April 25th, 2012
10:39 AM ET

Is Chelsea's shock win sport's greatest upset?

Chelsea's Didier Drogba, left, commiserates with Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who missed a penalty. (AFP/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Didier Drogba, left, commiserates with Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who missed a penalty. (AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea's staggering Champions League victory over Barcelona proves that sport at the highest level can still shock us, defy all the odds and leave us open-mouthed and scratching our heads.

It proves that, despite the specter of corruption and match-fixing, the playing field is still a level one. That even if sponsors and governing bodies want the most entertaining or marketable sides to prevail, star teams don't win by right. Like anyone else, they must earn victory.

With Chelsea down to 10 men, their captain sent off, losing 2-0 and Barcelona's fearsome Camp Nou jubilant - be honest, what were you thinking? How long until Messi scores? Will it be a record win for the European champions, who were seeking a fourth title in six years? Who will Barca face in the final?

Whatever was going through your head, please don't try to convince me - even diehard Chelsea fans - that you thought the English team would go through. And even if you did, you weren't predicting that Lionel Messi - who has netted 63 times this season - would miss a penalty kick for the Spanish side and that goal-shy Fernando Torres would score for Chelsea, putting the outcome beyond doubt in the dying minutes.

Dropped by Spain and with just three Premier League goals to his name this season, Torres confidently skipped past Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes with almost miraculous confidence considering how unassured he has been since an $80 million transfer from Liverpool in January 2011 and how uncertain he looked on the pitch after his late introduction on Tuesday.

This was only a semifinal but Chelsea's win will go down as one of the greatest upsets in sporting history. I would put it alongside Buster Douglas flooring Mike Tyson to claim the world heavyweight title in 1990, Goran Ivanisevic winning the 2001 Wimbledon tennis title or the United States'  "Miracle on Ice" Olympic hockey gold in 1980 as a straightforward gob-smacker.

Chelsea may have been Champions League runners-up as recently as 2008 but the central players - Petr Cech, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba - were supposed to be past their peak.

Chelsea only have a temporary coach after Roberto Di Matteo was asked to pick up the pieces when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked less than a season into his mission of rebuilding the squad. The Blues are still down in sixth place in the Premier League, and face the prospect of missing out on Europe's top club competition next season unless they win the May 19 final in Munich.

Some will claim Liverpool's comeback in the 2005 final against AC Milan was more remarkable, but it wasn't against a side lauded globally as the best football team in history - although those boasts are sure to fade to a whisper now.

Barcelona remain technically breathtaking, but it turns out the better side doesn't triumph automatically. Sport isn't about entertaining. It's still about winning - no matter how you do it.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Karl

    Greatest upset???!!! You have to be joking, Chelsea are a great team and this win was always on the cards. This article is a joke.

    April 25, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  2. kurdistan

    don,t crying misse

    April 25, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  3. Jor

    I agree wityh Karl. Though not a Chelsea fan, I dont understand why there should be 'shock' at this stage of the competition. Are you suggesting that any team that beats Barcelona shocks them? Every match starts at 50-50. The team that utilises its chances and defends well carry the day. Chelsea did so what shock? 'Barca got what they played for and deserved. They are not superhuman/invincible. Yes they can be classified the best team but that doesnt mean they cant lose. And they almost received their usual help- 1 man down. My predicition was Barca would win 2-1 but I was so sure Chelsea would go thru. they went one better than I expected. Maybe that can be the only shock. But this is football. Not impossible. Kudos to Chelsea!! Deserved win guys

    April 25, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  4. Rory

    I think you are forgetting that Chelsea had NO central defenders on the pitch at the time with Terry sent off and Cahill substituted. Also they were 2-0 down on the night and managed not only to prevent Barcelona from scoring BUT managed to slip in two goals of their own with just 18% possession. If coming from 2-0 down with only 10 players and not allowing the great MESSI to score is not an upset then what is??

    April 25, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  5. adam

    Of course. Greatest upset ever. Who ever understands a little about futebol saw yesterday one team playing, dominating the entire field and the other waiting waiting and waiting just like the first game.

    How can you be great if you don't play Barça head head pushing forward and trying to score. Please don't say oh that was their tactic, 11 players in the box waiting for Barça to make any mistake.

    It showed a superior team that Barcelona is my friends. We love the beautiful game and when a team comes to the field with the only intention to defend its ridiculos specially at that level of competition.


