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Chelsea vs Barcelona, UEFA Champions League Semi-Final: Open Thread

didier drogba eyes 1398097i 600x375 Chelsea vs Barcelona, UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Open Thread

Before, during and after today’s UEFA Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, post your rants, raves, questions and commentary in the comments section below.

While yesterday’s match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid was a mere dress rehearsal, today’s match between the English and Spanish giants will be the one that people will be watching with more interest. With so much riding on this game, it could end up being a very tense and unattractive match. Or if either team can score a goal, it may end up being an explosive match with plenty of end-to-end action.

Whether you’re at home, at work or on the road today — no matter where you live in the world — post your match feedback in the comment section below.

Let’s hope this is a match to remember, for all the right reasons, and that it’ll set up the second leg as an open and attacking affair.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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50 Responses to Chelsea vs Barcelona, UEFA Champions League Semi-Final: Open Thread

  1. Not sure how much i agree with the meireles selection. It will clog up the midfield, but he has looked very shaky in some of his recent performances. Essien may be the better choice, but we will see. Come on you blues!

  2. jong says:

    uhh… the obvious question is: on which channel can we watch this game in the States? no one has it live?

  3. Mufc77 says:

    For some reason fsc in Philly is showing Fa cup football then the Sunderland v wolves game. Time for me to dump comcast cable.

  4. dust says:

    The focus will be on the officiating team.

    Chelski are a dirty cheating team, (Ivanaivic slyly punching a player, and Mata,Terry and Lampard deceiving the ref at the weekend are some recent examples of that).

    Barca theatrics and love of diving will put this officiating crew under intense pressure. I would expect cards early in an attempt to control the potential madness, watch for Puyol in the box and Alves kicking any ankles he is near to spark the initial controversy.

    I thought Webb did a great job yesterday, I was surprised Atkinson was the Goal line official LOL. However, that crew did a great job, Webb took no crap and did not tolerate the crowding spanish team or the diving nature of Ribbery and Robben.

    I despise Chelski but am not a fan of Barca theatrics,(i also forgot the Messi impersonation of Maradona on there other string what a little bugger) I want Chelski to loose, when they do they will have to beat the arse for any hope of getting into the champions league. (Which they won’t…HAHAHA)

    Even if Chelski pull a miracle and get a win Chelski will loose the tie when they go to Barca.

    2 cheating teams, play in a battle to reach a final against another cheating team LOL

    UEFA Cheating League,

  5. dust says:

    whats up with the moderation of comments?

  6. Frill Artist says:

    1-0 to Chelsea with 30 mins to go. Will UEFAlona get help from the refs as usual?

  7. Daniel Mullins says:

    why is the game on FX?

  8. Andrei says:

    Btw Ramires has been in oustanding form recently. He has grown into one of the most influential players in the Chelsea side but for some reason his contribution is often overlooked in favor of more ‘fashionable’ players like Juan Mata.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I agree Andrei. Ramires has been incredibly underrated this season. Tonight was another example of how much of a difference he’s been to this Chelsea squad. Good call.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  9. CTRed says:

    any one lose the foxsoccer2go feed?

  10. Mike says:

    Anyone else have the foxsoccer2go stream just die on them?

  11. What a great result for my Blues! More than a bit of luck, but you make your own sometimes. I would’ve liked to see a bit more pressure in the midfield, but that was great defending and they took the one chance they got at the end of the half. A tough result to earn, but it’s better than nothing at all!

  12. dust says:

    still going to loose next tuesday, hopefully in grand fashion, 4-0.

    • Andrei says:

      You maybe surprised. After all Chelsea were supposed to lose today in grand fashion.

      • dust says:

        its just not going to be the same environment back at the camp nou, i don’t think I will be surprised, I remain hopeful Chelski get skinned.

        I thought the officials did a great job today. How was Ivanovic available after punching another in the back only a week ago? uefa baffle me.

        Who will come to manage Chelski when they don’t have champions league football next year?

        • Andrew Puopolo says:

          the ban is for domestic games only

        • Fernando says:

          Having read your posts I have deemed you the EPL Talk dunce.

        • The Gaffer says:

          Let’s savor Chelsea’s win. Sure, they’ll probably get skinned at the Camp Nou, but give Chelsea praise for a superlative defensive performance against all odds.

          Even if they get knocked, Chelsea deserves congratulations for a superb performance.

          Having said that, Barcelona not getting an away goal could be crucial.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Frill Artist says:

            Why will Chelsea get skinned at the Nou? If I remember correctly, the last encounter, Farcelona failed to produce any result in the 1st leg at home. Against Man Utd in the semi finals a few seasons back, Farcelona failed again to even score a single goal at home. There is hardly any basis that Farce-a will win at the Nou next week when after all the hype they didn’t even score today.

