Last night Chelsea faced Barcelona in a match which promised much, since the 1st leg in Spain ended 0-0, and Chelsea needed to win to qualify for the finals. Barcelona started the match by dominating possession, but gradually Chelsea got back in the game, and on 9 minutes, Essien scored with a thunderous volley outside the box, and Chelsea were already dreaming of the final in Rome. The visitors were not that impressive, with Messi and Eto’o being very subdued. Drogba had chances to make the score 2-0, but he wasted them.
In the second half, Barcelona again were controlling possession, but could not trouble the Chelsea defence. Abidal was sent off on 66 minutes for a foul on Anelka, but still Chelsea could not manage that 2nd goal. They were even denied a penalty claim when Pique handled the ball in the box, and could have another 1 earlier when Toure tackled Anelka. However, the match seemed to be in the bag for the blues, with Barcelona having only 10 men on the field, and not being troubled as much by either Messi or Eto’o. Unfortunately, in the added time, Iniesta scored from the 1st shot on target for the catalans, with Messi claiming the assist. 1-1, and Barcelona were thru to the finals on away goal rule, while Guardiola wasted some precious seconds with late substitutions.
After the final whistle, an incident opposed Drogba, who was already subbed in the second half, to the referee, where he was pushing the security guards to get to the latter, and was even booked for this action, even if the match was over. The ref may have taken wrong decisions in the match, but incidents like this is very bad for this beautiful sport. Terry and co looked utterly crushed, while manager Hiddink was his usual self.
As stated in my previous post, Manchester United were easy winners on Tuesday night against Arsenal in North London, where the final score was 3-1 for that match, and 4-1 on aggregate. All 3 United goals had a touch of Cristiano Ronaldo in them, the 1st one being an assist for J.S. Park, while the other 2 scored by CR7 himself. The only goal for Arsenal was scored by Robin Van Persie from a penalty, and to be noted as well the sending off of Fletcher for United prior to that penalty.
So there will be no revenge match for the blues of Chelsea against Manchester United, instead we’ll may be witness one of the greatest finals between the 2 giants of Europe, as Barcelona will take on Manchester United in Rome and the Red Devils will try to create history by winning the trophy a second successive time, something which no team has been able to do so far in the Champions League.