    April 25, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  6. Archil Maisuradze

    From the beginning Barsa looked desperate, any way this is what I saw, they lost before going to the field; admitting and supporting the idea Guardiola is the best coach, i still consider their failure due to the tactical mistake

    April 25, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  7. Mohamed Hassen

    Chelsea did a good job. just 18% possession and one man sent off yet the team has managed to go through. If Barca should have won they will think football is for them. The last two defeats for Barca by Real and Chelsea gave others spirit and sent message to Barca that they can lose like any other team.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  8. Kironde

    The dynamics of modern football has got to do with getting to score goals and defending so that you don't give your opponent any opportunity to overwhelm your defense with goals. Chelsea just did that and they deserve the win. Those who condemn Chelsea for having not played a rather open game, should request FIFA to change the rules of engagement whereby passes or ball possession for that matter count in winning!!

    April 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  9. Jayaram

    Barca were at their usual best at Camp Nou – got a penalty, got Chelsea down to 10 men. All usual stuff with Barcelona at Camp Nou. Perhaps their plans for Chelsea did not reckon with die hard spirit of that team.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  10. chris

    Rory i agree with you completely,you statistics says it all,it's a great upset.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Victor ogbonna

      It wasn't a suprise,Chelsea will always beat Barca any where, read history,Barca might be considered as the best,but not when they meet with Chelsea.It is never an upset but real football,so Barca should learn a lesson from this.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  11. markdbiram2011

    it's an upset, because chelsea are not even in the top 4 in england, and they've had a turbulent season, and barsa have won an amazing 3 european cups out of the last 5.

    this is no bigger than what happened this time 2 years ago at the same ground, in the same round of the competition. inter milan on that occasion came to the nou camp, and won in a similar way with 10 men. motta was sent off that night for inter, under mourinho. history has repeated itself.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  12. C.Menns

    Whether Barca dominated ,played entertainment football ,were superior or whatever, the best team with a good strategy won the day, that is the game of football ,no team is unbeatable . Kudos Chelsea ,keep that spirit up.............Tell the officials to stop the Barca favours and protection of Barca players and see what happens , fact : they don't protect Cristiano Ronaldo as they do to Messi , is like defenders always foul Messi but that is not the case ,is all part of the favours Barca gets,it should be over now..........Watch a different Chelsea play against Real Madrid the final..........

    April 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  13. prince samy

    I hope its a destiny! especially at this stage in the league. Destiny cant be denied when her time has reached. Imagine the ball possession and the utilization techniques used by chelsea. I give them a plus, but they dont have to be relaxed at this level. Another warlord lies ahead of them. let them sit down and re-strategize, since some key-players are out on card-bookings.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  14. Ako Amadi

    If every game happened as expected woudn't we all be bored of soccer, or of any game for that matter?

    April 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  15. Sharif

    "upset" !! what's that suppose to mean !

    April 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  16. Jor

    good job Di Mateo. after all chelsea were disavantaged!! what a formation 10-1. Of course the final wont be that way

    April 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  17. Dannarez

    This was no upset. I for one, a diehard Chelsea fan has always maintained that I'd prefer to meet Barca along the way then any other team. True, no-one would have predicted that Messi would miss a penalty but these things happen. Maybe UEFA believed they were doing Barca a favor by pitching them against a seemingly weak Chelsea side. They must have forgotten that Barca had never beaten Chelsea either. Only problem was that Barca as good as they are do not have a plan B, simply because they think their system of playing is near almost unbeatable. Now reality has settled in, maybe other teams in La Liga will use the same approach, then we'll see how they adjust.

    April 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  18. r bailey

    barca .chelsea stop your short passing game

    April 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  19. oma

    l think the blues merited for their winnig, football is not about entertainment,but is all about winning ,bravo up blues.

    April 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  20. philips

    yap barca is a great team but its was due to luck with karl i also agree with u

    April 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  21. Brian B

    Theres no doubt Barca is one of the best teams in the world. But everyone seems to forget, this is the semi-finals in CL, WITH the best teams in the world. The difference between the top 8 teams in Europe are not that big. One has a good day, other has a bad day, and then this happens. Strategy definately also comes into play. Spanish football versus English football is also quite different. This has happened so many times in history, and calling it an upset this far in the tournament, is a bit much.
    No team can win everything, all the time, every season. Just look at other sports, the same things happens there.
    Barca is still Barca, and will come back just as strong next year. Maybe its their turn then, maybe its not. They'll still be one of the best teams.

