Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League : 2012 is not a good year for Barcelona and Pep Guardiola. Despite going a man and two goals down in the first half, Chelsea snatched one of the impossible comebacks in Champions League history with the 2-2 draw vs Barcelona at Camp Nou what marks an era come to an crushing end. Highlights Video
Barcelona / NationalTurk – Lionel Messi walked off the Camp Nou pitch in tears after Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League semi final second leg ended 2-2 and as one of the most dominant eras in European club soccer brought to a crashing halt by 10-man and 10-man defending Chelsea. Barcelona’s almost everything Lionel Messi, a player who gives everything to Barcelona and very rarely takes from Barcelona took yesterday evening everything from Barcelona vs Chelsea as he missed a penalty as Champions League holders Barcelona were sent crashing out of the Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League semi-finals after 10-man Chelsea battled for a most unlikely comeback from 2-0 to a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou.
Messi wasn’t the only Barcelona player shaking his head in disbelief after barcelona vs Chelsea Champions Game’s final moments saw Chelsea’s £50 million player Torres scored an equally worth goal to the utter disbelief of Barcelona fans at Camp Nou.
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League : English Catanaccio prevails
For the second time in two weeks, Chelsea withstood a never-ending onslaught from Barcelona with their defense and displayed ruthless efficiency when they have found rare opportunities whenever they finally presented themselves. Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League game was a battle of two different mindsets of football. Barcelona’s ‘ Total football ‘ injected by Holland legend Johan Cruyff and molded into perfection by Pep Guardiola against Chelsea’s rock solid and disciplined defense, on the verges of a legendary Italian Catanaccio system implemented by British team Chelsea’s Italian interim manager Di Matteo.
Former Inter and Barcelona trainer, the legendary Helenio Herrera’s catanaccio system was ironically formed into a Neo Catanaccio by Chelsea to beat Barcelona. According to Hürser Tekinoktay whom we asked for a game review, the ( Neo) British Catanaccio by Di matteo, relies on man and areeal marking at the same time and the Barcelona vs Chelsea clash at 2012 Champions League semi-finals can be a turning point for defensive systems. Many teams will be using these reformed tactics in the very close future, points Tekinoktay out.
‘ It’s a historical night for Chelsea. I believe we deserve to be in the Champions League final, commented Chelsea’s interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, whose Chelsea will face either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in the May 19 Champions League final at Munich’s Allianz Arena. ‘ We had a difficult season, but we seem to always get something special out when we need to. That’s part of the DNA of these players.” They deserved it’
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League : Messi in tears after the game
Barcelona had a trip to the UEFA Champions League Final actually completely gift-wrapped for them. While tied 1-1 on aggregate with Chelsea, captain John Terry picked up a red card. Andrés Iniesta scored a goal shortly afterward to put Barcelona vs Chelsea ahead. Then, they completely and utterly collapsed against a 10-man side who only relied on their defense. Chelsea defended superbly, Didier Drogba played left-back until the moment he was substitued with Fernando Torres and the side from London pulled off two stellar counterattacking goals to draw Barcelona 2-2 at the Camp Nou, going through 3-2 on aggregate from the Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League clash.
For Barcelona, the result could mark the end of one of the most successful spells in club soccer. Barcelona was looking for a third Champions League title in four seasons, and this loss vs Chelsea came right on the heels of a 2-1 defeat to archrivals Real Madrid that all but finished its hopes of a fourth straight La Liga crown.
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League : A golden era meets its end ? Guardiola at crossroads ?
With manager Pep Guardiola yet to decide whether to stay Barcelona, it means his reign at Barcelona could end without a major crown this year — although the Copa del Rey is still up for grabs as a consolation. Many pundits went a little too far and stated the elimination of Barcelona vs Chelsea showed the world that Pep Guardiola’s skills as a manager are not the same level as the quality of Barcelona players.
‘ It hurts to lose this way because we were better and we gave it our all,’ stated Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas. ‘ We needed the perfect game, but we weren’t perfect because we lacked goals.”
Despite coming into the second leg with a 1-0 lead, Chelsea’s hopes looked all but over after going down 2-0 and having captain John Terry sent off for a needless foul in the first half.
Chelsea surprisingly generated the first big chance of the match just 18 seconds in, foreshadowing a bit of what was to come in first-half stoppage time. Ashley Cole slotted a through ball to Ramires, who blazed past the Barcelona defense. The ball was just a touch too heavy and Victor Valdés claimed it, but the Cules’ defense was out of sorts.
