Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Match discussion: Chelsea

This evening at 8:45 pm bt,
Barcelona plays the return game of the Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea.

Chelsea squad list:
no list announced

Barcelona squad list:
Valdés, Pinto, Jorquera, Alves, Piqué, Cáceres, Abidal, Sylvinho, Xavi, Víctor Sánchez, Touré, Busquets, Keita, Gudjohsen, Iniesta, Messi, Eto'o, Bojan, Henry, Hleb, Pedro

Read a match preview here

Re-live the first leg here


From two hours before until two hours after the game you can join a match chat (read more here)

Before (what are your expectations, what's your prediction, what should be the line-up,...), during and after the match, you can also comment on the game here.


noubarca said...


KluivertsBoots said...

I expect Chelsea to play on the counter and look to run at our defensive line in numbers. They will not be as dumb as Real.

They'll have to pressure and risk fouls in order to win the ball. I expect more kicking and pushing from them.

They are built for helter-skelter Premier League football. They are not built to ping the ball around. They don't have that kind of quality overall.

The biggest risk to Barca is set piece play. We can't lose marks in the area.

I really hope to see Eto'o and Messi switching and giving the the Chelsea back line the run around.

There will be room to finish chances in this match.

Visca Barca!

Jacob said...

Got this from Chelsea site:
Chelsea are just one game away from meeting Manchester United again in a Champions League Final, but between the Blues and Rome is the small matter of Barcelona.
This game is on a knife-edge, so much so that our official online bookie Paddy Power can't split the teams; both Chelsea and Barcelona are 13/8 to win the game in 90 minutes.

13/8 Chelsea win
23/10 Draw
13/8 Barcelona win

Barcelona know that if they get an away goal early, like Manchester United last night, the momentum will swing in their favour. However, if Chelsea can contain and frustrate Barça, and take the opportunities presented to them, it could be a famous night at the Bridge.

To reach the final
5/4 Chelsea
4/7 Barcelona

If Didier Drogba had scored in the Camp Nou, the complexion of this game would be totally different and Chelsea fans would be confident of shutting out Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.

There is no reason why they can't do that tonight, but having an away goal in the bank would be a huge plus.

Barcelona will be expecting Chelsea to open up in the second leg but they don't need to do this from the kick off, Chelsea should go about containing Barcelona and frustrating them again and then strike the killer blow. Drogba is a great price at 6/1 to score the first goal; he'll surely fancy his chances against the inexperienced Barca centre backs, and the Chelsea scouts will have taken heart from the goals Barcelona conceded against Real Madrid at the weekend, all from crosses. Chelsea must take advantage of this tonight. The trio of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o are all 13/8 to score the first goal, so John Terry's defence had better be wary.

First goalscorer
6/1 Drogba
15/2 Anelka
8/1 Lampard
9/1 Kalou
12/1 Malouda
14/1 Ballack
16/1 Essien
20/1 Terry
22/1 Alex

Cali Socis said...


* 1 Víctor Valdés
* 3 Gerard Piqué
* 6 Xavi Hernández
* 8 Andrés Iniesta
* 9 Samuel Eto'o
* 10 Lionel Messi
* 15 Seydou Keita
* 20 Daniel Alves
* 22 Eric Abidal
* 24 Yaya Touré
* 28 Sergio Busquets

bojan said...


alves, pique, toure, abidal
== busquets
xavi - keita
messi- eto - iniesta

omg !

in PEP we trust !!!
vamos barca!!!

kamikaze kontiki said...

Jesus Christ! He has Toure planned for CB. Why oh Why ?!?>!?

Anonymous said...

i hope that in the game its
alaves pique abidal
toure busq
xavi keita
messi eto iniesta
couse yaya is great on midfield.

Anonymous said...

Man, the injuries are costing us! Henry out so Iniesta out of his best position...Marquez and Puyol out so Toure in CB. I think we should put Iniesta back in his normal left midfield position and then bring in Bojan in left forward. Toure should be in Defensive Midfield and Caceres in at CB. Also what the f**K was Alves thinking!!!! He just picked up his 5th yellow and now he can't play in Rome!!!

LeónDragón Espoir said...

to anony...aves' third yellow!...

NouBarca said...