    April 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  22. Ronald Watson

    Chelsea got the typical play-off treatment that too many others have experienced against Barcelona: having a very key player sent off.
    Who can ever forget the play-off between Barca and Real Madrid when Pepe was sent off? The replay revealed the official had his back to the play, and there was no foul, except possibly against Barca! This time, though, the ref did not determine the match. Moreover, Barca´s influence on refs. was miraculously undone by Chelsea players' dire determination. We will soon see if refs. again will determine a match or the players themselves. The clock is ticking against all the corruption in football....

    April 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  23. ravi

    it was not so much as chelsea winning it as barcelona losing it! It is sheer luck!!! if they play for the next 10 games in the same way as yesterday barca would win it hands down.

    April 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  24. Blue

    At Camp Nou, down 2-0, no center backs, 10 men... Huge upset, yes. Sport's greatest? No. Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in the world. It is the semi-finals of the Champion's League. All 4 teams remaining are some of the best in the world. Upset yes, Greatest no.

    April 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  25. alehandro

    This was a stunning performance by Chelsea that showed amazing resilience, but I'm not sure I'd call it an upset and certainly not among the "greatest upsets in sporting history". Ahead of the 2nd leg Chelsea had a 4-3 winning record against Barca in CL matches with 4 draws, and the massively expensive Chelsea squad has been at or around the top of the most competitive, some say best league in world football for several years. So while the Blues are not as good as they were Barca weren't facing Swindon Town! No doubt it was a dramatic game and Barca were expected to come out on top, but the author's incredulity at the result sounds ill informed and rather insulting to the Blues who obviously came in with a detailed game plan that worked! Barca lost because Chelsea had more heart, more luck, and because the Blaugrana were deluded into believing that tiki-taka will always win out when in fact you can't pass the ball through a space that isn't there. Messi and his mates were out-maneuvered and Guardiola was tactically bereft of an alternative idea. No matter, it's healthier for the game to have another team at the top table for once, not least of all because it reminds us that football thrives on diversity not just on one style of play. So well done Chelsea, you found a way to slay the beast and best of luck in the final.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  26. Haggi

    i think this is football much
    no problem now , but Gurdiola suppouse give the team more trust in their selvs & he must think about new tactic when they will play next muches because all teams knew Barcelona s play so we will see next much
    finally Barca is Barca the best of the world

    April 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  27. Blues Sharma

    How is it supposed to be a greatest upset? If a team in semifinals wins another team then of course they got to be best of all. n its the first time i am hearing someone say greatest upset to an outcome of semifinal match......barca may look number 1 but dun forget that Chelsea is also biggest club in world....grow up dude!

    April 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  28. Matt

    Upset? This is Chelsea, we're talking about right, with their team of internationals?

    Chelsea spent probably more than double than Barca has on their players in the last 5 years or so. It's their own fault that even after spending all that money they are still so far behind Barca that it's considered a "greatest upset".

    Hardly an upset.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  29. Farca

    Biggest upset hahahah lol what a joke

    April 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  30. efretuei

    with God everything is possible,chelsea where destin to win

    April 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  31. Endrit L.

    When two teams come so far at this stage in the uefa champions league, the past statistics have no meaning at all. Its all about who wants it more. Barcelona had their chances and did not know how to score, at home, against 10 players, and against chelsea missing the two central defenders almost the whole game. The barca defense? A total disaster!! In 180 minutes chelsea shot four shots on target and scored 3. How fun the game was? Superb. I really enjoyed chelsea defending and barca attacking. The game is not just about attacking. Its about defending as well, and chelsea displayed great will to defend and wait for their chance to score. Barca was not able to score one more goal. So is Chelsea's shock win sport's greatest upset? I dont see where the shock is.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  32. Luis Hunt

    Chelsea was lucky to win – didn't play an attractive game – mostly defending – in the first and last game against Barcelona. If they've played good, they would not have Barcelona have so many chances to score. Barcelone did not score, because they were unlucky. Not every time the team that deserves to win actually wins. Barcelona deserved to win both games against Chelsea.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  33. john

    when there is a Brazilian playing something magic can always happen!!

    April 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  34. Vem

    Indeed, it's one of the greatest upsets in the history of Sports..

    April 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  35. Vem

    Chelsea, I know ,always had that potensial force waiting to become Kinetic with the right manager and at the time- It bosts of huge talents( costly ones too).why would they contineu underperforming? I am not a fan of Chelsea but their victory surely tells the sport world the champions are winners not just intertainers and that the champions league is competitive, highly....

