Against All Odds!! Its Chelsea 1 Barcelona 0 [In Pictures]

HD PHOTOS:

( Right-click and select “open link in new tab” and then again right-click and select “Save-as” to download)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS (IN HD):

https://chelseanewsletter.wordpress.com/match-highlights/

Well, it wasn’t pretty. Chelsea held on for dear life, defended firmly with patience, and it somehow worked!!  They smashed the ball inside the net at the end of the first half when Lampard stole the ball from Messi, launched it down the left-hand flank to the rushing Ramires, who then slid it across the box to our only man on the box -Drogba, who knocked it in.  I giggled with delight, caught my breath at halftime, then went back to nervously rocking in the fetal position as Barcelona played keep-away for another 45 minutes, occasionally rattling the post. Two years later when the final whistle blew, I pried my fingers out of the couch armrest, allowed myself to smile and breathe normally for a few minutes, then began wondering if my heart will be able to with-stand the return leg next Tuesday at Barcelona!  It was a heroic effort today, far from Chelsea’s best, but they got the job done. Its just half-time now! Next-half to come..

‘In the past, a lot of the public opinion has been that these boys are over the hill, too old to play two games in a week, and to play at this level. They gave an answer on the pitch tonight.’         -Di Matteo

Chelsea defended deeper and deeper, packing the central area in front of their own penalty area and challenging Barcelona to try to break them down. It was testimony to Barcelona’s astonishing ability that they carved out at least six clear chances, had 25 shots and gained more than 70 per cent of the possession.

‘Ultimately, with the quality of some of their individual players, they will still create problems. It was a collective, defensively-great performance,’ said De Matteo. Chelsea will reach their second Champions League final if they avoid defeat in Spain on Tuesday. Di Matteo said: ‘We’re very pleased with the result so far, but we have to play another game. It’s only half-time. Nothing is decided yet.’

Meanwhile, John Terry paid tribute to Drogba after the Ivorian finished a sublime counter-attack to give his side a vital lead ahead of next week’s second leg. Terry told ITV1: ‘We had to be very patient, I don’t think we touched the ball for the first 15 minutes but from Didi on his own up front, the midfield and defence, it was a great team performance. Didi is all about these big nights, the big occasions. He put fear into the Spurs defence at the weekend and he did that again tonight. He was up there on his own against some of best defenders in the world and he did it brilliantly.’The result helps to avenge Chelsea’s controversial defeat to the same opposition at this stage of the competition in 2009, after which Drogba collected a four-match ban – reduced to three on appeal – for his foul-mouthed reaction in front of a television camera.

Also, Chelsea interim head coach Roberto Di Matteo praised Gary Cahill after the Blues beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi final first leg. “Cahill was part of a back four that managed to deny Lionel Messi and co an away goal handing the west Londoners the advantage for the second leg on Tuesday.” “It was a bit of a baptism for Gary,” he said. “He has not played much in the Champions League and it was a difficult game. “But I am very pleased that he played so well, as did the whole back four.”

POST MATCH:

Di Matteo insisted that Chelsea deserved to win. “When you score a goal and you win the game, you deserve to win it,” he said. “Certainly, they have had more possession and a few more attempts on target, but they always have that. “It’s only half-time. Nothing is decided yet.” John Terry, the Chelsea captain, said: “It will go down as one of the best performances,” he said. “We had to be patient, we didn’t touch the ball in the first 10 or 15 minutes and we had to work very hard. “It was a tireless performance. “Didier Drogba was incredible and that’s what he’s all about.”

Pep Guardiola said that -We knew it was going to be difficult. I felt beforehand that it might cost us a lot of effort to create chances but we managed to do so on many occasions. I was expecting more long balls and throw-ins from Chelsea but that wasn’t the case. Even so, when we passed halfway they were waiting for us, defending deeply and in number. It’s not easy. Congratulations to Chelsea. We had more possession but that doesn’t mean anything; that doesn’t win games. They outjumped us tonight and were physically stronger. We played well, created 24 chances and still lost. We need to create more 14 chances at home in the return leg and hope that some go in. We need to find more ways of creating danger. My players are disappointed but I know them and they will give absolutely everything they have to reach the final. We will need to be patient and ambitious at our stadium. Chelsea are the favourites, though, and a 1-0 win is good for them. Our challenge now is to reverse the result and it is a challenge we accept.

“It was almost perfect. Against Barcelona you have to do a lot of defending and be clinical when you get your chances”             -Roberto Di Matteo
“We played well, created 24 chances and still lost – what can you do? We need to create 24 more chances at home in the return”        -Josep Guardiola

6 Lessons Learned:

Messi - Human at Stamford Bridge!

(from bleacherreport.com)

1. Defensive Football Is Still Good Football

2. Lionel Messi Is Human After All

3. Chelsea’s Defense Was Spectacular

4. Didier Drogba Was the Difference-Maker

5. Petr Cech Proved He’s Still One of the Best Keepers in the World

6. Cesc Fabregas Struggled

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Against All Odds!! Its Chelsea 1 Barcelona 0 [In Pictures]

  1. Cesc was dreadful; the occasion of returning to London overwhelmed him. Chelsea defended well and got lucky on a few occasions. I have my doubts whether they can repeat this feat at the Camp Nou. Still nevertheless an almighty result. The only sour note, Drogba’s theatrics, without those most of the country would have been celebrating their victory.

    • Cesc didn’t perform much as he did on his Arsenal days. Still Chelsea did an brave defending throughout the match..I don’t know weather the condition will be same in Camp Nou. Drogba, once again with his powerful strike made history..

  2. It was a weird one for me, I was calm through out the game,I was confident before kick off we were going to win, A couple of months ago I was sure of nothing ! I’m laughing at people saying we will struggle with their big pitch..hmm is 2 extra yards in length that much different ?
    My favorite moment of the match came from the one & only JT captain, Leader. Legend ! Just don’t ask him for an opinion on your injury 😉

    • My best player of the night was Gary Cahill..His first Champions League start was if he has much experience in this area..Did extremely well to stop Messi’ shot several times..His best defending I have ever seen!!..Definitely Cahill is Terry’ replacement for the future..Hoping the best to happen for Chelsea at Camp Nou!!

  3. I was also impressed with Cahill and Terrys performances. I don’t think that Fabregas had a terrible game, he will never be a natural goal scorer and it is something that he has always had to work on.

    • But given his performance in the La Liga, he was a real threat to Chelsea’ defence….Cahill played like if he has experience in Champions League…Will definitely get a place in Euros..

  4. I like that you “giggled” haha, I was shouting at my dog, cuz he was the only one home with me. I disagree, when you said it was “far from Chelsea’s best.” It may not have been the 5-1 against Tottenham, or our most attacking football. But stopping Barcelona from scoring and beating the best team in the world, surely that’s gotta be one of their best performances. I would rate it up there.

    Great game, and to everyone who says they can’t do it at Camp Nou, I agree it will be hard, but you prolly didn’t think Chelsea could do it at home, did you?:)

    • Chelsea will either draw the match 0-0 or 1-1…I cannot see Barcelona winning after their performance at Stamford Bridge…Same defensive strategy will see Chelsea through the finals..Hope for the best! 🙂

  5. Great blog you have here. Any comments or feedback on mine would be welcome! But great post too, Chelsea did well but somehow I think a miracle will be needed at the Nou Camp next week!

    • There is a difference between you and your other friends – You took time to like my post (which is best expected from readers like you!) and others read it and enjoyed it without liking it!! Therefore, a big thank you for your precious time for liking!!! 🙂

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