    • averagejoe says:

      chelsea havent lost to barcelona in six games so i wouldnt be so sure…

  13. The Gaffer says:

    Brilliant defensive performance from Chelsea today. Their game plan went accordingly.

    How is Roberto Di Matteo not permanent manager?

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • dust says:

      Cahill had a couple of good moments, what saved them was 2 off the line clearances and a misfiring barca, its not Chelsea fault they were misfiring, just a bad day.

      I hope Di Matteo does get the job, he won’t last long if he does.

      what did you make of RVD at the Barca hotel?

    • andy says:

      Alright Gaffer, earlier you wrote an article about all the things that detested you about Barcelona and that Barcelona were cheats by diving, you hated the way they played. I’m pretty sure that today’s game showed that Chelsea does it to. Drogba was just as bad as you described Barcelona being. Diving under pressure from guys that were half his size in Puyol and Mascherano or the whole Barcelona team. People were right when they said that Drogba was “back” after his goal in the FA Cup semi, he is back, DIVING AND ALL. And without Drogba, Chelsea wouldn’t not have won this game. I’m not saying that Barca would have won but obviously Chelsea, would not have. It think its amusing that you write your article about all the ways that Barcelona are cheaters and then Chelsea go on to win, lead by a player who embodied all your criticisms of Barcelona. How ironic.

      • The Gaffer says:

        Sorry Andy, but I didn’t see Drogba cheating. He fell down in one instance, where he stretched his groin muscle. He also fell down earlier in the game after he came into contact with one of the Barcelona players. Did I miss anything?

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

        • andy says:

          14th min, Drogba and Mascherano, minimal contact, not even in the effected area of the body i might add, complaining to Puyol that he had been fouled. 34th min, Puyol reached between Drogba’s legs to poke the ball out of play in the Chelsea box and Drogba’s legs miraculously under no outside force come out from underneath him back towards Puyol. Blatant dive. Should i go on?

          • RBP says:

            Gotta agree with Andy on this one, Drogba is pretty bad about it

          • The Gaffer says:

            Andy, I watched the match but didn’t see anything out of order than what I’m used to seeing in an average soccer match. If Drogba dived, then that’s unfortunate.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Guy says:

            It’s the reason I have never been able to warm up to him. If I had that size and talent I would be bossin’ the pitch like nobody’s business. I just don’t get it.

          • awilkes8 says:

            I’ve got to agree here, Drogba spent as much time on his back as Jenna Jameson. I remember the early flop mentioned with Mascherano. There was also the face first flop when he was going for a header against Busquets, you could tell he was anticipating contact and wanted to make it look brutal but Busquets didn’t even touch him and he went down in a scene very reminiscent of his concussion last year. I saw the same thing in the FA Cup semi on the weekend, at full speed I thought he was knocked out again, then they showed the replay and there was minimal contact, he just fell like a ragdoll, it’s almost like he enjoys it now.

      • Nonsense says:

        There is a difference between simulating/diving and actually acquiring an injury on your own. One instance Drogba went up for a header, lost balance a fell full force onto hip. Just because there was another Barcelona man around him doesn’t mean he is trying to simulate or get them a card shown – he genuinely fell.

        There was also the groin injury – wasn’t calling for someone to be carded he caught an injury/knock during play. Just because a man goes down doesn’t mean he’s cheating.

        Having someone pull a leg in and make no contact inside the box but the player ACTS like the leg clipped him is cheating/diving.

  14. Mprovise says:

    Great result for Chelsea!

  15. CH says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to toot my own horn. This is what i said a week ago.

    “Chelsea has always and will always match up well vs Barca because of how their team was constructed. To my american friends its like how the NY Giants usually are average but still beat the superior NE Patriots. Remember in 09′ Chelsea played Barca better than Man U did, even though Man U was better that Chelsea.Its a game of match ups. I believe Chelsea can win and they will put up a huge challenge but lose 3-2 on aggregate.”

    http://epltalk.com/chelsea-faces-mission-impossible-against-barcelona-in-champions-league-semi-final-40733#comments

    • Andrei says:

      Though I agree with Barca as a good match up for Chelsea I don’t buy into this “…in 09′ Chelsea played Barca better than Man U did, even though Man U was better that Chelsea” statement. In 2009 after Guus Hiddink revitalized them Chelsea were the best team in Europe. It was their best chance at CL title and they got robbed by the atrocious officiating in the second leg of CL semifinals. I fear that the history may repeat itself again though Chelsea are obviously not the best team in Europe this year.