I hope we win or draw. Tho its 1-0 chelsea, Pep can prove again hes a genius cos I believ he his one

Anonymous said...

well the bottom line is that if you know that you have on emore yellow before missing the final of the CL you do your best to not foul. Alves had been aggressive all game and was playing as if he had no care in the world about getting a yellow. Was he aware of his status? If he was then he was stupid. He if was not then he was stupid. Damn he is too important for us in the final and now he blew it!

Mark said...

amazing! i kept praying till the last minute. thank you, iniesta

Tudor said...


Etsp said...

I'm so happy I'm shaking! Marquez, menisci problems are no excuse, you have a final to play!

KluivertsBoots said...

I don't know that we deserved it based on impotence for the huge majority, but that's why you play until the whistle. Alves, Eto'o and Messi were completely anonymous. Alves played the worst game I've ever seen him play. I can't believe we've won, but I'll take it for sure.

To have 70+ possession and not manage a shot on target until Iniesta is unacceptable and that has to change. It is like we forget we have to put the ball in the net to win. Passing percentages don't win games unfortunately. Thank God Iniesta was the one decisive player on the pitch.

Davor said...

what a match
what an amazing match
this is what i live for
these matches, these moments

R10FCB said...

INIESTA!!!!!!!!! what a legend!!

Nico said...


Amar said...


This is not a victory for Barcelona..its a victory for football itself!!!

May the beautiful game always prevail!!!

I wonder how will we defend in the final tho... toure should not play as CB ever again in his life.

Daniel alves might have cost us the final.

We have puyol and pique in defence...then who will play? Sylvinho? Caceres? Anyways i would prefer caceres to toure in defence.


...they deserve to win the final...

SimonP said...

OMG, the bar I was at completely exploded when Iniesta scored.

The 3 best players for Barca:
Valdes, Iniesta and THE REFEREE.

Too bad that he made so many misses but fortunately for us most of them was in our favour.

No Abidal and no Alves in the final, I guess we will see | Puyol, Marquez/Touré, Pique, Abidal |

Oh, we didn't deserve to win.

paco said...

Alves out for the final is a shame but puyol will be back, and I think Toure played well CB

mofof said...

Oh my, what a game!

Honestly, Chelsea was better than us. They owned us in every segment. They are just phisically more superior than us. BUT we managed to score.

Guardiola is a king -- his no substitutions, his whole act was great.


paco said...

Guardiola believes in his men mofof

Meursault said...

Shame we never got going against the parked bus, but all is well that ends well... serves Chelsea right for being so defensive all through then crowning it by taking of a striker for a defender when we were down to ten men and within a goal of going through. Finally some poetic justice for being overly defensive (though no tactical proof that it doesn't work against us... I imagine United will do a version of the same thing).

Don't worry about the defence for the final too much... it's never really been the focus of our game anyway and we should be complete from midfield up. Alves has been looking out of form recently anyway. Puyol will be back and Piqué is growing every match. Assuming the nonsense red on Abidal can't be overruled, we now have some Spanish games in between to get Caceres and Sylvinho into some match form. I agree that Yaya needs to go back to centre mid. We will no doubt debate that setup over and over in continuing weeks of excitement.

Allez attacking, positive football! Visca el barca!

mofof said...

Hey Ramzi, we are again waiting for your analyze! :)

koko=barca said...

WOW Eto'o just showed us why Barca is looking for a new striker. Didn't do anything to help us. Totally invisible. Dani Alves had one of his worst games in his career. I am totally disappointed. However I jumped from the roof when we scored. My ass still hurts. Bravo savior INIESTA.

kamikaze kontiki said...

This IS NOT what I support Barca for. I expect them to play much better than this; always.

But the truth is that supporting a club is an enslavement of sorts . You believe in their ability to produce that magic, that artistic finesse, that aesthetic football, and you support them for life, forever, untill you cant argue, your emotions are strung out over the rollercoaster of their fortunes.

And in the end, you know that a victory for Barca is a victory for that ideal that you so cherished.

I kissed the ground tonight ala Keita, I have never done that before, not for anything that involved my own personal fortune. I did it first unconsciously before I knew what I was doing and 2 mins later I did it again, quite deliberately the second time.

Maybe I didn't state it before but Barça is my idealisation of football, of something in life where idealogy truimphs simply by its purity.

Nothing else comes close. We win! We have to win! Glory we deserve, to set in stone, the success of a virtue, pure, proud and true.

Meursault said...

Just saw the comment that the referee was on our side (SimonP) and wonder if we were watching the same match!

