Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ten-man Chelsea stun Barca

Chelsea achieved the seemingly impossible with a stunning backs-to-the-wall performance against Barcelona, securing a 2-2 draw and 3-2 aggregate win at the Nou Camp.

Their task was made all the more difficult after John Terry was sent off with the Blues 1-0 down. Sergio Busquets had already opened the scoring after Isaac Cuenca's cut back across goal.

And, when Andres Iniesta made the score 2-0, it seemed that there would only be one winner as Pep Guardiola's side held the advantage before the interval.

But, with half-time moments away, Brazilian international Ramires chipped Victor Valdes to hand the visitors a surprise lead on aggregate.

Lionel Messi missed a second-half penalty as things appeared to be going against the hosts, and Fernando Torres made the result safe when he rounded the keeper in injury-time to secure a famous win.

The Blues set their stall out from the off, picking the same side from the first leg and defending deep, with Didier Drogba used to try and hit the Catalonians on the counter attack.

Gary Cahill was substituted early in proceedings with a groin injury, and after Busquets tapped home at the far post following good work from Dani Alves and then Cuenca, Terry saw red for a crazy knee to the back of Alexis Sanchez. The scores were level on aggregate, and the skipper had put the Blues in seeming disaray.

Messi slid in Xavi to make it 2-0 on 43 minutes, but Ramires latched onto a through ball to produce a stunning chip less than 180 seconds later.

It meant the hosts had to score in the second period, and they were camped on Roberto Di Matteo's side's half for the remaining 45 minutes of the match as they looked for the decisive goal.

Messi got his chance when Didier Drogba fouled Cesc Fabregas in the box on 47 minutes, but the Argentine fired against the bar to give the Blues a massive lift in confidence.

He would again hit the post later in the half, but it would be Torres who stole the headlines in injury time, racing clear onto a long ball and rounding Valdes to send the visiting fans into raptures on a famous night for the west Londoners.

Source- Give me football

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