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FC Barcelona News: 19 April 2012; Barça Lose First Leg of Semi-Final to Chelsea, El Clasico Next on Schedule

This picture says a lot doesn't it?
This picture says a lot doesn't it?

Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona: Chelsea score the type of goal they were trying to score, and the type Barcelona were trying to prevent | Zonal Marking
Pep Guardiola didn’t select Gerard Pique, electing to play Adriano at left-back, so Carles Puyol could play in the centre of defence alongside Javier Mascherano. Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas both started. Chelsea rode their luck and Barcelona squandered chances – but overall this was a very disciplined display from Chelsea, and an extremely impressive defensive performance.

Guardiola: "This is a great challenge, one worthy of a Champions League semi-final" | FC Barcelona
Josep Guardiola is convinced that if his team are to make it to the Champions League final in Munich, Barça will have to play a perfect game at the Camp Nou next Tuesday. The manager views the upcoming match as "a great challenge, one worthy of a Champions League semi-final." Guardiola said that he’s proud of the performance his players put in at Stamford Bridge and that his team went into the match "to play the best way possible, where they never lost the desire to score."

Iniesta: "We'll try to be more effective at the Camp Nou" | FC Barcelona
Barça came away with a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. Despite the numerous amount of goal scoring chances the team created, Barça were not able to score. "The result is unjust but we knew that Chelsea are a team that take advantage of their opportunities. We were off target in front of goal but we still have the return leg at home," said Andrés Iniesta.

Barcelona confident of Champions League turnaround - Yahoo! Eurosport
The English Premier League side turned in a gritty performance to deny the Spanish champions and managed to keep World Player of the Year and competition top scorer Lionel Messi quiet to boost their chances of making next month's final. A large slice of good fortune also helped inflict only a third defeat this season on Barca, who dominated possession, hit the bar and the post and had a Cesc Fabregas effort cleared off the line by Ashley Cole.

'Clasico' showdown for Ronaldo and Messi - Yahoo! Eurosport
As well as a potential title decider, Saturday's 'Clasico' between bitter rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona serves up the latest instalment in the goal-scoring drama featuring record-setting marksmen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Leo Messi, named one of the world’s most influential people by TIME Magazine | FC Barcelona
Each year TIME selects the 100 most influential people in the world, the personalities that make up his year’s TIME 100 are people that "inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world." La Masia graduate and FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi made the list along with other athletes, like NBA star Jeremy Lin and the tennis player Novak Djokovic.

Jose Mourinho: We'll be back in Munich for the final - ESPN Soccernet
Jose Mourinho is confident Real Madrid will be back in Munich for the Champions League final in May after his side were beaten 2-1 by Bayern in their semi-final first leg. "We don't need any crazy result in the return leg - we can win with a normal result and go through,'' he said at the post-match press conference. "I think my team can respond to this game, with our fans behind us.''

Madrid legend Raul on the move - Yahoo! Eurosport
The 34-year-old forward's current contract will come to an end at the conclusion of the Bundesliga campaign and his club have confirmed he will not sign a new deal. Raul joined Schalke from Real Madrid in the summer of 2010 and proved instrumental in their run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

Bidding war for Javi Fuego: reports - Yahoo! Eurosport
Real Betis are reported to have been the first to move, with Marca saying they submitted an opening bid of 500,000 euros, a relatively low fee but one that reflects his contract, which is not understood to be particularly well-paid and runs out next year. Former club Levante, who are themselves in line for a surprise European qualification place, are also believed to be interested, while teams in Germany, Italy and Club Bruges in Belgium are weighing up bids.

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