News24

Chelsea hold off Barcelona

2012-04-18 22:47

London - Didier Drogba scored the only goal as Chelsea stunned holders Barcelona to score a 1-0 upset victory in their Champions League semi-final first-leg match here on Wednesday.

Drogba left Chelsea dreaming of advancing to their first final since 2008 in next week's return leg at Camp Nou after pouncing on the stroke of half-time as Barcelona suffered their first European reverse of the season.

Drogba's goal was Chelsea's only attempt on target in a match where Barcelona carved out chance after chance only to be denied by some desperate defending by their Premier League opponents.

"It's a good result. Now we will go there and try and qualify," said Drogba.

"I am happy to play these games. We have had difficult times, but now we are winning games. It was important to win this game."

Skipper John Terry said the performance was one of Chelsea's best in the tournament.

"We had to ve very patient. They are a great side and we had to work hard in midfield," said Terry.

"Didier gave a tireless performance up front on his own. He works like a Trojan.

"They will have plenty of opportunities next week but we have showed tonight that we are not in awe of them."

Chelsea had taken the lead in first-half injury-time after an opening 45 minutes in which they had been comprehensively outplayed by the visitors.

Frank Lampard released Ramires down the left flank with a superb cross-field pass and the Brazilian threaded his pass across the area to Drogba, who swept a low shot past scrambling Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Until then, Chelsea had been clinging on as Barcelona dominated for long periods with their customary slick passing game.

The Catalans might have taken the lead after only nine minutes when Andres Iniesta picked out Alexis Sanchez with a delightful chipped pass, only for the Chilean international's lob over Petr Cech to hit the bar.

Chelsea, who had opted for the muscular presence of Drogba in attack ahead of Fernando Torres, signalled their intentions early on, pumping a series of long balls forward for the Ivorian.

However, genuine chances for Chelsea were few and far between while at the other end Cech was working overtime in the face of a relentless Barca.

Cech had to be alert on 18 minutes after Lionel Messi darted into the box and cut back for Iniesta, whose fierce low shot was well saved by the Chelsea custodian before Cesc Fabregas scuffed his follow-up wide.

Fabregas tested Cech soon afterwards, his angled shot beaten away on 26 minutes.

Cech was pressed into action two minutes later, saving after Messi met a Sanchez cross with a downward header.

A goal seemed a certainty two minutes from the half-time when Messi won the ball in midfield and raced forwards menacingly.

The Argentinian threaded his pass through to Fabregas, who dinked his shot over the advancing Cech. The former Arsenal star's effort just appeared to be spinning in but Ashley Cole was on hand to hook the ball clear.

That appeared to be the final twist of the half until Drogba's dramatic strike shot Chelsea into the lead two minutes into time added on.

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea's goal was the cue for a sustained Barca onslaught after the break, yet the home side once again were able to frustrate the visitors despite their near-monopoly of possession.

Adriano was the first to test Chelsea again on 51 minutes, skipping over a challenge from Branislav Ivanovic and unleashing a venomous shot that Cech, diving at full stretch, parried to safety.

Moments later it was Messi's turn, advancing forwards only for his shot to be well blocked by Terry.

On 57 minutes Barcelona threatened again when Fabregas lofted a sublime pass into the area for Sanchez, but a desperate covering tackle from Cole was enough to unbalance the Chilean, who shot wide.

Barcelona continued to dominate but with Chelsea defending deep and in numbers, they were unable to find a breakthrough.

They came close to an equaliser on 87 minutes but once again Cech came to the rescue. Messi whipped in a low free-kick and Carles Puyol stooped to glance a header goalwards, only for Cech to dive and turn behind for a corner.

In stoppage time Pedro struck the woodwork and then Sergio Busquets blazed over as Chelsea hung on for a famous win.

AFP

Comments
  • takurian - 2012-04-18 22:56

    These Spanish teams are just overrated too much. It's done. Chelsea-Bayern final.

      Keith - 2012-04-19 00:07

      If you understand football very well you can see that that Barcelona outplayed Chelsea in every department it was just their finishing which let them down, but come to nou camp on Tuesday where the pitch is wide,open and big you will see what Barcelona are made off, I think the score line will be 4 0 to Barcelona and 4 1 in aggregate Mark my words.

      Keith - 2012-04-19 00:07

      If you understand football very well you can see that that Barcelona outplayed Chelsea in every department it was just their finishing which let them down, but come to nou camp on Tuesday where the pitch is wide,open and big you will see what Barcelona are made off, I think the score line will be 4 0 to Barcelona and 4 1 in aggregate Mark my words.

