Chelsea, against all odds, have defeated Barcelona and have qualified for the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final in an incredibly entertaining match that had everything. A red card, missed penalty, a shot that hit the post and — who would have guessed it — a last minute goal by Fernando Torres. What a brilliant performance by Chelsea who played with ten men for most of the match against Barcelona.
The final score in the game at Camp Nou was 2-2, but the aggregate score was 3-2 to Chelsea over the two legs. Chelsea now faces the winner of tomorrow’s match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Chelsea could end up playing either Jose Mourinho’s side or former Chelsea player Arjen Robben’s team in the final in Munich.
Despite Chelsea overcoming the odds and shocking the world with their defeat of Barcelona, the Chelsea team is ravished with suspensions due to several players picking up yellow cards that will rule them out of the final (Meireles, Ivanovic, Ramires and Terry), while Gary Cahill may be doubtful due to picking up an injury in the first half. Nevertheless, Chelsea’s win against Barcelona is a moral victory. The 10-man Chelsea team has beaten the best team on the planet, and has advanced to the 2012 UEFA Champions League.
Full credit has to go to the entire Chelsea team for an incredibly brave and brilliant performance over the two legs. Yes, they rode their luck, but they also defended brilliantly in both matches and kept Barcelona from finding space in the penalty area, stifling Barcelona’s attacks and stopping danger men Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
What Chelsea accomplished tonight can not be understated. This was a herculean performance that was a victory for Chelsea, England, British football and the Premier League. This was a performance that will give England’s national team a lot of confidence going into Euro 2012 should they face Spain in any of the later rounds. This was a performance of immense proportions. Bizarrely, it ended up being a battle between tiki-taka and route one football, with the route one brand winning.
Congratulations to Roberto Di Matteo, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole, Raul Meireles, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Soloman Kalou, Juan Mata, John Mikel Obi, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Jose Bosingwa and all of the Chelsea staff.