Barcelona defended “too much” against Chelsea for Samuel Umtiti’s liking but he was happy to help his side seal an 11th consecutive Champions League quarterfinal appearance.
Umtiti, who produced a commanding performance on the night, would have liked to see Barca play more on the front foot.
“We tried to defend well, but we defended too much for my liking,” the centre-back told French television. “Our game is more [about] going forward, playing in our opponent’s half. But the most important thing is we qualified. We suffered, but that will serve us well in the matches to come.”
It was a big night for Umtiti’s France international teammate Dembele, who had been under pressure to perform following an injury-plagued first season in Spain.
“Dembele is very happy, he’d been waiting [for his goal] for a long time, and he did it in real style,” Umtiti said of the 20-year-old. “He played well, and defensively he got stuck in too. I try to put him in the best possible position, tell him what he should or shouldn’t do, explain to him how the club works.
“He’s young, we all make mistakes, but I get the feeling he’s happier and happier and increasingly settled.”