      Keith - 2012-04-19 00:07

      If you understand football very well you can see that that Barcelona outplayed Chelsea in every department it was just their finishing which let them down, but come to nou camp on Tuesday where the pitch is wide,open and big you will see what Barcelona are made off, I think the score line will be 4 0 to Barcelona and 4 1 in aggregate Mark my words.

      Sean - 2012-04-19 00:17

      @takurian - You are wrong ! Don`t forget , Bayern and Chelsea must still play away ! The only advantage these two teams have is that sat is the el clasico ! It is actually ridiculouse to play 3 big games in 7 days ! I personally hope for a Bayern vs Barcelona final :)

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:15

      @Topsy.. clearly u have no common sense.. take ur racist crap, and go smoke it! People like u THAT RUIN THE NAME OF FOOTBALL!!.. Instead of judging an individuals private life, focus on how they play ;) nosey parker!!!

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:15

      @Topsy.. clearly u have no common sense.. take ur racist crap, and go smoke it! People like u THAT RUIN THE NAME OF FOOTBALL!!.. Instead of judging an individuals private life, focus on how they play ;) nosey parker!!!

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:15

      @Topsy.. clearly u have no common sense.. take ur racist crap, and go smoke it! People like u THAT RUIN THE NAME OF FOOTBALL!!.. Instead of judging an individuals private life, focus on how they play ;) nosey parker!!!

      Diandra - 2012-04-19 09:35

      @topsy. well said. God knows how people can support terry who strayed from his marriage and racially abused so many others on the pitch! nou camp will be a nitemare for them dont worry! blues have no pedigree and just dont know how to win the cl

      Diandra - 2012-04-19 09:35

      @topsy. well said. God knows how people can support terry who strayed from his marriage and racially abused so many others on the pitch! nou camp will be a nitemare for them dont worry! blues have no pedigree and just dont know how to win the cl

      Diandra - 2012-04-19 09:35

      @topsy. well said. God knows how people can support terry who strayed from his marriage and racially abused so many others on the pitch! nou camp will be a nitemare for them dont worry! blues have no pedigree and just dont know how to win the cl

      Shivaskar - 2012-04-19 09:42

      1 goal lead with one leg to play and you'll already talking about the final. Come on. Stop getting ahead of yourselves. Chelsea would make the final 'O so boring!' with their defensive play (typical of most EPL teams, England in World Cups and Euro). Barcelona will come good in the 2nd leg. Bayern or Real would be entertaining in the final, more attacking, playing for the win.

      Shivaskar - 2012-04-19 09:42

      1 goal lead with one leg to play and you'll already talking about the final. Come on. Stop getting ahead of yourselves. Chelsea would make the final 'O so boring!' with their defensive play (typical of most EPL teams, England in World Cups and Euro). Barcelona will come good in the 2nd leg. Bayern or Real would be entertaining in the final, more attacking, playing for the win.

      Shivaskar - 2012-04-19 09:42

      1 goal lead with one leg to play and you'll already talking about the final. Come on. Stop getting ahead of yourselves. Chelsea would make the final 'O so boring!' with their defensive play (typical of most EPL teams, England in World Cups and Euro). Barcelona will come good in the 2nd leg. Bayern or Real would be entertaining in the final, more attacking, playing for the win.

  • Kirstin - 2012-04-18 23:11

    Dhirshan where are you now, well done to the old boys in blue

      Sean - 2012-04-19 00:18

      Take my hat off to Drogba !

      Sean - 2012-04-19 00:18

      Take my hat off to Drogba !

      Sean - 2012-04-19 00:18

      Take my hat off to Drogba !

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:14

      bt dhirshan u said chelsea would get hammered... guess "uncle drogba" didnt do too bad... if i recall i even said "drogba to score".... only half time but i will take the one nil won ugly but WON... and think the chelsea old guard flipped everyone who didnt give them a chance even at the bridge the bird!!!

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:14

      bt dhirshan u said chelsea would get hammered... guess "uncle drogba" didnt do too bad... if i recall i even said "drogba to score".... only half time but i will take the one nil won ugly but WON... and think the chelsea old guard flipped everyone who didnt give them a chance even at the bridge the bird!!!

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:14

      bt dhirshan u said chelsea would get hammered... guess "uncle drogba" didnt do too bad... if i recall i even said "drogba to score".... only half time but i will take the one nil won ugly but WON... and think the chelsea old guard flipped everyone who didnt give them a chance even at the bridge the bird!!!

      Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 08:16

      lolyou guys are sticking it to me hey! didn't go awol mates. but i do have 2 words for you . . . 'nou camp'. @sean, why did drogba keep falling like a bowling pin?

      Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 08:16

      lolyou guys are sticking it to me hey! didn't go awol mates. but i do have 2 words for you . . . 'nou camp'. @sean, why did drogba keep falling like a bowling pin?

      Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 08:16

      lolyou guys are sticking it to me hey! didn't go awol mates. but i do have 2 words for you . . . 'nou camp'. @sean, why did drogba keep falling like a bowling pin?

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:21

      oh now its nou camp dhirshan? ok more egg on the face next week mate! i cant wait!! *mouth watering*

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:21

      oh now its nou camp dhirshan? ok more egg on the face next week mate! i cant wait!! *mouth watering*

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:21

      oh now its nou camp dhirshan? ok more egg on the face next week mate! i cant wait!! *mouth watering*

      Nirosha - 2012-04-19 09:33

      Drogba - master tactician.

      Nirosha - 2012-04-19 09:33

      Drogba - master tactician.

      Nirosha - 2012-04-19 09:33

      Drogba - master tactician.

      Hanre - 2012-04-19 17:45

      I have waited the whole day to come on news 24 and read Dhirshan's response to last night's victory... you are something dude. Let's be honest, If Barca scored the away goal last night we would have been screwed, BUT they didn't. The score at the Nou Camp will be 2-1 in favour of Barca, but guess what Dhirshan? We will still be going to the finals! Chelsea!! Chelsea!! Chelsea!!

      Hanre - 2012-04-19 17:45

      I have waited the whole day to come on news 24 and read Dhirshan's response to last night's victory... you are something dude. Let's be honest, If Barca scored the away goal last night we would have been screwed, BUT they didn't. The score at the Nou Camp will be 2-1 in favour of Barca, but guess what Dhirshan? We will still be going to the finals! Chelsea!! Chelsea!! Chelsea!!

      Hanre - 2012-04-19 17:48

      Drogba was falling like a pin all in the name of tactics... slowing the game down, frustrating Barcelona (which worked). It wasn't prettty, but a win is a win!

      Hanre - 2012-04-19 17:48

      Drogba was falling like a pin all in the name of tactics... slowing the game down, frustrating Barcelona (which worked). It wasn't prettty, but a win is a win!

  • Frank - 2012-04-18 23:26

    Congrats to Chelsea and their fans. However, as a Barca fan, im not worried by this loss at all. Chelsea might have won by that lucky goal but we outplayed them and we were unlucky not to have scored a goal. Chelsea knows that they wont make at Camp Nou. My mind is focused on the final between Barca and Madrid

  • Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 00:15

    @kirsten, i am here. i wont hide like other fans when their team loses, like united fans after the 2009 and 2011 final. no problem, camp nou awaits for chelsea! every champion has an off day. @takurian, spanish teams overrated? 5 of the remaining 8 teams in champs and europa league are spanish! drogba-what a great actor though! please audition for isidingo . . .

      Gunner - 2012-04-19 10:07

      @ Dhirs. Not an off day. I think many predicted including yourself that Chelsea will get something from this game at home. Away game will be tough though...still feel Barca is favourite to go through. One can never say, an away goal by Chelsea may lead to a very interesting game. Lets hope the ref doesnt have the final say like the one that handled the Gunners game in Nou camp.

      Gunner - 2012-04-19 10:07

      @ Dhirs. Not an off day. I think many predicted including yourself that Chelsea will get something from this game at home. Away game will be tough though...still feel Barca is favourite to go through. One can never say, an away goal by Chelsea may lead to a very interesting game. Lets hope the ref doesnt have the final say like the one that handled the Gunners game in Nou camp.

  • Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 00:15

    @kirsten, i am here. i wont hide like other fans when their team loses, like united fans after the 2009 and 2011 final. no problem, camp nou awaits for chelsea! every champion has an off day. @takurian, spanish teams overrated? 5 of the remaining 8 teams in champs and europa league are spanish! drogba-what a great actor though! please audition for isidingo . . .

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:25

      Lol very well said, I'll neva watch eng soka, wat a load of crap

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:25

      Lol very well said, I'll neva watch eng soka, wat a load of crap

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:25

      Lol very well said, I'll neva watch eng soka, wat a load of crap

  • Nickwill - 2012-04-19 06:23

    0verrated bunch of spanish crybaby ref favourites *bbmangryface* they never play at home in a Uefa 1st leg! Well done the blue old age home boys! Di Matteo consult Mourinho :)

  • moses.ndlovu - 2012-04-19 07:18

    Up the boys in Blue wishing for a Cheslea and Real Madrid final. The 2nd leg will be a draw in Spain, Barca is out.

