Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Late-night dramatics at Stamford Bridge
by Paul Kennedy, May 7th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] How was it that Barcelona, the highest-scoring team in European soccer's modern history, could have gone scoreless for 179 minutes of its UEFA Champions League semifinal series with Chelsea and went without a shot on goal for 89 minutes in Wednesday's second leg?

Chelsea had the lead and all the chances until a desperation goal by Andres Iniesta sent 10-man Barca into the final against Manchester United.

Chelsea, whose defensive tactics in the first leg had been derided, took the lead on Michael Essien's early strike and was within a minute of returning to the final when Essien's errant clearance found its way to Argentine Lionel Messi, who spotted Iniesta at the top of the box. The midfielder did the rest, beating Chelsea goalie Petr Cech to the far post for the tying goal.

"We tried to win the game, we tried to create," said Barca coach Pep Guardiola. "We didn't create so much and it was hard against a Chelsea team we expected to press up more. But I have a lot of faith in my team. We keep going, we are consistent. We had 25 minutes with 11 against 10 men and still Chelsea stayed back. We continued to try to score and carried that goal threat until the final minute."

After Essien put Chelsea ahead, the Blues had a number of chances stopped by Barca goalie Victor Valdes and several appeals for penalty kicks waived off by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo.

"Of course, players make many mistakes," said Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink. "Coaches make many mistakes and referees can make mistakes. OK, so it happens. It's all in the game. But when you see two, three or four situations waved away, then, yes, it is the worst I have seen."

The last-minute exit left Chelsea players devastated.

"It is quite a disappointment that we did not finish it," Hiddink said. "We can be critical of that. But it was the overall feeling of being robbed, of an injustice. That it why it was so hot and angry in the dressing room. I could fully understand the feeling of the players."

While Guardiola felt Chelsea might have had a case, he added that the home team should not have sat on its lead after Barca defender Eric Abidal was sent off in the second half.

"I can understand that Chelsea can be disappointed about the performance of the referee," Guardiola said. "I did not see the penalties they say there were but it is possible that there were. You have to give us credit, though. We tried to win the game, we tried to take the ball and create chances. We did not create so much but I expected Chelsea to create a little bit more pressure."

May 6 in London
Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1. Goals: Essien 9; Iniesta 90+3.
Chelsea -- Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A.Cole, Essien, Ballack, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba (Belletti 72), Malouda.
Barcelona -- Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, Toure, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets (Krkic 85), Keita, Messi, Eto'o (Silvinho 90+7), Iniesta (Gudjohnsen 90+6).
Referee: Tom Henning Ovrebo (Norway).
Red card: Barcelona -- Eric Abidal 65.
Att.: 37,857.
(Aggregate: 1-1; Barcelona wins on away goal.)

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USMNT: Arriola called up, four players depart    
Tijuana midfielder Paul Arriola joined to the U.S. national team for its World Cup 2018 qualifier ...
By the Numbers: USA ties Hexagonal records with 6-0 win    
The USA tied a record for the most goals in a game and largest margin of ...
What They're Saying: Christian Pulisic    
"Clint's an easy guy to play with. He's strong, he's technical, he makes good runs and ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"Christian is just a natural. The game is easy for him. He's got exceptional skill, vision, ...
Hexagonal: USA gets result it wanted in Port of Spain    
Mexico moved into first place in the Hexagonal with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica, but ...
USA-Honduras: Takeaways from a rare Hexagonal romp    
Well, that was as impressive as it was important. One of the biggest games in the ...
Video Pick: How Clint Dempsey completed his hat trick    
Clint Dempsey, who was sidelined from national team play since last June after being diagnosed with ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"We didn't have anyone else." -- U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena on why he started ...
USA-Honduras World Cup Qualifier Player Ratings     
The USA got very good to excellent performances from its entire squad as it got back ...
WCQ: Atlanta's Martinez injured in Venezuela match    
Josef Martinez, who has set MLS by storm with five goals in his first three games ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives