Match - Tue 24 April, 20:45,
|16. (35’)||7. (45’)|
|8. (43’)||9. (90’)|
Incredible win for Chelsea
Goal scorer Ramires
It really was Super Chelsea tonight as The Blues fought on for 53 minutes without their captain John Terry, who was sent off for an off the ball incident in the first half.
Chelsea were 1-0 down at that stage. They went two down before the break. But who would have guessed that they would find two goals themselves without reply?
Their character, discipline in defending, belief and execution of the few scoring chances they got on the night was superb.
It was simply one of those nights when everything seemed to go Chelsea’s way. Lionel Messi missed a penalty, hitting the crossbar on 49 minutes and Barcelona struck the post.
All in all the home side had 83% of the ball possession. They completed over 600 passes to Chelsea’s paltry 120-odd.
But after 90 minutes the scoreline stood in favour of the London side.
When Terry stuck a knee into the back of Alexis Sanchez and when the Chile striker fell to ground and rolled around, the assistant referee noticed it and alerted the match referee. The result was an early shower for Terry.
At this point it seemed all over for Roberto Di Matteo’s team.
Just a minute earlier, Barcelona had opened the scoring through Sergio Busquets when Dani Alves drew his man and slipped a pass to Isaac Cuenca.
Cuenca then pulled the back from the left flank, and Busquets held his run to tuck a shot away neatly at the far post.
With Barca in the lead and Chelsea a man down it seemed inevitable that the home team would score again, especially given that they had enjoyed some comfortable passages of play where they had kept the ball quite easily.
On 43 minutes, Lionel Messi drew his man and brilliantly timed a through pass to Andres Iniesta on the left side of the danger area. Iniesta watched the offside line and times his run expertly, before driving a low shot across goal.
Then came an exquisite chipped goal by Ramires on the stroke of half time. Still, at this stage it seemed Barcelona would find another goal in the second half.
But in the second half, Chelsea defended with their lives.
They parked the bus and frustrated Barcelona with their waves of white jerseys keeping out everything the home side threw at them.
Messi’s missed penalty, some top saves by Petr Cech and some timely interceptions saw Chelsea hold on till the end.
Substitute Torres, however, had the last laugh as he rounded the goalkeeper after chasing down a long ball on the breakaway.
Chelsea will go on to the final in Munich and will face the winner between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich who compete tomorrow night.