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Iniesta savours Barcelona’s Stamford Bridge return


Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta admitted his late goal to knock Chelsea out in the Champions League semi-finals in 2009 is one of his best memories ahead of his club’s return to Stamford Bridge.

The sides were paired together again in Monday’s Champions League last 16 draw with Barca travelling to London for the first leg on February 20.

Iniesta’s last gasp equaliser eight years ago after Chelsea had been denied a series of penalty claims by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo allowed Barca to reach the final on away goals as they completed the club’s first ever treble of Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey.

“Great memories come to mind, some of the best that I could have experienced,” Iniesta said on Wednesday.

“The first thing I thought after the draw was that it will be a very tough tie against a strong team in every sense.”

Iniesta was absent through injury as Barca preserved their eight-point lead at the top of La Liga on Sunday.

However, he expects to return for Deportivo la Coruna’s visit to the Camp Nou on Sunday to get match sharp ahead of an El Clasico clash with Real Madrid to end Barca’s year on December 23.

“I’m more or less ok, if I was completely fit I would be with the team (training). It wasn’t really an injury but more of a niggle,” he added.

“For Sunday I hope to be available. I’m optimistic for this weekend and the following one.”

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