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
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Badstuber faces more surgery

2014-09-15 05:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents

Sometimes honesty is not the best policy!

 
 

For chic geeks...

DuckTales theme song gets 'quacked-up'
7 things you didn't know about Apple
Apple's sneaky move
Facebook testing self-destruction posts
Fixtures
16 September 2014
Liverpool v Ludogorets Razgrad, Anfield 20:45
Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg, Estadio da Luz 20:45
Juventus v Malmö FF, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Olympiakos v Atlético de Madrid, Karaiskaki Stadium 20:45
Real Madrid v FC Basel, Santiago Bernabéu 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
Galatasaray v RSC Anderlecht, Türk Telekom Arena 20:45
17 September 2014
FC Bayern München v Manchester City, Allianz Arena 20:45
Ajax v Paris Saint Germain, Amsterdam ArenA 20:45
Barcelona v APOEL Nicosia, Camp Nou 20:45
FC Porto v BATE Borisov, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
NK Maribor v Sporting Lisbon, Ljudski Vrt 20:45
Roma v CSKA Moscow, Olimpico 20:45
Athletic Club v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Mamés 20:45
Chelsea v FC Schalke 04, Stamford Bridge 20:45
30 September 2014
CSKA Moscow v FC Bayern München, Arena Khimki 18:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Porto, Arena Lviv 20:45
BATE Borisov v Athletic Club, Borisov Arena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea, Estadio José Alvalade 20:45
Manchester City v Roma, Etihad Stadium 20:45
APOEL Nicosia v Ajax, GSP Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint Germain v Barcelona, Parc des Princes 20:45
FC Schalke 04 v NK Maribor, VELTINS-Arena 20:45
Logs
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
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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