    April 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  36. icezone

    it was a great night. yeah, a night indeed. a night where chelsea showed d world dat futbol isnt about being the best team or having greater possession or wateva crap or may b d uaual barca camp nou magic.

    MESSI missed a PENALTY!!!!! Much was xpected from MESSI but he cldnt deliva. u may wonda y & i'll say he flopped cos xavi and iniesta cldnt bring it like they do.

    Tanx to Roberto he made a wise sub, a wise one indeed. tanx to torres he made it a day 4 chelsea & a nyt 4 barca. tanx 2 all chelsea fans hu wr at camp nou and those who watched live via satellite.

    tanx to barca.

    Chelsea made them knw dat tho' "tagged best team" can still be beaten.

    IMAGINE 18% possession, 10 man, still put barca down. its futbol nt impossible.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  37. John O Nwobike

    The majic was Chelseas' White Jersey. It was similar White Jersey that Real Madrid wore to win Barca within a week. After the match, fans drank more than 10 cartons of beer from my wife's shop till 3.00 a.m. Wonders shall never end.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  38. khyakk

    World should respect the art of defense. And I can't understand why only scoring goals is taken as best thing in football. To respect defense, every member of football community should go to field and at least play once as a defender. And this way we can get player of the year or Ballon D'Or winner a defender.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  39. prince samy

    Its was a tough match for two great teams, the expectations where high, chances were few for the bacelona team, because of the mighty defence strategy the chelsea team were able to make do of. The Chelsea surprised all with their die-hard spirit.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  40. DesDizzy

    No. You will see from the stats that the most internet traffic in recent times was last winter when Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions league....

    April 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  41. John

    Barcelona is ALL foreplay and no penetration!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  42. Rabi Sam

    Seriously people … before this hobbit messie there was football you know and there was and still great team out there
    So come on . easy with big phrase like greatest .. ok because yesterday was the prove that there is no such thing as the unbeatable team / the super team / the greatest team of all time…. All this is nonsense because the team sprit make the team rise and make the club great .

    We respect Barcelona but they can be beaten and yes there is a formula to crack there GREAT TEAM TACTICS

    April 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  43. Barca the Best

    Anti-football is what haters cheer for. Chelsea in nowhere near the level of Barca. Luck was with them on both legs. Parking the Bus can only work in a two-legged match. I can guarantee you the CL Champion is coming out from Bayern vs Real Madrid match. The CL final score will be for more than three goal difference. Mark my words!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  44. Bonilla

    Hala Madrid !!!!!!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  45. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    It's not a shock win or sport's greatest upset. By no means. Chelsea are a top side in world club football. The Blues have some of the finest strikers, midfielders, defenders and a world class goal keeper. When they sense an opportunity they can attack with purpose.

    Catenaccio strategy is not alien to Chelsea. There were times when Drogba and Ramires were defending like proven wing backs, supporting Cole, Ivanovic, Bosiwinga, Kalou, Obi, Lampard, Meirelles and Mata in rearguard action.

    Barça is becoming predictable. They need to add some tall shock imparting strikers upfront. Their awesome ball possession is beautiful to watch.

    Even with four main players suspended Chelsea has depth and a strong bench strength. Essien, Boswinga, Ferreira, Kalou, Romeu, Malouda, Fernando Torres and Lukaku are capable of doing wonders in the Arena in Munich.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  46. Eze Uba

    Dear writer of this article, you forgot to sign off thus:
    Written by an embittered Barcelona fan.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  47. Martin

    This wasn't luck (for Chelsea), and it wasn't even an upset. Chelsea are a great team. The author has overlooked the fact that there have been recent or long-term injuries sustained by Villa, Affelay, Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Alexis, Valdes, Alves, and Iniesta. Anyone seen the news stories about Messi's "gastric issue"? Stuff happens. They will be back.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  48. Roman

    Come on Chealse let`s win this cup for the first time!!!

    April 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  49. Timothy

    Its interesting how you down play Chelsea's win!!! From the moment Barca was drawn with Chelsea, i knew chelsea was to go throw!! How they were to do it, i didn't know but now i got to know and u did too. As my high school coach told me years ago, what ever happens on the pitch will result to one winner and ll that maters is a win. So If you surprised am sorry but try to look at each game at a 50-50 position. Mind you its Champions League. Remember That. Cudos to chelsea. With Bayern on, lets wait and on the 19th. To all the fans enjoys the games.

