Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on Chelsea's ageing stars and claimed he is struggling to formulate a plan to see off the Blues and earn his Barcelona team a place in their eighth European Cup final.
Upon taking charge at Stamford Bridge last summer, Andre Villas-Boas embarked on a new project which centred on fazing out veterans such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, but the move backfired, with Villas-Boas leaving the club last month after a dreadful run of form and reports of disharmony within the dressing room.
His successor Roberto Di Matteo has turned back to Chelsea's trusted lieutenants with success, and Guardiola said of them: "I do admire that generation of players. They have done so well over the last seven years and have got into so many semi-finals and finals... that's not easy so I do admire what they have achieved."
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