Champions League

British press hail Chelsea

2012-04-25 11:26
Members of the Chelsea squad celebrate after beating Barcelona. (AFP)

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."

Read more on:    champions league  |  fernando torres  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
20 October 2015
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Roma, BayArena 20:45
BATE Borisov v Barcelona, Borisov Arena 20:45
Arsenal v FC Bayern Munchen, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Porto v Maccabi Tel Aviv, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Olympiakos, Maksimir 20:45
Valencia CF v KAA Gent, Mestalla 20:45
Zenit St Petersburg v Lyon, Petrovski Stadium 20:45
21 October 2015
CSKA Moscow v Manchester United, Arena Khimki 20:45
Manchester City v Sevilla, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Juventus v Borussia Monchengladbach, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 20:45
Malmo FF v Shakhtar Donetsk, Swedbank Stadion 20:45
Galatasaray v Benfica, Turk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atletico de Madrid v FC Astana, Vicente Calderon 20:45
VfL Wolfsburg v PSV, Volkswagen Arena 20:45
03 November 2015
FC Astana v Atletico de Madrid, Astana Arena 17:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Malmo FF, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Juventus, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Galatasaray, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow, Old Trafford 21:45
PSV v VfL Wolfsburg, Philips Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Manchester City, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
04 November 2015
FC Bayern Munchen v Arsenal, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v FC Porto, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v BATE Borisov, Camp Nou 21:45
Olympiakos v Dinamo Zagreb, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium 21:45
KAA Gent v Valencia CF, Ghelamco Arena 21:45
Roma v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Olimpico 21:45
Lyon v Zenit St Petersburg, Stade de Gerland 21:45
Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv, Stamford Bridge 21:45
24 November 2015
BATE Borisov v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borisov Arena 19:00
Zenit St Petersburg v Valencia CF, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
FC Bayern Munchen v Olympiakos, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v Chelsea, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v Roma, Camp Nou 21:45
Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb, Emirates Stadium 21:45
FC Porto v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Lyon v KAA Gent, Stade de Gerland 21:45
25 November 2015
FC Astana v Benfica, Astana Arena 17:00
CSKA Moscow v VfL Wolfsburg, Arena Khimki 19:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Sevilla, Borussia-Park 21:45
Juventus v Manchester City, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v PSV, Old Trafford 21:45
Malmo FF v Paris Saint-Germain, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
Atletico de Madrid v Galatasaray, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.