- Alvaro Morata has warned his Chelsea teammates to be wary of unstoppable Lionel Messi
- The Blues will host Barcelona at the Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on February 20
- The 25-year-old says playing a defensive pattern is the only way to stop the Blaugrana from picking maximum point in that game
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has warned his teammates to be wary of Lionel Messi ahead of their Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg encounter at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, February 20.
The former Real Madrid forward, who was signed to replace Diego Costa at the Stamford Bridge last summer in a deal valued around £60 million, has failed to live up to his billing having failed to record a goal for the Blues since last his against Brighton & Hove Albion on December 26.
And the 25-year-old believes employing a defensive tactical formation help his side frustrate the in-form Barcelona team, who are unbeaten so far in the Spanish League this season.
Morata announced his return to the Blues squad with an assist in Chelsea’s 3-0 home victory over West Bromwich Albion on Monday night after replacing Olivier Giroud in the 61st minute of the encounter.
Chelsea got the better result when both sides met in 2012, progressing to the next stage of the competition on 3-2 aggregated after playing a 2-2 draw in Spain while the Londoners claimed a 1-0 win at home in the reverse fixture.
And they will be hoping they can replicate their performance in 2012 against the Catalans when they file out at the Bridge next week.
"Messi can't be stopped," he told Movistar+.
"If we can get a good result here, we have to play a defensive game with spaces and try to bother them as much as possible."
The former Juventus striker kicked off his senior career with Real Madrid second team, and scored 45 goals in 85 matches – a performance that got him promoted to the main team and spent four years in his first stint at the Santiago Bernabeu with 10 goals in 37 appearances.
But because he was not getting enough playing time, the striker left the Spanish capital for Italy to feature for Juventus and recorded 15 goals in 63 matches in the space of two years.
On return to Real Madrid in 2016, the 25-year-old scored 15 goals in 26 appearances before signing with the Stamford Bridge side last summer.
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