    April 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  50. J-M

    How can a defeat in the semi-finals of the Champions League be considered a GREATEST upset? Talk about a stupid question.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
  51. arg

    this i believe is not even a slight upset chelsea fought to the end and did what they could and got a deserved win , and this is coming from an arsenal fan

    April 26, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
  52. Doug

    A surprise yes, greatest upset? No way.

    Although they upset the odds, most true underdog stories come from owing as little to luck and as much to skill as possible in my opinion.

    Credit to Chelsea but they owe lady luck a few mojitos or beers (if she's into that kinda thing)

    Did a similar blog about big upsets in the Champions League if you want to read!


    April 26, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  53. Rich

    This was an upset!! The reason Barca lost was because they did not capitalize on their chances, messi missed that penalty. Not because Chelsea played a fair game. They were cowards, with their whole squad including Drogba playing as a defender.. if this was a world cup final it would have been a disgrace. Why did Chelsea do this, because they know they dont stand a chance agaisnt barcelona in a fair offensive game. Now i do have to say that barca need to restructure their defence because puyol isnt cutting it anymore. Ramires scored a goal hell probably never score again in his life, hes a mediocre player.. Way to go Chelsea, id like to see your coward strategy work in the final against Bayern

    April 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  54. shawn

    i love soccer

    April 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  55. Fez

    The biggest upset? No. The greatest? Very possible. 10 men, no centrals, horrible domestic season, down 2-0 to tie and knock out the greatest team in the world, best player in the world missing a penalty, striker with horrible form scoring the tie. That's what makes this one of the greatest if not the best upset ever.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  56. Rambunctious Ed

    The canonisation of Barcelona needs to end. From the media frenzy you would think they were incapable of losing, yet English teams have eliminated Barca from the Champions League in three of the last five seasons. Some shock.

    And while I'm ranting, can someone inform CNN journalist Pedro Pinto that his article "Can English clubs catch up with their European rivals" is thunderously amusing, given that it presupposes English inferiority in an era in which eight English teams have reached the Champions League final in the last eight seasons – a run unprecedented in the entire history of the competion since 1955.
    Can the English catch up? To who???

    April 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  57. jaziem

    this shows that nothing is permanent in this world.........

    April 27, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
  58. markdbiram2011

    don't think there is any compelling argument to suggest barcelona get favours from refs. i think it is typical jealousy from inferior sides unable to copy barcelona's clearly unique style. no team has found a way to combat their style with anything other than all out defence.

    chelsea played to their strengths and got a great result but let's not kid ourselves. in 20-30 years this barcelona team will be remembered as one of the best teams ever to step on a football pitch, chelsea have a long long way to go before that is true of them!!

    in any case, it's going to be a very interesting final. think bayern will win it though.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:35 am | Reply
  59. Caocingo

    As a neutral football fan it is good to see another team than Barcelona making it to the final for the beautiful game should not be owned by only a few clubs. The tactics Chelseas has employed in order to beat Barcelona however is simply embarrasing and does not promote the spirit of sport and gamemanship. It is about both winning AND entertaining the crowd who pays hard earned dollars to watch the game. Spectators don't buy tickets to see 11 Chelsea (multimillionaires) parking the bus in front of the goal. Having said that, under normal circumstances Barcelona should have won both matches easily. Luck and out of form Messi helped Chelsea through. No doubt Barcelona will come back next year and win trophies again. BTW, BM will win the CL! For the sake of the beautiful game...

    April 27, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
  60. PAULOS

    You put it right !!!!

    April 27, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
  61. ngancil

    okay okaaaayy... so barca was superior, in terms of attacking, but did they defend well? every single barca players(except valdes) went into chelsea's half, leaving none on their own, & making themselves prone to counterattacks is not what i call a good defense, people tend to forget, to win, you have to take your chances & defend properly, this is a results game, people, don't forget that, u can have 95% of ball-possession, but that's useless if u're leaking goals at the back, in the end, the scoreline is what matters most

    April 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  62. Martin

    One team is plagued by injuries and illnesses. The other team parks a bus in front of the goal. Zzzzzzz.

    April 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  63. Vincent

    Tito Villanova, Guardiola has proven himself as a good coach with BARCELONA in 4 years by winning titles. His quitting is an opportunity for you to do more exploits with FCB. Please see every match as final and do your best to make our defense solid. Wishing you the best of luck in 2013 season and beyond! Remain blessed!

