Arsene Wenger sees Nou Camp hope for Chelsea following Arsenal draw

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0

The Emirates Stadium

Chelsea head for Catalonia for tomorrow's Champions League semi-final second leg in far better shape than opponents Barcelona, having enjoyed an encouraging dress rehearsal at the Emirates on Saturday.

A repeat of their goalless draw there will send Chelsea through to the Munich final – and Arsène Wenger is among those who feel it is achievable.

"It is far from impossible for Chelsea," said the Arsenal manager. "They go there off the back of a fantastic result [in the first leg], 1-0, and if they defend like they did at Stamford Bridge they have a chance. The Barcelona of now is not the Barcelona of last year. They miss David Villa, who is a goalscorer for them, and Lionel Messi looks a bit tired. Though he is still dangerous, he is not as sharp as he was."

Wenger also noted that Chelsea were able to rest eight players this weekend, whereas Barcelona fielded a near first-choice team in their home defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday night. Only goalkeeper Petr Cech and central defenders John Terry (who played without a painkilling injection for his broken ribs) and Gary Cahill kept their place for Chelsea, yet Arsenal were still held at bay with relative ease.

"Playing against Robin van Persie was good practice moving into the Barcelona game," said Cahill. "I think the game plan [in Spain] will be the same. You probably need an element of luck. You need everyone's concentration levels to be where they were the other night, sticking to their job and working hard.

"We're under no illusions how hard the game's going to be but we've given ourselves a good start. The lads who've been there before have said it's going to be tough. The experience of those players will stand us in good stead.

"It was tough in the first leg, the amount of possession they had. You can never switch off; there's so many players out there who can turn a game. The obvious threat is Messi but he's not there on his own. They have threats from all angles, even the full-backs when you see how high they play and attack so much."

Cahill has never played at the Nou Camp, but he has visited. "I went there as a young boy, probably about 10," he said. "I was over there and I went to the stadium. I didn't see a game, I just went to look around. I was on the top tier looking down. It's crazy to think I'm going back, hoping to play there. You have to pinch yourself at times in your career. You want to play Premier League and then international and then in these games."

Cahill was rarely troubled on Saturday as Chelsea, with Oriol Romeu very deep, threw up a defensive shield that Arsenal, without Mikel Arteta, lacked the imagination to break down. The impact of the August deadline signing from Everton went largely unnoticed until his absence, but without Arteta Arsenal have played seven league games, losing five and drawing two.

"He is one of those players supporters appreciate when he is not there – I appreciate him when he is there," said Wenger. With Jack Wilshere also injured, the Arsenal manager had to press Tomas Rosicky into service despite illness, which eventually forced him off.

"For us to be without Arteta and Rosicky is too much for the moment in the creative side of our game," said Wenger. "Even losing Arteta is enough for us. Tomas gave everything but eventually he said 'I can't run any more'."

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen added his own view of Arteta: "He is important to us. He is a leader on the pitch, outside the pitch. He has a lot of experience. It's a big loss that he's not on the pitch any more."

Chelsea's interim manager Roberto Di Matteo said some of his players were feeling weary, but were being carried forward by a combination of success and resilience. "The physical and mental demands on the players are enormous," he said. "I'm not sure people can appreciate it. It is crazy. But strength of character, the spirit of the group, keep this positive momentum going. Good performances and results make the players believe they can achieve anything."

Booked: Arsenal - Rosicky, Van Persie, Diaby. Chelsea - Malouda, Cahill, Bosingwa, Cole

Man of the match Bertrand

Referee M Jones (Cheshire)

Attendance 60,111

Champions League race: Remaining fixtures

Arsenal Saturday Stoke (a); 5 May Norwich (h); 13 May WBA (a)

Newcastle Saturday Wigan (a); 2 May Chelsea (a); 6 May Man City (h); 13 May Everton (a)

Tottenham Sunday Blackburn (h); 2 May Bolton (a); 6 May Aston Villa (a); 13 May Fulham (h)

Chelsea Sunday QPR (h); 2 May Newcastle (h); 8 May Liverpool (a); 13 May Blackburn (h)

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine