Daily Archives: April 25, 2012

Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea: Chelsea do an Inter 2010

“Chelsea produced an astonishing defensive display – and still created chances – to progress to the Champions League final. Pep Guardiola made the surprising decision to drop Daniel Alves, bringing back Gerard Pique in defence. Isaac Cuenca was fielded on the wing, and Cesc Fabregas in an attacking central midfield role. Roberto Di Matteo named an unchanged XI from the side that won 1-0 in the first leg, and set out in the same shape.” Zonal Marking

Chelsea reach Champions League final as Fernando Torres has final word in 2-2 draw against Barcelona
“What a night. What a display of defiance from Chelsea after the dismissal of John Terry for kneeing Alexis Sánchez. To the delight of their fans up in the Gods, 10 men went to mow a meadow, and thrillingly, amazingly, they cut mighty Barcelona, the European champions, the team of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta down to size.” Telegraph – Henry Winter (Video)

Barcelona’s stunning failure to beat Chelsea: What does it all mean?
“Barcelona’s failure to beat misfiring, mismatched, misbegotten 10-man Chelsea was one of the most surprising and indeed troubling results in recent history. It calls into question everything we thought we knew about the sport. Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing tiki-taka merchants are supposed to be the greatest team on the planet, if not the greatest team in history. So what went wrong?” SI

Torres stuns Barcelona and books Chelsea into Champions League final
“There are many emotions inspired by Chelsea’s arrival in the final but, more than anything, it is sheer wonder. They refused to be cowed after John Terry’s red card and deserve their place in Munich on 19 May because of the heroism that went into a night of rare achievement and glory. As triumphs in adversity go, the night they went down to 10 men and knocked out Barcelona on their own ground will take some beating.” Guardian (Video)

Stoic Barcelona fans refuse to say that the Pep Guardiola era is over
“Something strange happened in the dying moments of the semi-final. Fernando Torres had just scored the goal that ended Barcelona’s hopes of reaching the European Cup final, his eighth in 11 matches against the Catalans. Defeated by Real Madrid in the league, relinquishing the title, Chelsea had now knocked them out of the Champions League. In four days, Barça had lost virtually everything. But no one left and no one whistled; no one stayed silent. Instead, the chant went up. Soon it was going round right the stadium: Ser del Barça és el millor que hi ha! Being Barça fans is the best thing there is!” Guardian

Guardiola decision imminent
“Pep Guardiola has revealed he plans to make a decision on his Barcelona future in the coming days. Barcelona have endured a hugely disappointing week, with the home defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday all but ending their hopes of winning the league and a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at the Camp Nou on Tuesday resulting in their exit from the Champions League.”