Gary Cahill and Gerard Pique both picked up injuries in the first half and had to exit the match. Cahill came off for Jose Bosingwa in the 12th minute after picking up a hamstring injury, and that forced Branislav Ivanovic to move to the center of defense. Cahill had wrenched his knee after twisting to thwart a Barcelona attack after six minutes and attempted to battle on before being replaced by Jose Bosingwa, with Branislav Ivanovic moving to centre-back.An extraordinary first half had seen a disciplined Chelsea manage to frustrate Barcelona in the face of relentless pressure despite the setback of losing Gary Cahill to injury after only 12 minutes.
Later in the half, Pique clashed with Didier Drogba and Valdés, and came off with what appeared to be a head injury in the 25th minute.
Despite the defensive reshuffle Chelsea’s thin blue line held firm, with Petr Cech saving brilliantly with his leg from Messi on 19 minutes before Terry slid in desperately to block Iniesta’s follow-up.The Blues defended exceptionally well for the opening 30 minutes of the game, but fell asleep immediately following a corner kick in the 33rd minute, letting Barcelona level the tie. After a clearance on the corner, Barcelona worked the ball back into the box and Isaac Cuenca set up Sergio Busquets for a tap-in, making it 1-1 on aggregate.
At the other end Chelsea were limited to pumping long clearances for Didier Drogba, who, just as he had done at Stamford Bridge a week earlier, was forced to plough a lonely furrow up front.
Nevertheless Barcelona’s nervousness at Chelsea’s aerial threat was plain to see, and it was a jittery punched clearance from Valdes that led to the substitution of Gerard Pique after a heavy collision with the defender.Yet it was only to be a matter of time before Barcelona’s monopoly of possession yielded its reward and the breakthrough came on 35 minutes, the start of a catastrophic period for Chelsea. It got worse for Chelsea a minute later with Terry’s moment of madness, a dismissal which left the English side with neither of their starting centre-backs.
Four minutes later, the course of the game was completely altered when Terry picked up a straight red card for a knee to the back of the leg of Alexis Sánchez off the ball. The referee didn’t see the incident, but his assistant alerted him to it and Terry was sent off for violent conduct. It was not long before the makeshift nature of Chelsea’s defence was exposed and Barcelona struck what looked to be the killer blow on 43 minutes. Careless play from Raul Meireles saw Messi dart forward and feed Iniesta, who sprang Chelsea’s defence and prodded past Cech for 2-0. Just seven minutes later, Iniesta put Barca ahead, assisted by Lionel Messi, and the tie appeared to be over.
Camp Nou rocked with delight but incredibly within minutes Chelsea were back in the game and ahead on away goals when Ramires scored.Improbably, just before the stroke of halftime, 10-man Chelsea struck on the counter. Just like in the first leg, the Barcelona defense fell asleep in first-half stoppage time as Frank Lampard played a through ball to Ramires, who beat the Barca defense with his pace.Lampard’s magnificent pass sent the Brazilian racing in behind the Barcelona back four and when Valdes advanced the rangy midfielder clipped an exquisite chip into the empty net for 2-1 on the stroke of half-time. Instead of providing an assist for a teammate, he took the responsibility on himself in this instance, hitting a stunning chip over Valdés to level the tie at 2-2 and put his team ahead on away goals heading into the break.
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League Highlights Video : Watch Torres’ £50 million goal ending Barca era
Just after halftime, Barcelona appeared to have the Barcelona vs Chelsea tie locked up. The goal from Chelsea gave Barcelona something to think about but the Blaugranas were swiftly back into their stride in the second half of Barcelona vs Chelsea game, when they were granted a 48th-minute penalty. Turkish referee of the Barcelona vs Chelsea game did not point the penalty spot immediately, after a quick and silent counsel with his assistant referee Cüneyt Cakir gave the penalty decision. And when Drogba, who played left-back in the second half as the catanaccio tactics have required a ‘ sacrifice ‘, brought down Cesc Fabregas to concede a penalty. Barcelona vs Chelsea match again seemed to have swung in Barcelona’s favour. However once again, they found a way to throw away their massive advantage. Messi stepped up to the spot. Yet Messi, the most prolific scorer in Europe this season with amazing 63 goals, implausibly crashed his penalty-kick against the bar after Cech may have gotten into his head by moving on the line and distracted him. Messi hit the crossbar with his penalty effort, keeping Chelsea in front. Barcelona would have all of the possession and some decent chances before the end of 90 mintes, but that would be Barcelona’s last truly great opportunity. Or at least, their last one that counted.
