.

"I came to England to win titles," Mata told Goal.com.

"Getting to the FA Cup final and having a chance (to advance) in the Champions League could change the balance of this season as things haven't been going as we had thought they would in the summer."

Chelsea are in danger of failing to secure a spot in the Champions League for next season as they sit two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League with five games remaining, and Mata concedes that his side may rue their inability to find a ruthless streak in front of goal this term.

"Inconsistency is killing us in the Premier League," he said.

"I don't know why but we haven't been able to kill off (our opponents) in a number of games and we have dropped points which we now could do with having.

"It will be hard to get into the top four but we are going to fight until the last day to get to the Champions League."

Despite uncertainty over the club's European qualification, the diminutive attacker is hoping to satisfy one of the ambitions that motivated his move from Valencia last summer by winning the FA Cup next month against Liverpool.

"I came to England to win titles and I know that the FA Cup is a very important competition," the 23-year-old said.

"Playing in the final and winning it would fulfil one of my first dreams on this adventure that I began last summer."

The Chelsea midfielder also hailed the recent displays of fellow Spaniard Fernando Torres, who is vying with Didier Drogba to start up front for the clash against Barcelona on Wednesday.

"Fernando Torres has been improving over the last few games," said Mata of his team-mate's turbulent season.

"His morale has increased and he is shooting better in training."


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