Let me see, a Barca player gets red carded on 66 minutes when he was barely in the frame, let alone guilty of a foul and the referee is on Barca's side! Hmmmm. Not to mention the many questionable decisions against Alves on Malouda at the start, the failure to award more time added on in the first half when many more minutes had been wasted and we had a corner, or the consistent giving of free kicks (and drop balls) allowing Chelsea to stop the flow of the game (and Malouda and Drogba to attend to their haircuts).

I think we can agree that the ref was out of his depth and had a bad night, but to say he was effectively playing for the team whose player he wrongly sent off at a vital stage is stretching it a little, don't you think?

inieeeeeesta said...

can't believe all the negative comments here! yes it was the worst barça game ever- what the hell were alves keita and especially eto'o doing??

but this was quite honestly the best football moment ever

such a climax after an horrendous game

i cried shaked screamed
i don't have any voice left
barca made it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
we're there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
in the finallllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jester[HUN] said...

thank you iniesta you are our hero you deserve all the prise but with man utd it will be very very difficult but

Anonymous said...

bye Bye Chelsea

SimonP said...

Let's just say that the referee probably had the worst night of his life. The red card was completely wrong and Chelsea should have had at least one penalty, I'm thinking of Piqué's handball.

There were also a series of questionable decisions. On the other hand we deserved a penalty in the first leg and Ballack should have received a second yellow card.

koko=barca said...

And please stop talking about man u. We have final to play and another trophy to win. UFFFFFFFFFFFFF, my heart goes 25 per second.

Sportsbettingcentre said...

Think you guys have played better than this but you got the result you needed. Here's looking forward to an entertaining Final.

AydinK-1 said...

This is the true meaining of life.
I dont care if I die now,I lived my best moment in entire life,next to that night in Paris,
I lost my voice,my body is broken but my soul is so happy that words cant describe it.
I love ya all!!!

Barca means life,nothing more,nothing else.

Nzuu said...

Guys we didn't play the way I hoped, but wow!!!! Very very few moments have overwhelmed me as much as the 93rd minute of the Chelsea-Barca game.

Something told me that we would be fine when Abidal was sent off because the odds were getting stacked against us minute by minute and I know that that's how Barca would prevail. Thank you God. I prayed for this game and prayed for Messi and Iniesta and they made the decisive two touches. Barca4eva.

Next stop... Rome!
How good does this feel?

HouseMD said...

I don't know what to say. Chelsea didn't get at least 3 penalty shots, but they payed the price for their coward and destructive football in the first leg. Barca was very bad tonight, that's true. Until Iniesta scored they had 13 shots, 0 on target. There was 65% ball possession and much more corner kicks, but that's not the key to success, or it is...I'm not sure anymore.
Anyway, Barca simply deserve this final game for all those brilliant games they played this season.

P.S. This referee (Ovrebe) from Norway should be Curling referee starting next winter.

koko=barca said...

It's amazing, Barca's the reason, Everybody fired up this evening, I'm exhausted, Barely breathing, Holding on to what I believe in...

Cyrus said...

Gracias a dios! Allahu akbar! To score the last minute with 10 men on foreign soil, what heroes! Barca played possession football on Chelsea's homeground and they were unlucky to let in the first goal. Alves was overexcited and Abidal unlucky, but who cares a night like this when the joga bonito reigns! To conclude, I wouldd like to express my hatred towards swedish commentators who are so brainwashed and pro premier league.

Etsp said...

HouseMD: Øvrebø is actually the absolutely best ref we have in Norway, he just had a bad night. He usually gets everything spot on.

barcacanada said...

doesnt matter cuz he's my fave ref, ever! except for the red card ;)

Cali Socis said...

Both teams had their share of bad calls in the series. As I told some Chelsea fans: "being a man up for most of the second half and at home: that's on you for not finishing the job!"

Bottomline for me: Champions win ugly sometimes and players have their bad games. At the end of the day, it's all about the scoreboard.

Knives Out said...


Anonymous said...

valdess man of the match 100 %. I sault valdes best keeper in spain this year and europe

Cali Socis said...

It was the most exciting Champions League campaign in recent memory - group stage through knockout rounds. There was high scoring, terrific head-to-head matchups (Barcelona v. Chelsea and Bayern Munich; Chelsea v. Liverpool; Manchester United v. Arsenal, Inter Milan and Porto), and spectacular goals (Essien v. Barcelona and Ronaldo v. Porto top the list). With the domestic leagues going down to the wire, it looked like a riveting final month was in store for football fans.

