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Catalans crush Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Barcelona rallied to beat Chelsea 2-1 on Wednesday. In Germany, Bremen upset Juventus 3-2.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 13:08 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Barcelona rallied to beat 10-man Chelsea 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

A header by Samuel Eto'o in the 80th minute secured the round of 16, first-leg win for Barca at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea played a man down for 53 minutes after defender Asier del Horno was sent off for a body-check on Lionel Messi.

"This is only halftime— we have to keep on our toes and do to the business at home," Barcelona's substitute forward Henrik Larsson said.

"You have to be patient playing against 10 men, but we stayed calm and tried to come around the sides. But we kept out heads and tried to play our way."

In Germany, Werder Bremen upset Juventus 3-2 with an injury-time goal from Johan Micoud.

The other two matches ended in 2-2 draws— Ajax squandered a 2-0 lead at home to Inter Milan, and Villarreal conceded an 82nd-minute own-goal at Rangers.

Chelsea went ahead in the 59th minute when Barcelona midfielder Thiago Motta kneed Frank Lampard's free kick past his own goalkeeper.

Barcelona equalized in the 71st when a free kick from Ronaldinho flicked off Chelsea captain John Terry's head into his own net.

Eto'o headed the winner when he out-jumped Ricardo Carvahlo to meet a left-wing cross from Rafael Marquez on a counterattack.

"I'm very, very proud of my players, very proud them," said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who disagreed with the red card. "I think in difficult circumstances they played very well, with a lot of heart."

Chelsea beat Barcelona 4-2 at Stamford Bridge to win 5-4 on aggregate in last year's competition.

In Bremen, the German club scored in the 39th minute through Christian Schulz, who scored from a rebound off Miroslav Klose.

Pavel Nedved pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute and David Trezeguet put Juve ahead in the 82nd. Tim Borowski leveled in the 87th, before Micoud's late winner.

"I think this was a dreamlike performance by our team," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said. "There was constant movement by us, something was always going on out there."

Juventusare unbeaten in 16 matches to lead the Serie A. Bremen, nine points behind German league leader Bayern Munich, has never reached the Champions League quarterfinals.

In Amsterdam, Klaas Jan Huntelaar headed in a cross from Mauro Rosales to give Ajax the lead in the 16th minute. The 22-year-old, who was making his Champions League debut, is the Dutch league's top-scorer and netted four in Ajax's 6-0 win over RBC Roosendaal on Sunday.

Rosales made it 2-0 in the 20th minute on a cross by Urby Emanuelson. Inter went 2-1 ahead through Dejan Stankovic, whose shot deflected in off two Ajax defenders.

And Julio Ricardo Cruz then leveled from close range in the 86th on a cross from Matias Cambiasso.

"It's a very bitter pill— 2-1 would have been a better result, especially in a home game, but nothing's impossible," Ajax coach Danny Blind said.

Inter Milan won their two European titles in 1964 and '65. The last of Ajax's four titles was in 1995.

In Glasgow, Scotland, Villarreal playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, who had been out since January 22 with a thigh injury, scored with an eighth-minute penalty after Dado Prso had handled the ball.

Peter Lovenkrands leveled in the 22nd minute, beating Villarreal goalkeeper Sebastian Viera from the edge of the box. Diego Forlan restored Villarreal's lead in the 35th minute from a Rodriguez Gonzalo cross, but Juan Manuel Pena scored an own goal with eight minutes left.

Rangersare the first Scottish club to make it to the Champions League knockout phase. It's Villarreal's first time in the last 16.

"It's still not over. I think we have a good chance to go there and maybe surprise them," Lovenkrands said of the second leg on March 7.

On Tuesday, Thierry Henry scored in Arsenal's 1-0 upset win at Real Madrid, while AC Milan ended Bayern Munich's 15-match winning streak at home with a 1-1 draw. Defending champion Liverpool lost 1-0 at Benfica and Lyon won 1-0 at PSV Eindhoven.

The second legs are on March 7-8.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 13:08 IST