    April 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  64. arlohstardust

    the greatest upset? pls. chelsea did not win a trophy by this victory. if they did, maybe it wouldve gone up there with the greatest. till then, they should do well to focus on beating bayern munich. if not, it would be a tragedy to come so close and then crash down to earth.

    April 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  65. bini boy oba of benin ghato okpere ise

    chelsea was a better,there are four compartment in football ie........
    goalkeeping won by chelsea
    defence won by chelsea
    midfield won by barca
    attack won by chelsea evident by ramires goal,t9 goal
    so i dont believe in tv possession thing
    you have to compartmentalized the game rather than passing in the midfied
    the prophesy is right--
    winner ucl 2011/2012....CHELSEA

    April 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  66. tomo

    A team that plays the same way game after game will eventually be figured out. Morihno came close to this in the elclassico before this last one but couldn't pin it down – how to stop the free flowing passes and penetration. But di motheo nailed it with zonal marking and solid structure, Madrid mirrored this and then Chelsea repeated, but barca played the same and lost the same, it was like watching the same game 3 times over.its good pep left a new approach is needed if success is wanted. The current barca game plan needs to go.
    Chelsea are a top team up there in the worlds best despite their league and this shouldn't be seen as one of the greatest upsets but rather one of the tactical displays

    April 28, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
  67. tomo

    One of the best tactical displays

    April 28, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
  68. newmombasa

    And Terry is a coward. He is not a fighter. He alsready had given up on Chelsea's come back in the game. That explains his behaviour which earned him a red card. Now he regret missing in the final game which he had not expected in the first place. Kudos to the rest of the team which kept hope alive and put on a brave fight

    April 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  69. messi

    Where is the entertainment going if the final of one of the biggest club events on earth is an anti climax? Do you think that it's possible for 10-man Chelsea to beat out-performed Barcelona, should there is no invisible hand playing on the back of the game?
    Soccer is a biggest manipulating sports ever played on earth. Do you guys still remember score fixing in Serie A? That was a tip of iceberg. Many "weird" results were watched throughout football history. Remember last world cup, where weaker Holland beat Brazil? Or 2008 champion league final, when superior Chelsea was beaten by Manchester United because John Terry missed his penalty.
    And now Messi missed his penalty too. And the whole saga was nice to watch like we watch opera soap.
    Mafia and big gambler organization put their hand on every result.
    So now we can't watch the entertaining football on pitch. Just place your money in your gambling machine and play against all odd.

    April 29, 2012 at 5:45 am | Reply
  70. JKYolar

    I watched this game with great interest...first, the "best" team does not always win....second I really have to commend the Chelsea players for holding on to their CONSENTRATION the whole game. This is not an easy thing to do. I am not a Chelsea fan but I was in favor of their winning this game. Good luck in the final....

    April 29, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  71. Brian

    Anything can happen in soccer. You have to give alot of the credit to Di Matteo their coach. He brought them back since villa-boas firing. This is Chelsea's revival.

    April 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  72. Kims

    Argentina vs Cameroon 0:1, World cup 1990, Argentina defending champions, Captained bt Maradona against 9 Cameroonians. What would you call that!!!!!

    April 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  73. dubaspace

    Its annoying how no one can play real football and have a realistic chance of beating Barca...Chelsea, Inter 2 years ago...the only way any of these teams squeeze in an upset is by hoping for a little luck and then playing anti-football and keeping 9-10 men back on defense for the remainder of the game, in the world cup its also what everyone tried to do to spain

    I was looking forward to a Barca-Bayern final because I believe bayern is the only team with the stones to actually go ahead and try to play real football against Barca, and not park the bus Mourinho/Chelsea style, hopefully Tito Villanova keeps Pep's classy style of football going in barca for many years to come

    April 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  74. nidad

    i dont understand many people that they have no clue about fottball.
    i love barcelona bcs plyes soccer not rughby. shame on chelsea fc. they did not play football at all. they dont deserve to be in a final.i mean all the time looking for luck. if barcelona was only had a bit luck the score could be catesrophic for chelsea . so dont say that was not upset game. i think the whole world is shocked and they can not beleive it like me. the english teams alwayes had thier luck, like manchester un when beat byern munich int the final. i cant stand thier luck,

    May 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  75. Magwister

    Some of you guys are short a bit of gray matter. What luck did Chelsea get??...a man sent off and giving a penalty to Messi!! There's is not much luck there.