  • Sharmilen - 2012-04-19 07:52

    Dhirshan why do you have to make comments with no substance..................United fans do not hide after defeats...if you have been in contact with some of them they are obviously "fly by nights" which every team has. I am an ardent Man Utd fan for almost 30 years and support them through wins, draws and losses (even if it's an embarrassing loss), tragedies and triumphs. From your previous comments you seem quite an intelligent person so don't go and ruin it with silly comments like that.........cos then you risk sounding thick or uniformed!! I agree with you that Chelsea will have a battle on their hands at Camp Nou and I can see Barca progressing..hopefully against Bayern!

      Topsy - 2012-04-19 08:00

      hi, how are you? how is bilbao and basel doing?

      Topsy - 2012-04-19 08:00

      hi, how are you? how is bilbao and basel doing?

      Topsy - 2012-04-19 08:00

      hi, how are you? how is bilbao and basel doing?

      Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 08:12

      cant we all just get along? lol ok mate, if you say you a fan for 30 years then you are no glory hunter. just do me favor and beat man city for the title . . . i would hate to see a manufactured champion like them! who do you think will succeed fergie?

      Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 08:12

      cant we all just get along? lol ok mate, if you say you a fan for 30 years then you are no glory hunter. just do me favor and beat man city for the title . . . i would hate to see a manufactured champion like them! who do you think will succeed fergie?

      Dhirshan - 2012-04-19 08:12

      cant we all just get along? lol ok mate, if you say you a fan for 30 years then you are no glory hunter. just do me favor and beat man city for the title . . . i would hate to see a manufactured champion like them! who do you think will succeed fergie?

  • Niel - 2012-04-19 07:56

    For once, for ONCE, the ref did not help barca by some rediculous call. There are a few ways to play teams, and Chelsea were tactically superb. We were physical and patient, and awaited our shot. Please tell me what was lucky about that goal. It was pure class, from beginning to end. Messi can't play against Chelsea. No goals in seven games! As for the Camp, we need one goal, then Barca needs three. Tactic will be the same. Without Barca cheating like a few years back (and every other season after that), I can see it happening. CFC.

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:19

      niel nice comment and yea was tactical genius all chelsea needed was one goal 2 would have been better but chelsea were never going to outplay the best team in the world... but beat them? oh yes we beat them... and nothing lucky bout that goal was a great goal... ball lost by messi might i add... chelsea will have to work hard at nou camp but victory is in sight with a little bit of hard work!

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:19

      niel nice comment and yea was tactical genius all chelsea needed was one goal 2 would have been better but chelsea were never going to outplay the best team in the world... but beat them? oh yes we beat them... and nothing lucky bout that goal was a great goal... ball lost by messi might i add... chelsea will have to work hard at nou camp but victory is in sight with a little bit of hard work!

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:19

      niel nice comment and yea was tactical genius all chelsea needed was one goal 2 would have been better but chelsea were never going to outplay the best team in the world... but beat them? oh yes we beat them... and nothing lucky bout that goal was a great goal... ball lost by messi might i add... chelsea will have to work hard at nou camp but victory is in sight with a little bit of hard work!

  • Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:12

    U twats all underestimate chelsea.. as a blues fan I AM PROUD that we shut u up!!. Never judge a book by its cover! oh and might i remind u barca fans that 1 goal next week will pressure barca to score 3 goals.. come at us!! Our defense is 1st class! Chelsea - Bayern FINAL!! :D :D

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:19

      Omw u live in sa nt uk so stop having such pride 4a side uve neva even once see play live, seriously nw gt a grip

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:19

      Omw u live in sa nt uk so stop having such pride 4a side uve neva even once see play live, seriously nw gt a grip

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:19

      Omw u live in sa nt uk so stop having such pride 4a side uve neva even once see play live, seriously nw gt a grip

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:23

      i lived in England 2 years ago.,, and yes as a blues fan i did go and see them @ the bridge.. so shut up :) hope u feel like a douchebag right now.,.

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:23

      i lived in England 2 years ago.,, and yes as a blues fan i did go and see them @ the bridge.. so shut up :) hope u feel like a douchebag right now.,.

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:23

      i lived in England 2 years ago.,, and yes as a blues fan i did go and see them @ the bridge.. so shut up :) hope u feel like a douchebag right now.,.