But the pattern of the Barcelona vs Chelsea game had been set, and what followed was 40 minutes of excruciating tension for Chelsea as Barcelona took up permanent residence on the edge of Chelsea penalty area. However the penalty seemed to be a wake-up call for the Chelsea defense, who played stunningly for the remainder of the half. Chelsea, however, somehow managed to thwart their tormentors, closing down relentlessly and never allowing Messi, Xavi and Iniesta the freedom to work the ball into dangerous positions. The British Catanaccio by Di Matteo so named by Hürser Tekinoktay, a former trainer Sánchez headed a Dani Alves cross over the bar in the 54th minute, Busquets skied a shot over the bar in the 78th minute and Messi hit the post in the 83rd minute, but they somehow never looked like scoring. In the 88th minute, Messi set up Sánchez for what looked like a winner, but it was flagged for offside.All too often Barcelona’s attempts to add width foundered as they cut the ball back into the middle where Chelsea’s wall of bodies stood firm. Messi had a goal disallowed before Cech tipped a shot from the Argentinian onto the post.
Then with Barcelona caught pressing upfield Torres raced away clear of the home sides defence and touched round Valdes to score and Chelsea were through. In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Barcelona had a corner kick and threw everyone forward. That turned out to be a disastrous risk when the ball was cleared and booted up the pitch to Fernando Torres, who had come on as a substitute for Drogba. He got himself clear 50 yards from goal and remained composed as he dribbled into Valdés one-on-one, then rounded him and tapped it in to seal the deal for Chelsea.
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League : Interim Coach Di Matteo gets credit at last
Incredibly, improbably, Chelsea have scored twice against Barcelona at the Camp Nou to go through to the UEFA Champions League final after one of the most exciting Champions League games in recent memory.
While Chelsea’s players celebrated, Lionel Messi trudged off the field with his head buried in his shirt. The Chelsea victory against Barcelona came at a cost, however, with Ramires, Ivanovic and Meireles all picking up bookings that will keep them out of the 2012 Champions League Final.
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League : Pep Guardiola’s comments after the game
‘ We’re here because of this kid [Messi],” Guardiola pointed out. ‘ I have no doubt he’s going through a bad moment. That’s the sad thing about this sport is that these things exist.’
‘ With 2-0 at halftime we would have believed we could get it, but this 2-1 was a little bit psychologically bad for us,” said Guardiola, whose team also lost Gerard Pique in the first half to a minor concussion. ‘ The penalty we didn’t score and they got stronger.’ Guardiola admitted.
For Chelsea, this was the crowning achievement in a remarkable and improbable turnaround led by di Matteo, who has also guided the London based team into the FA Cup final after manager Andre Villas-Boas was fired in March.
It is Chelsea’s first Champions League final since losing to Manchester United in a penalty kicks shootout in 2008, and gives owner Roman Abramovich another chance to finally capture the elusive title in Europe’s premier club competition.
“I feel as I let them down, I’ve apologized to them,” said Terry, who kicked Sanchez from behind and caused the penalty at the Barcelona vs Chelsea game, and he will be suspended from the Champions League final 2012 alongside above mentioned three Chelsea players. ‘ Looking at the replay, it does look like a red card.’ Noone knows what Terry would have said, if Chelsea have’nt elimanated Barcelona though.
But just like at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea was very opportunistic once it created a rare counterattack as e result from their deep 10-man defense.
Lionel Messii the hero of the drama, is scoreless in seven meetings vs Chelsea. Barcelona hasn’t been able to beat Chelsea in the last seven meetings, either.
Three-time FIFA player of the year Messi, who has 63 goals this season, hasn’t been able to have scored in his last three games.
Fernando Torres, who has struggled all season, was sent clear in injury time, went around Valdes to put the ball into an empty net for his eighth goal in 11 games against Barcelona.
‘ We knew this is how we had to play against Barcelona, even if sometimes it’s not so attractive,’ admitted Fernando Torres, who replaced Didier Drogba with 10 minutes left in the game Barcelona vs Chelsea. ‘ We used our strengths well and it worked for us in both games. They had their chances but they didn’t finish and Ramires’ goal gave us life and belief.’