    Barcelona were just not good enough. They had 82% possession but only 52% territory....for the slow among you, that means Chelsea basically had the same time in Barca's half as Barca had in Chelsea's. Barca are prolific wasters with the ball and the opposition have realised that you just need to sit back and wait for your chance, cos Barca's defence and GK are absolute crap at actually defending/saving. Barca will lose more and more as teams start to play like this against them. If anything, Barca need to get some balls and actually start attacking the goal and, heavens forbid, actually shoot from outside the box to try and draw defenders out.

    It was a shock only after 44 min when they were down 2 and 10 men. Before game started, with a 1-0 lead, Chelsea had a decent chance.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  76. Nnaemeka Agumba

    Upset. My foot.. Next time against barca chelsea will still beat barca!

    May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  77. Dan

    Major upset – Yes. Greatest upset – No. Greece winning the Euro's in 2004 far more of a shock.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:47 am | Reply
  78. Joe

    Uh, no. Of course not. Was it an upset? Sure.

    But come on. They have unlimited amounts of money and some of the world's greatest stars. Oh they had injuries but so did Barcelona.

    Think of Greece winning the Euros, or Buster beating Tyson. Those are monumental upsets were the losing team was given about 0 chance of winning.

    Chelsea was not considered likely to win but among the all-time upsets in ALL sports? That's a joke. It doesn't even rank in the top 50 probably.

    May 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  79. Miguel

    Greatest upset of all time?! Hahaha! It was very saddening to watch as a Barcelona fan, but Chelsea also is a good team. This upset goes in the record books in 411th place.

    May 4, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
  80. Fred

    Karl, I do not agree with you totally but on certain levels. The fact that Chelsea drew on level score at the Nou Camp went against everyone's expectation, mine included. But mind you, I was convinced by some supernatural inclination that Chelsea were going to pull through either on aggregate or something. To me, that was a fundamental advantage. Barsa's greatest mistake was in letting Chelsea have that win at Stamford Bridge. And of course, the ever cocky Barsa players never even imagined that the goal deficit was going to be their downfall. I hope Barsa and any other team out there that thinks itself invincible should have a serious rethink. I suppose Barsa is thinking Chelsea was lucky because of their many missed chances but in football like all other sports almost doesn't count. I hope Chelsea will get its respect henceforth as a team that should be approached with caution.

    May 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  81. bobo

    chelsea ..... seriously call tat game played by chelsea agnst barca a football ... shame to football ....... formation 10-1 .... yuck .... chelsea u r not a weak team u r one of d best football club in world ... have many star player ... n still played foolish stupid game ..... if arsenal liverpool mu for english league happen to played against barca they wont play such stupid game .... thy would played a real game..... win n loss is not only of perfection it also abt luck.... n braca is also a football team which mean they also can b defeated ..... but seriously winning by the way chelsea win it really digusting .... u may think chelsea has beaten world clas team by hook or crook so footbal is game where one much loss whether it is best or poor team .... dont think i m a braca fan .... no i m not i hate braca but frm tat match i happen love braca some how......
    n if chelsea vs my local team happen to played ... n i take formation 10-1 .... i think u cant score a single gaol....

    May 6, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
  82. Faustino Gomez

    Was that football Chelsea was playing? I thought it was kickball.Too scared to attack , they formed two walls of defenders and kicked the ball away. That's not English football it's Italian catenaccio. This plus Drogba's constantly faking injury let them squeeze through. A disgrace. Bayern should win they are the better team.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
  83. davy

    when u consider the fact that chelsea is 2-0 down and the captain sent out and again they are playing with the best team in the world,you honestly can't help but call it the greatest upset in football history.damn sentiments

    May 9, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  84. Paul

    This game was the worst game i've ever watched. Chelsea displayed the most disgusting football ever. They din't have any format just defensive the long balls forward. All i can say is that Barca lost to a poor team. I do hope Bayern does football a favor by thrashing Chelsea...

    May 10, 2012 at 6:43 am | Reply
  85. Franklin Idi Amuli

    Football is about utilising the chances in your disposal, any team can play any style that is suitable to the circumstances they were in. So CFC deserved its win, Barca has to go back to the drawing board since Refs are no longer taking sides. Bayern expect fire from CFC since Robie is not ready to be called almost coach.

    May 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  86. simon peter

    Football is a game like any other game; it's competitive, expect to lose and win....Barca lost to Chelsea which is not actually a big deal if they do accept the problem was with their pride..