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:24

      abee how do u know we have never seen them play? in fact i have watched them at stamford bridge, and ppl may support whom ever they want, i think its a right of theirs... #assumption

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:24

      abee how do u know we have never seen them play? in fact i have watched them at stamford bridge, and ppl may support whom ever they want, i think its a right of theirs... #assumption

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:24

      abee how do u know we have never seen them play? in fact i have watched them at stamford bridge, and ppl may support whom ever they want, i think its a right of theirs... #assumption

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:33

      ok abee, cos u like "bmw's" why not eff off to germany? what a ridiculous comment, lol and what exactly do u kno bout football? prob only how to blow a vuvuzela cos we all talking bout the match and u chasing us overseas... wow... really? #someppl

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:33

      ok abee, cos u like "bmw's" why not eff off to germany? what a ridiculous comment, lol and what exactly do u kno bout football? prob only how to blow a vuvuzela cos we all talking bout the match and u chasing us overseas... wow... really? #someppl

      Mikewright85 - 2012-04-19 08:33

      ok abee, cos u like "bmw's" why not eff off to germany? what a ridiculous comment, lol and what exactly do u kno bout football? prob only how to blow a vuvuzela cos we all talking bout the match and u chasing us overseas... wow... really? #someppl

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:37

      @mikewright85- Clearly Abee needs to 'get a grip' lol!!.. Abee, u only digging urself a hole here.. face the facts that Chelsea gave u a run for ur money by beating barca.!.. #blues.

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:37

      @mikewright85- Clearly Abee needs to 'get a grip' lol!!.. Abee, u only digging urself a hole here.. face the facts that Chelsea gave u a run for ur money by beating barca.!.. #blues.

      Soraya - 2012-04-19 08:37

      @mikewright85- Clearly Abee needs to 'get a grip' lol!!.. Abee, u only digging urself a hole here.. face the facts that Chelsea gave u a run for ur money by beating barca.!.. #blues.

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:38

      Yawn

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:38

      Yawn

      Abee - 2012-04-19 08:38

      Yawn

  • Cosmas - 2012-04-19 08:38

    Chelsea will be clobbered 3-0 at the Nou camp next week!

      Songezo - 2012-04-19 13:01

      In ur dreams pal, chelsea r da best team in the world defensively, barca nid a miracle to win nw, or a refree in their pocket.

      Songezo - 2012-04-19 13:01

      In ur dreams pal, chelsea r da best team in the world defensively, barca nid a miracle to win nw, or a refree in their pocket.

      Gunner - 2012-04-20 07:21

      Possibly

      Gunner - 2012-04-20 07:21

      Possibly

  • tshianeoisaac - 2012-04-19 08:39

    Chelsea it is not yet done until we meet again , 3 goal is nothing to us, as u know at home is were messi and ref take advantage

  • sikho.mali1 - 2012-04-19 09:19

    Well done Chelsea!!!!!!!!!Yes yes yes

  • Nirosha - 2012-04-19 09:22

    Chelsea - win is a win, They did the unbelievable, scored and then defended rigorously. Yes at times it was a bit hilarious, but what will be remembered is that they won and thats all that counts. They will WIN again next week and take the title.

  • Sharmilen - 2012-04-19 09:43

    Hey Dhirshan it's okay mate....just need to keep ourselves level headed and not bash clubs and fans by generalizing. Believe me..we are hell bent on retaining the title.......that would heal the 6-1 wounds and local pride..Number 20 we call it and there will be may reasons to celebrate. Fergie's successor...good question. I think the question is...is he prepared to retire and when....the man's got so much drive and ambition it amazes me!

  • howard.komati - 2012-04-19 09:45

    Chelsea played well bt i dnt see them advancing to the next round cos Barcelona wil cum out wth guns blazing.

      Songezo - 2012-04-19 12:57

      Guns blazing? Dude wt weed r u smokin. Barca r clueless against chelsea. Hvnt won in 6 games nw n countiog

      Songezo - 2012-04-19 12:57

      Guns blazing? Dude wt weed r u smokin. Barca r clueless against chelsea. Hvnt won in 6 games nw n countiog

  • Sharmilen - 2012-04-19 09:53

    Topsy...with a name like that....how do you expect people to take you seriously? Am doing fine...just looking forward to title Number 20...which you are of course not looking forward to. You remind of an agitated moth that's attracted to a light....the way you keep popping up with your senseless comments. Oh sorry...I almost forgot please take this to a person that can explain it to you as your intellectual level does not allow you to understand simple English. Have a nice day....and do consider changing your name...apart from the team you support...you name is also a joke!!!

  • Leon - 2012-04-19 10:35

    Barca outshined by Chelsea

  • Leon - 2012-04-19 10:35

    Barca outshined by Chelsea

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