Willian: Hat trick is coming for Chelsea; we'll treat Man United like Barcelona
LONDON -- Willian warned that it is only a matter of time before he gets the hat trick he has been threatening to score in recent matches as Chelsea prepare to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Brazilian was the outstanding player as Chelsea battled Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, hitting the post twice with long-range strikes before finding the bottom corner to give his side the lead on 62 minutes.
Lionel Messi broke his Chelsea scoring drought to give Barcelona the edge on away goals heading to Camp Nou next month, but after the match Willian said current form ensures that he and his teammates will face United in confident mood.
Asked if he is ready to score a hat trick at Old Trafford, Willian replied: "It's coming. I almost had three against Barcelona and almost three against Hull City [in the FA Cup fifth round]. I'm always ready to score goals. I just have to continue to do my job on the pitch.
"It is totally different to play in the Premier League [compared] to the Champions League. I think we can stay at this level and we can go to Old Trafford on Sunday and play another great game. We have to play in a similar way."
Chelsea face runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City after taking on United this weekend, and Willian believes the tactics they employed against Barcelona can serve them well again at the Etihad Stadium next month.
"Against Manchester United, I think we can do a great job," he added. "Against Manchester City it will be like the game against Barcelona -- they like to have the ball. We have to stay compact and use the same plan we used against Barcelona. We can win these games. We will go there to try to win."
It is United up first though, and another meeting with Jose Mourinho. The outspoken former Chelsea manager remains on good terms with Willian and has been linked with a move to bring him to Old Trafford on several occasions, but the Brazilian insisted that their mutual respect will count for nothing on the pitch.
"He [Mourinho] is my friend," he said. "I had a great time with him, but I am at Chelsea and he is now at Manchester United."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.