BARCELONA; Chelsea achieved one of the greatest achievements in their history in Camp Nou when, despite the first-half sending-off of skipper John Terry, they knocked holders Barcelona out of the Champions League.
The semi-final second leg ended in a 2-2 draw which meant Chelsea progressed to the final in Munich courtesy of the lone match-winner claimed by Didier Drogba last week in Stamford Bridge. Barcelona’s upset was enhanced at seeing Leo Messi miss a second-half penalty, striking the ball against Petr Cech’s crossbar.
Barca besieged the west Londoners’ goal throughout the match and deservedly took the lead through Sergio Busquets, who tapped home from close range. Two minutes later Terry was sent off for inexplicably kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind. He will thus miss the final against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.
Barcelona surged further ahead through Andres Iniesta but Ramires, with a superb chip on the run, gave Chelsea hope by pulling back a crucial away goal in first-half stoppage time.
The second half saw Messi smash the crossbar with his penalty shortly after the restart and he also later hit the post, but Chelsea somehow held out so Fernando Torres could come off the bench for a late solo goal which wrapped up the aggregate victory. With that one strike the Spaniard repaid much of the £50m he cost the Blues in January last year from Liverpool.
Victory for Chelsea will enhance the prospects of interim manager Roberto Di Matteo keeping the job to which he succeeded after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas; defeat for Barcelona will add to speculation about the future of Pep Guardiola who has yet to sign for a further season on his rolling contract.
Last weekend they lost hope of retaining the Spanish league title after losing 2-1 at home to Real Madrid.
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