Torres: Champions League qualification vital

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Chelsea forward Fernando Torres has urged his teammates to avoid the 'catastrophe' of failing to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification.

The former-Liverpool frontman admits failure to cement a place in next season's competition would be devastating for the Stamford Bridge outfit, but his side take a 1-0 lead into their semi-final date with Barcelona. The Spanish side are yet to win when trailing from the first leg in a Champions League tie, giving the Blues hope of defending their slender advantage.

Victory over Barca at the Nou Camp may keep alive the only route open to Chelsea for qualification after a stuttering Premier League campaign has left them outside the qualifying spots. Di Matteo's side currently lie sixth in the league, four points behind Newcastle, who occupy the final qualifying spot, with only four games left.

However, Torres believes a top four spot is still achievable this season.

Speaking to UEFA's official website, he said: "It would be a catastrophe to miss out on the Champions League and we must be prepared to do anything to achieve this. It doesn't matter who plays, who scores, who gives the assists and who stays out. The important thing is that we are successful."

Chelsea go into their Champions League tie with Barca off the back of a hard fought 0-0 draw with fellow Champions League chasers Arsenal. The Gunners look to have done enough now to secure a top four space, leaving Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle to fight over the single remaining spot.

However, should the Blues avoid defeat in the Nou Camp they could still qualify if they win the final in Munich. A victory there would see them displace the fourth-placed Premier League team and secure the final spot in next year's tournament.

To achieve this Chelsea must first see off Guardiola's men, and Torres believes playing against Barca requires a different style of play, especially defensively, if you are to be successful.

"Many teams who play Barcelona think that you have to steal the ball from them, but I don't think that's possible," said Torres. "You have to use different weapons against them. If you want to steal the ball, you won't manage it and you'll get tried and then create more space for your opponent."

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Fernando Torres

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