What could possibly go wrong? Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea kept winning in the EPL, with the Red Devils looking like kings in waiting. What could ruin this memorable year? Barcelona went into the Santiago Bernabau and revealed to the world a stunning display of genius, defeating Real Madrid 6-2. Could this season get any better? In one word, no. And it didn't.

If the controversy surrounding the first leg at the Camp Nou wasn't enough, the match officials for the second leg took it to another level. It takes two (if not three) hands to count the number of competition-changing decisions over the two legs, including a half dozen penalty decisions, multiple yellow cards and one red card.

It isn't worth recounting each and every questionable call and non-call. It is futile to ask questions like: What would've happened if Alex and/or Ballack had been sent off in the first leg, and who would Chelsea have played in their stead in the second leg? What would've happened had Henry been awarded the penalty when Boswiniga pulled him down? What would've happened had Ballack's handball in the box been called early in the second leg? What would've happened had Abidal not been sent off. What would've happened had the referree called any one of four penalties for Chelsea after Abidal was sent off?

Yes, the real tragedy is that there is no clarity as to merit. Who was the more deserving side? Chelsea showed physical and defensive dominance, but completely relinquished possession to Barcelona who were clearly superior in creativity and control. We simply don't know who was the better team.

Instead of lamenting controversy, we should be talking about why Lionel Messi continues to flounder against English teams; why Didier Drogba, despite his strength and size, denigrates the game with theatrics; why Frank Lampard was a non-factor over two legs; why Samuel Eto'o disappeared; why Xavi is a shade of himself at Euro 2008; why Michael Ballack is no longer good enough to play at the highest level; and why Dani Alves was wholly ineffective.

We should be discussing style versus substance. We should be asking why Chelsea, with unmatched spending power, insist on playing ugly, albeit mostly successful football. And why Barcelona, with a heralded youth academy and commitment to playing beautifully (see 71% possession in both legs), struggle against physically imposing, defensive sides like Chelsea (Chelsea committed 36 fouls to Barcelona's 24).

Sadly, the result will only further embitter Chelsea supporters after last year's heartbreaking loss to Manchester United. And Barcelona supporters' first-leg complaints will likely be forgotten or downplayed, if not dismissed. Then again, reconciliation is not the point. Not when controversy this thick is draped over 180 minutes. As Derek Rae said, "This really is the cruelest of exits."

Thus, it is with heavy hearts that we should acknowledge a tainted competition whose spoils will benefit only the cynics and commentators. More than anything, I wanted to watch FC Barcelona cap its glorious season by proudly lifting the Champions League trophy in Rome. Now, my primary hope is that the final be fairly officiated, whatever the outcome. Only then might we salvage this otherwise beautiful season.

Cali Socis said...

I reviewed some minute-by-minute reports that, along with my own recollection, detail some of the shenanigans of the two legs.

First leg:

* Henry pull down (actual pull down, unlike the second leg shirt grab on Drogba)

* No second yellow - Alex (50th min) and Ballack (84th min)

Second leg:

* Ballack handball in the box in the first few minutes not called

* Malouda pull down (whistle in the box, foul started outside)

* Drogba shirt grab (but didn't pull...Drogba wanted the pk more than the goal)

* Abidal red card in the 67th (on first glance it looked like a foul, but the replay looked like a yellow at worst, a no call at best)

* Drogba miss (Valdes save) in the 53rd

* Drogba's dives: my favorite comment from the Guardian minute-by-minute report (63 mins: A break in play for Drogba to get the attention he craves. His flouncy flop to the ground was, as usual, outrageous.)

* No pk for Pique handball in 82nd minute (questionable ball-played-hand, although I think refs and commentators get way too caught up in that match interview Pique admits it it hit his arm, but not deliberately)

* No pk for handball in stoppage time (It hit the rear shoulder/tricep, when the Barca def turned away...a weak claim, but surely an accummulation of the other non-calls)

* Ballack flapping arms around the ref after the last-minute no pk call (the most disturbing aspect was that the referee didn't have the courage to stop and put a red card in Ballack's face)

* From the Guardian: Full-time Terry leads a Chelsea charge over to the ref, who was disgraceful. But that shouldn't deflect attention from the fact that tactical genius Guss Hiddink's masterplan was to take off his most effective striker, and replace him with a defensive midfielder, against 10 men. Barca's scored with their only shot on target; the final will probably be more entertaining than a United-Chelsea one would have been. The far more clinical United have got to be favourites. Meanwhile, Drogba is booked for arguing with the ref as the inept Norwegian tries to make his way off the pitch. "It's a fucking disgrace" shouts Drogba into the camera. Mind you, it wouldn't have come to this if he hadn't missed a superb chance just before his substitution.