      • Matt says:

        Too true. As a United fan I was desperately wishing for Barca in the final because the team United thrashed in January of 09 was long gone by May’s semifinals. Imagine where Chelsea would be if they could have convinced Hiddink to stay. Did I ever eat my words.

        And I share your fear about the second leg. One phantom penalty of free kick is guaranteed. Hopefully Cech will be up to the task. Though he hasn’t had his finest season this year, I believe the goalkeeper matchup will be the difference if Chelsea go through. Valdes’s effort on Drogba’s goal was nothing less than poor, and he has been their weakest link for a while. Cech probably finds a way to parry that onto the post.

        • CH says:

          LOL @ Matt you got your wish twice and it turned into a nightmare twice. Like i said originally its all about matchups Chelsea are still the strongest(physically) team in Europe which is why they will always give Barca problems. Barca are all skill and no real strength or speed. Chelsea can out physical Barca because of player atributes.Man U cannot because their players are different. Plus Man U always tries to play football with Barca which is suicide. But i will always give Chelsea credit because in order to park the bus you have to have the right tires and Chelsea are one of the only teams in the world with the parts to park the bus effectively.

      • CH says:

        First let me say i really have no team that i 100% support so my observations are truly unbiased.I honestly just love to watch the game.

        Anyway, Andrei I was talking about the season as a whole not just the second half. Back in 09′, Chelsea lost to Man U once and drew the other game, to me that means Man U was better. Its about consistency. Also i always go by the eyeball test. Which team (in my opinion) looks like the better team. Im not like others tho i do respect the art of defending. But we all have to acknowldege that some times luck plays a part in football. Chelsea was robbed in 09 2nd leg, theres no doubt they had 3 legit penalty shouts. Barca was robbed in 10′ 1st leg @ Inter. Mourinho got offside goals and Barca deserved at least 2 penalties during the 2 legs. My point is that things tend to balance out over a period of time. Just like Chelsea was robbed in 09′, Barca was robbed in 10′, and Tottenham was robbed on sunday, i know its not fair but these things happen in all sports.

    • Guy says:

      A little self-congratulations is always in order. ;-)

  16. trickybrkn says:

    Good on CFC, more important then the goal was not giving up an away goal. If they lose 2-1 in Barca, they still go through… If Chelsea don’t want DiMateo I sure West Ham will take him… legend.

  17. Paul says:

    Now that Chelsea have won the match, can Chelsea fans who took the hardline regarding the Sunday – Wednesday scheduling realise it’s actually fine to play 3 days in between? I’d imagine if they lost last night then people would try blaming that, but seeing as they won… Perhaps all along it wasn’t so bad as first imagined?

    • Andy says:

      Totally agree! You put forth a godo argument last time round and this just proves it. Well done.

    • Fernando says:

      The reason for a longer break btwn games is to ensure as fresh a squad as possible. Good on the Chelsea players last night for stepping up but I’m sure they’re all dead tired today.

      The FA is in a position to alleviate fixture congestion. If Italy can have AC Milan play a league game on Friday night before a CL game then the English FA can do something similar.

      Chelsea aren’t the only club to bring this issue up so it’s not just a CFC issue.

      Alas though, it was not a factor in last night’s game and it wouldn’t have been had the result been different.

  18. gillian rosheuvel (@mezz98) says:

    Guardiola thinks Chelsea are now favorites to go through? Hmm…and they say Sir Alex plays mind games!

  19. Efrain says:

    Drogba, what an actor…. almost up there with Busquets. Speaking of Busquet, no acting last night…. and really fouled at least 3 legit times.

    • Nonsense says:

      There is a difference between simulating/diving and actually acquiring an injury on your own. One instance Drogba went up for a header, lost balance a fell full force onto hip. Just because there was another Barcelona man around him doesn’t mean he is trying to simulate or get them a card shown – he genuinely fell.

      There was also the groin injury – wasn’t calling for someone to be carded he caught an injury/knock during play. Just because a man goes down doesn’t mean he’s cheating.

      Having someone pull a leg in and make no contact inside the box but the player ACTS like the leg clipped him is cheating/diving.

      • CH says:

        Bro even the BBC was critical of drogba’s diving. The said something to the extent of “he has more chance of getting hurt throwing himself to the ground than by getting fouled by Barca players”.

        • Nonsense says:

          OMG BRO! THE BBC BRO!? IT MUST BE THEN BRO!

          As I stated he definitely was rolling around on the ground but it wasn’t because he took a dive he pulled his groin and also went up for a header and came down hard on his hip. I didn’t see him call for a card or look to a ref to try to provoke a foul. He’s guilty of being a prim donna and that’s about it in this particular match.

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