Di Matteo braced for tough tie

Essex County Standard: Roberto Di Matteo Roberto Di Matteo

Chelsea will have to overcome Benfica if they are to set up a possible Champions League semi-final with Barcelona and a chance to erase one of the most painful moments in the club's history.

Benfica, who drew home and away with Manchester United earlier this season as they topped their group, will be no pushovers but the enticing prospect of a Barcelona semi-final is hovering in the background.

Roberto Di Matteo, the club's caretaker manager, said: "When you get down to the last eight teams, every draw is very difficult. I've seen Benfica many times. They were in Man United's group and they are a tough opponent for us. I think the fact that we play the first game away from home is good, a little bit like the Napoli game."

Chelsea lost out to Barcelona in the semi-finals in 2009 when Andres Iniesta scored in injury time at Stamford Bridge to seize a place in the final for the Catalan side.

Di Matteo, refused to even contemplate such a meeting - pointing out that Barca have their hands full in the quarter-finals after being drawn against AC Milan.

In the other quarter-finals, Real Madrid were drawn against Cypriot side APOEL, while Marseille will take on Bayern Munich. The draw also means there is a good chance of the ultimate El Clasico happening - a mouthwatering all-Spanish final between Real and Barcelona.

In response to a possible meeting with Barcelona, Di Matteo added: "Are you writing off AC Milan straight away, as easy as that - the leaders of Serie A?

"It's game by game. That's what I've learnt in my playing career and managing and coaching career."

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