Aussie Barca Fan said...


Drogba you are an absolute and total disgrace like your boyfriend Pepe. You should be banned for 6 months!!! I hope you and Chelsea get huge fines for you dispicable behaviour!


MBB said...

Just saw player ratings. How can valdes just get a 7 he was the man of the match at least 9! Busquets was nonexistent should have gotten a 3. Eto was equally nonexistent but I partially attribute that to the position he was playing. Why cannot Messi drive more to the goal, like he always does, but instead of loosing it pull back and serve balls to top of box for shots!!!!!!!

cruelsong said...

with all the controversial decision... we made it to rome, but hey, no abidal, alves, marquez (maybe)

Carrer de Corsega said...

Cáceres should start playing this weekend against Villarreal. If he can get in form to play, our back 4 against Man U should look like this: Puyol (marking Rooney since he plays on the left now), Piqué, Cáceres, Sylvinho. And if not, I suppose Pep will use Yaya in the middle again. I was a bit disappointed with Busquets today, not to mention sub-par Keita, and that's why I think Toure is necessary in the middle. We have some days to discuss this until the final date, 27th, if I'm not mistaken.
Visca El San Andrés




Exarch said...

I thought if u have 2 yellows, u can still play in the final. Only a straight red rules u out of a final?

FC BARCA said...

Valdes and Iniesta saved us today. We are in the final and still alive for 3 titles, no excuses now. Congratulations to all Barça supporters.



Can the red card be appealed for Abidal?

Carrer de Corsega said...

Yes, they can appeal it within 24 hours. But here is the tricky part: UEFA only considers yellow/red card protests if the referee mistook the identity of the player. They always stand behind their referees. I would be very pleasantly surprised if they rightfully overturn the decision, but I'm not too optimistic about it.
Visca El San Andrés
Visca El Anti-Galactico

ElovesBarca said...

Rome~ Rome ~ We are going to Rome ~~

I'm still overwhelmed by the result. I'm so so so glad to be A CuLe ><

Though it was not one of our best perfomance tonight but our spirit never died...we fought till the end and we got rewarded, maybe by luck still I love, love, love FCB!! Visca Footbul Club Barcelona~~

Sometimes life just beats u down, watching the beauty of Barca football makes u believe u have a soul !!!!! (in tears...)

Forca Barca ~~~~~~~~~~~

ponnyKID said...

wooooooooooooooooooo visca el barca !

Anonymous said...

The Important Fact is...
we are going to roma not chesea
even though we played very bad tonight.

kamikaze kontiki said...

The commentators for Espn not only were categorical that it was Chelsea's fault for not showing the slightest attacking intent but also described Drogba's behavior as shameful.

Their point was that Drogba didn't do his job on the pitch and by attacking the refree he was merely trying to rile up the crowd and gain sympathy. Football is played with the ball not with the mouth or by kissing the turf 25 times a game.

Paladin said...

Agree with kamikaze kontiki. When Drogba said "it's a frickin disgrace" he was actually referring to himself. But he's always been a disgrace, so I won't be surprised. What kind of prizefighter prefers to kiss the grass?

Anonymous said...

YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!! ROME HERE WE COME !!!!:) I WAS ON MY NERVES THE WHOLE GAME BUT I HAD HOPE TILL THE END BECAUSE THIS TEAM IS NOT ONLY THE BEST TEAM IN BARCA HISTORY BUT THE BEST TEAM IN ALL HISTORY WOW WHAT FOOTBALL although yesterday wasnt good football but dont forget that conceding an early goal got the player's spirits a bit down especially a goal that is only scored once every 2 years at this level but who Cares? VISCA EL BARCA!!! FORZA BARCA :) !!!



Anonymous said...

i agree with every word u said anonymous u r really an expert in football go Messi go Iniesta go Xavi !!!! go barca !!! :) but really yesterday man of the match was valdes then iniesta coz if it wasnt for valdes they could have been 3-0 and all hope lost

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