News24

British press hail Chelsea

2012-04-25 11:26

London - Chelsea's remarkable passage through to the final of the Champions League was greeted with astonishment and delight in equal measure by the British media on Wednesday.

The London club's 2-2 draw in Barcelona secured an 3-2 aggregate triumph that had seemed hugely unlikely when they trailed 2-0 late in the first half and with only 10 men after the sending-off of captain John Terry.

But goals from Ramires and then in injury time, from Fernando Torres, at the Camp Nou stadium set up a final against the winner of the second semi-final between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

"Can Nou believe it?" roared The Sun, while The Mirror went with "Blue Heaven", adding: "It could not happen. Simply could not happen.

"Not against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. Not playing for nearly an hour with 10 men against the greatest team on the planet.

"But somehow, on a night that transcended belief, turned everything we are supposed to know on its head, it did."

Former Chelsea, Everton and Scotland winger Pat Nevin, now a pundit, said it was "right up there" as one of the most memorable European nights.

"I am sure some Liverpool fans will say a certain final (in 2005), when they came from 3-0 down at half-time to win was the best," Nevin told BBC Radio 4.

"But last night's match had everything. It was incredible."

His thoughts were echoed by Chelsea's interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, who is now odds-on to get the job permanently.

"We were playing the best team in the world - they're amazing - and we were up against all the difficulties you could imagine in any football match," the Italian said.

"We seemed always to find some reserves from somewhere, playing against the odds. We just showed a lot of desire to reach the final and go through.

"We had a little bit of luck as well, which we needed. But to win the trophy, you need that. We've had a difficult season but we seem to always get something special out when we need to. I think that's part of the DNA of these players. It's quite incredible."

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, one of his side's star performers on the night, said it was "one of the finest moments I have felt in a Chelsea shirt."

He added: "I know people want to see beautiful football, but to play for 50 minutes with 10 men and to be 2-0 down here and to perform like that, what spirit. Unbelievable."

The sending-off of Terry for a mindless knee in the back of Alexis Sanchez could have cost Chelsea dear.

The captain will now miss the final, along with Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles, who all picked up yellow cards on the night.

But Di Matteo refused to blame Terry for an indiscretion he only apologized for after seeing a damning television replay.

"He's fantastic leader of this group," Di Matteo said. "He's the captain of our club. Everybody can make a mistake in life. We're just so happy that this group has managed to go to the final."

"We're all human beings. We're under a lot of pressure as players."

SAPA

Comments
  • Clive - 2012-04-25 12:00

    I am no Chelsea fan, but to draw with the best club side in the world when down to ten men is a massive achievement, which ALL genuine soccer followers should admire.

      Keletso - 2012-04-25 12:11

      i never thought Chelsea will make it after John TERRY got red card and i'm glad they made to ten players after all. I'm the big fan of Chealsea...

      Topsy - 2012-04-25 14:33

      in 2010 they said barca were finally found out, when inter beat them . . . next year they won the CL yet again at wembley! nuf said!

      Ashish - 2012-04-26 08:13

      Chelsea we're lucky barca hit da post 4times there lucks bound to end at sum point

      Ashish - 2012-04-26 08:14

      Chelsea we're lucky barca hit da post 4times there lucks bound to end at sum point

  • Jay - 2012-04-25 12:11

    After his PENALTY miss, MESSI should be admitted to an ASYLUM too. Barcelona finally got "worked out". Their 'pinball machine'style of possession play was shut down by a very resolute 10 Men & Gary Cahill-less Chelsea. Let us not forget how much "NERVE was HELD" by Fernando Torres to score the death nail goal. The world were on the edge of their seats hoping and praying he DOES SCORE... and DID. Well played Chelsea, and well deserved.... Nobody will remember the 70% possession of Barca. What is better than 11 Barcelona Players ? 10 Chelsea Players... I Rest My Case

      Nathan - 2012-04-25 12:44

      Fair play to Chelsea and well done to them. As an Arsenal supporter obviously I hope they do not win in the final. Also Barca were not at their brilliant best last night, this has been coming for a while.

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2012-04-25 12:13

    "He's the captain of our club. Everybody can make a mistake in life." Yeah add that mistake to the court case for his alleged racism, sleeping with a team mates wife, missing a crucial penalty that cost his club the CL the last time they were in the final, the lying down after tackles feigning injury waiting for the ref to give the tackler a yellow card, the list of his mistakes are endless! Chelsea can be proud of their result but never proud of their skipper!

  • dirkiesmit - 2012-04-25 12:16

    It was just written in the stars. With all the luck Chelsea had and all the defending and the brave team spirit, they do deserve a place in the final. I am so proud to be a HUGE chelsea fan today. And it was spectacular football to watch, these goals and games are what dreams are made of. Lets hope tonight's game brings even more entertainment!

  • magomarele - 2012-04-25 12:25

    Breath-taking. The greatest I've ever watched and the most proudest moment as Chelsea fan. Nothing is impossible. When 90 minutes of football feels like a year, then you know you're up against devastating odds, but to come up on top, it's just priceless. Chelsea forever!

      Tyrone - 2012-04-25 12:32

      CFC 4 Life!!! i couldnt keep my eyes off the clock! Seemed like days! Great win!!

  • Keith - 2012-04-25 12:39

    To all the Chelsea nay-sayers I'm so happy today.We've shown to you all the character in the this Blues side.Its nice to be a Chelsea supporter.

  • Kagiso - 2012-04-25 13:31

    Goes to show that its not what you have that makes you succeed, its what you do with it that helps you succeed.... 10 men over 11...

  • Dale - 2012-04-25 13:43

    the CHELSEA BUS is going to Munich !!!! ha ha !!! awesome !!! C'Mon you Blues !!!

  • Willem - 2012-04-25 14:46

    To all the sour Barca fans out there, you don't win football matches with PASSES, you win them with GOALS hahahahaha

      zetzingane - 2012-04-26 20:55

      keep on fooling you self

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