Chelsea’s interim boss Roberto Di Matteo said he was “excited” by the prospect of a Champions League semi-final showdown with Barcelona.His team struggled to overcome 10-man Benfica but Di Matteo insisted he expected the Portuguese side to put up a real fight.“We knew before that we would face a difficult game and so it proved,” he told ITV.“They (Benfica) are a good side. They’ve shown it many times before. It was just the second goal that was missing for us. We missed a lot of chances.”Di Matteo added: “Barcelona are probably one of the best teams in the world, if not the best. They have great players. We’re happy and excited to be able to play a semi-final against them.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Assam Minister Ranjit Dutta, who was in Itanagar to attend a tribal festival, exuded confidence that the decades-old boundary dispute between the two States, both BJP-ruled, can be resolved through “meaningful” dialogue.Permanent solutionAssam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been initiating measures with his Arunachal counterpart Pema Khandu to hammer out a permanent solution to the border issue, the Assam Irrigation Minister said on Monday in his address at the Nyokum Yullo festival.The festival is celebrated by the Nyishi community of Arunachal Pradesh every year to invoke God’s blessings for good harvest and communal harmony.Clad in Nyishi Bopia (headgear), Mr. Dutta, who attended the festival on behalf of Mr. Sonowal, said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is serious about the dispute between Northeast States, so is Sonowal. The Chief Minister has already initiated a similar dialogue with his Nagaland counterpart T.R. Zeliang.” Stating that “divisive forces” were trying to “destabilise peace” in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Dutta called upon the people of both the States to thwart such attempts.‘Cordial relations’ “Till 1978 both the States (Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) were under one administrative unit of ‘bor Axom’ (Greater Assam). The people of both States since time immemorial have been maintaining cordial relations,” the Minister said.Mr. Dutta called upon the Assamese people staying in Arunachal Pradesh to uphold the age-old relations through cultural exchange programmes.Lauding the Nyishi community for preserving the age-old culture and traditions, Mr. Dutta exhorted the elderly people in the State to pass on the baton of tradition and culture to the younger generations. Nyokum Yullo Celebration Committee chairman Ha Tatu, on his part, said the presence of a Minister from neighbouring Assam will cement the ties between the people of the two States.