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Blues, Barca in stalemate

2009-04-28 22:49

Barcelona - Chelsea held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Both goalkeepers made important saves to preserve the draw at the Camp Nou, with Victor Valdes making a reaction save on a shot from Didier Drogba following a Barcelona defensive lapse in the 39th minute.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech dove to keep Samuel Eto'o's shot out in the 70th after the Barcelona striker had shook off Alex to get a clear chance from close-range.

The English club is the first to hold Barcelona scoreless since the Spanish league leaders lost to Numancia 1-0 on the opening day of the season.

Bojan Krkic headed a clear chance from point-blank over and Cech came out to block fellow substitute Aleksandr Hleb's dangerous opportunity - also in injury time - as Barcelona pressed following Eto'o's chance.

Eto'o had run into the area before pulling back to shake off Alex, but Cech kept the low shot out at the near side.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola left captain Carles Puyol on the bench and a defensive error nearly cost the host team late in the first half.

Drogba jumped on Rafael Marquez's poor backpass for an attempt from inside the area but the Chelsea striker couldn't control the rebound from Valdes, who poked the ball away before the danger was cleared.

The chance seemed to rejuvenate the Blues, who had spent most of the first half holding off the rushes of Barcelona's talented forwards, with Andres Iniesta creating most of the danger.

Lionel Messi's hesitation in the 10th allowed Chelsea to clear the ball away, and he would have few clear chances as Florent Malouda and Jose Bosingwa - filling in for the suspended Ashley Cole - kept the Argentina winger in check, with Messi only managing two high shots from outside the area.

Barcelona held most of the possession - just as it did in big wins over Lyon and Bayern Munich - but Chelsea's defense held well, especially after having allowed five goals in the previous round against Liverpool.

Cech was busy throughout as he smothered Henry's chance in the 31st and blocked a hard shot from the France striker two minutes later.

It was the two clubs fourth meeting in five European campaigns, and things heated up as the fouls mounted.

Barcelona had a major blow in the 50th when Marquez pulled up with a left knee injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season, making way for Puyol.

Barcelona's defense will be short-handed for the return leg at Stamford Bridge on May 6 with Puyol suspended after being booked in the 74th.

SAPA

Comments
  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-29 08:31

    What a pathetic show from Chelsea!! They clearly went there to defend the whole game and were lucky in doing so. Barca dominated from the first minute...how boring!!

  • stroobz - 2009-04-29 10:10

    although it might have ended scoreless it was still exciting. chelsea really do have one of the best defenses around and Cech is a brick wall too!

  • justin - 2009-04-29 10:43

    chelsea did what is good for them. Barca play good game but chelsea play for point.

  • naphy - 2009-04-29 12:24

    This was thee most disgraceful display of football I've seen in my entire life from Chelsea. They had no ambition, no imagination, no soul. There was only one team that played football and I commend Barca (the best team on earth) for sticking to their football philosophy. English teams are most pathetic. They claim they have the strongest league and that they dominate world football but that couldn't be farther to the truth. When you play 11 men in the second half of your own half for 90 minutes you can never claim to be better or stronger than anyone. This was just not football. To top it all off I had to listen to those silly ESPN commentators calling that nightmare of a game from Chelsea a "defensive masterpiece". Even if Chelsea go on to win the tie Barca are still the greater team because you can rest assured they will Never play for a draw at Stamford Bridge.

  • Charmaine - 2009-04-29 14:15

    I totally agree with naphy. You dont go and buy the best football players in the world and play like a coward. And that is what defensive football is all about. I can understand a team like Stoke City or Hull City playing defensive football against Man United or any of the big teams but for a team like Chelsea which has got players as good as Barca, to go and play like cowards is unforgivable! Jose Murinho was fired for the same boring soccer despite winning several trophies..... Chelsea - you are my favourite team but please STOP playing football like cowards!!!!

  • scud - 2009-04-29 14:55

    @ Naphy, i agree with you even though i am a chelsea fan, at such level to play that kind of football is a disgrace,shame and an embarrassment, humiliation to say the least. The whole game was played in chelsea half

  • DISKI - 2009-04-29 16:00

    As a neutral spectator of yesterday's game and I found the game to be very entertaining... too see two good teams play against each to their own team strengths. It was obvious from the 1st minute that Chelsea weren't interested in playing for a host of goals or even a win in that matter but to absorb Barca's attacks and catch 'em on a counter. And that was their game plan, they stuck too it and did it flawlessly executed as the match ended with arguably the best attacking team in the world being held to a goalless draw at home. After all is said and done Chelsea got what they wanted from the game a point in Nou Camp, which shows the technical prowess of the coach and his understanding of his team and their limitations in comparison to their abilities. Yep, Naphy I agree 0-0 was not a fair result for Barca as they were the better team on the night too watch but they didnt do what they set out to do beat Chelsea at home ...technical preparation beats individual talent. ps. the finals will be two attacking teams Barca vs.. Arsenal u might enjoy game more!!!

  • Frank_Lampard - 2009-04-29 16:09

    Naphy,Its obvious you know absolutely f*kall about REAL football.Yes,Chelsea hardly attacked,Yes,Chelsea Defended...OBVIOUSLY!They were playing Barca at the Camp Nou,Any idiot besides you knows that Barca were always gonna be attacking 24/7 and the most likely way of Chelsea scoring was to capitalize of Barca mistakes. Chelsea will shut you out next week and so will Real Madrid this weekend.Just so you can whinge for another year of how you SHOULD have been in the Final but never got there! GO ON YOU MIGHTY BLUES!!!

  • Terry_is_legend - 2009-04-29 19:59

    Seriously people. Chelsea went there to go for a goalless draw, yeah ofcoz the barca fans don't like it because Chelsea reached their objective and Barca didn't!!!! So to all Barca fans... Eat dirt :P Chelsea stopped your futile attempts at goal. And we can't even pretend that Chelsea had hoped to try and take the game to Barca. They didn't want to. Chelsea is opting for a win at stamford bridge and please their own fans... Why would we wana play entertaining attacking football just to please barca fans. We have beaten Barca good last time both teams played that way :P so expect a thrilling match at stamford from both sides. And it wasn't a disgrace. I enjoyed the match. If you didn't. u need to become more flexible mate

  • Sheriff Tinarwo - 2009-04-30 08:38

    Truely chelsea did what they wanted, of course Barca had the game in there hands but they failed to do what they wanted, thats why the players of Barca where frastrated, and even went on to lambast the refeeree. What barca wanted was to carry a healthy lead to Stamford bridge, bt now they failed, and Chelsea wanted to avoid a goal totally, they did not want to lose.Therefore their game plan worked. They really know their game plan in Stamford bridge, thats why they avoided at all cost the goal.Lets wait and c on Wednesday when they unleash their game plan, & i know Barca will be out to try to curb the Chelsea gameplan. Watch it on Wednesday.

  • bristo - 2009-05-01 13:35

    soccer is not all abt rushing 4ward and attempting 2 score but its abt what u wnana achieve. Chelsea went 2 nou camp wt da aim of nt conceding hence they defended , & they achieved what they wanted, showing tecnical prowess of da blues coach. watch da game @ stanford bridge...

  • babs - 2009-05-02 13:46

    i think chelsea did da right thing n left da nou camp wid a positive ressult.come on you blues.

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