May 7th, 2009
08:48 AM ET

Barcelona deserve final spot

For all their huffing and puffing, for all their flicks and fakes, it seemed Barcelona were going to leave London as beaten semifinalists. The so-called super team of Europe had apparently met their kryptonite...

The net bulges with Iniesta's last-gasp goal for Barcelona.

And then, in an unexpected twist of fate, the tables suddenly turned. Barca's first shot on target whistled by Petr Cech and into the Chelsea net. It was a knock-out blow just as the final bell was about to ring. The Catalan giants were heading to the final.

Now I can sympathize with Chelsea's players and supporters, since the way in which they were denied a place in Rome was traumatic. I can also sympathize with the fact the Blues should have been awarded at least one penalty on Wednesday night. However, in my mind, the best team won.

There was only one team trying to win this tie. Only one team taking risks. Chelsea were more worried about becoming "the anti-Barca" rather than developing an identity of their own. In the first leg, the way in which they systematically placed 10 and 11 men behind the ball was shocking to me. They were bigger and better than that.

In the second leg the Londoners were slightly more audacious. But still, they spent most of the time sitting back and waiting for a Barcelona mistake rather than going for the killer blow. Even after Eric Abidal was sent off, Chelsea failed to capitalize, failed to rattle their opposition. Didier Drogba could and should have done better with a chance in the second half, however, overall Chelsea were always second best.

A couple of final notes about this tie. Michael Ballack was once again disappointing in midfield. I have no idea why Guus Hiddink has persisted with playing the German international instead of picking Jon Obi Mikel. On the Barcelona side, I was confused by Daniel Alves' attitude in both legs. Childish, aggressive, undisciplined. I think Pep Guardiola needs to find a way to control this fiery Brazilian.

He won't make the final, neither will Abidal as they are both suspended. For now, Barcelona won't worry about that. They are probably still celebrating Wednesday night's dramatic win.

Hey chicos, have a glass of Cava for me. You deserve it.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Ifeanyi Sylvanus Amaobi

    The champion's league between Chelsea and Barcelona was a cracker. They all played their minds out inorder to win. Hence both teams deserved to win.

    However, Barca won, but I would have been happier if they won meritoriously and not with the help of the referee. Meanwhile, Chelsea lost gallantly thanks to the unfair judgment of the referee. To deny to award penalties of the crystal clear handling of the goal bound shots by the referee was outrageous.

    The referees are the 'lords' on the pitch. However, when they make costly mistakes, they overuse their powers and deserved to be punished outside the pitch. The UEFA should take not.

    Cheer up chelsea, another season is in the making.

    by Ifeanyi

    May 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  2. tony

    Of course Barca has all the guts and fire to stir up the agressiveness of the team to make it to the final.
    Chelsea shows some inconsistency of its players specially from michael ballack,it would have been better if mikel obi was chosen to start the game.
    anyway, its a bit of luck for the side of barca since officiating of "lords" of the pitch could terribly turn the game around againts chelsea.

    Chelsea has another season to fire up its dominance again in europe. I would love to see that happening again.


    May 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  3. Gundu Tersoo

    Thank u Pedro Pinto for point out that Chelsea was trying to be Anti-Barcelona rather than going for the kill. it would have been a game of football where barcelona would have once again shown that the best attacking team in the world.

    Referee mistakes on the did not exactly favour barcelona. had the penalty been give for the foul on henry in the 18 box and the nou camp. the attitude and approach to play at stamford bridge would have been different. Abidal was given a red card that was not deserved. playing 10man in a game that your losing. is as bad a blow as been denied a penalty (as Barcelona was 1st denied before chelsea). the Referee had no hand in the goal scored by ineasta. it was a goal work by the hard work and patience of Barcelona.

    The best team won on the night and the proved it by humiliating Man U in the finals

    May 30, 2009 at 9:27 am | Reply

    was it true that after the match between Chelsea and B ARCELONA the ball touched ballack's hand's in the 18 yard box.

    June 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Reply

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