    May 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  87. bondo

    Chelsea did not plat against barca. They palyed a dirty football defending with 9 man in both legs. They parked titanic in front of their area. In normal conditions if chelsea played as he plays in premier league they´d loose 8-2 on aggregate.

    May 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  88. NIfty

    The greatest?

    United States 1–0 England (1950 FIFA World Cup)

    "England were heavy favorites, widely considered to be the best team in the world, whereas the U.S. team was composed of part-time players who had been hastily assembled..."


    May 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  89. Yinka Adeosun

    Where do you place the Olympic semi final win of Nigeria versus Brazil in 1996. Brazil was leading comfortably at 3-1, and the coach was so assured that he removed Ronaldo in order to rest him for the final. They even had a fourth goal disallowed for offside. Suddenly, Nigeria woke up and, with the lask kick of the ball, tied the match at 3-3. Still, all hope was not lost as Brazil regrouped for the extra time. A long cross, destined for Amokachi, bounced off his back instead of being controlled. The loose ball was picked up by Kanu Nwankwo, and there was no apparent danger with two defenders waiting. Amokachi drew one away and Kanu outwitted the other with a body swerve and released an angled shot into the net. By the time the ball was in the net, he removed his shirt and started the celebration. It was the golden goal and so, the match had ended!

    May 18, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  90. Tibs

    Karl, Chelsea isn't even close to being the greatest team, the win was extremely unlikely, pretty much out of the cards

    May 18, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  91. Edvin Ramini

    shock or not shock, why not simply put as Chelsea was the better one
    and that they are simply the best in europe
    Messi is the best yes but football is not a one man war, its a team in which the coach is main leader and de Matio is one of the brains in football, only he is not paid as good as many but does it mean he is not better?
    Chelsea is a good team and this game was an example of a TEAM work:))))) like or not:)))))

    May 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  92. Saby

    greatest upset?Champions League final liverpool vs AC Milan, the first one. from 3 – 0 down to winning the game, that is an upset and a half!

    May 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  93. Saby

    Chelsea were disciplined, motivated and above all... extremely lucky..

    They were NOT the better team!

    Barca was a better team. So were Real Madrid and Bayern. But did Chelsea deserve to win? Yes they did.. Its football.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  94. john newman

    the best is the team that overcomes setbacks within official play time to win a match

    May 21, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
  95. Mungano

    It is a simple formula. Two fighters, one knows only how to attack but did not know how to defend himself when he is attached. The other one knows that the opponents is stronger than him but he well know how to defend himself and when opportunity presents itself, he can attack. That is what happened. Chelsea knows how to defend very well and knows how to attack and they applied the formula which made them won.

    For those who have been saying all the crabs against Chelsea, let them remember that Barcelona have never beat Chelsea hands down. Chelsea is the only club in the world that gave Barcelona hard time whenever they meet. There is no doubt about that one.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  96. Deepak

    Alex Thomas , you wrote this article blaming the best sport in the world. Chelsea win seems fixed to you...but when they were struggling with their performance what about that isn't it fixed...3 years back Man city was struggling and Man United were best..this year they are champions coz they invested so much money collecting the best players...why do you think if some team is coming up against these top teams and beating them to the ground then its fixed....I THINK UR ARTICLE IS THE GREATEST UPSET EVER IN FOOTBALL NEWS COVERAGE.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  97. Futbalfan

    I am just wondering... if football is played like ice hockey, as in NHL, requiring best of 7 to decide on the winner, or best of 5, instead of a do-or-die one game deal, would the result be different? Hmmm...

    May 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  98. savey


    May 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  99. Rockpdel

    May be all the Barca and Anti Chelsea fans should go to FIFA President and suggest him to change the rules of Football for good,,,
    My point is, Barca is best football team in the world but everyone should know that Football match is won by the number of Goals but not number of passes,,,,,.
    And also in that case we might as well get rid of the Football Posts,and rename the FOOTBALL as a whole , as everyone was having a cry about Barca had so much of the possessions while the result still went in favour of Chelsea.
    In my opinion every competition has these two sides,
    Offensive or Defensive,, and it is upto the Manager what he /she uses to get the result in favour of his/her team....
    This time Di Matteo seemed to be cleverer that Pep,,,
    hail for Chelses
    offcourse a Chelsea fan..

    May 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  100. nalyanaya daniel

    yeh, the two bulls had one thing in common that's winning the game and this real shows that chelsea looked ahead to win and that was all.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply

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