Pain in Spain for Chelsea and Rangers
Barca and Villarreal were winners of drawn encounters while the Old Lady (Juventus) smiled in dying minutes.india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 18:40 IST
Barcelona emerged triumphant from an epic struggle against Chelsea on Tuesday as Frank Rijkaard's men avenged last season's loss to Jose Mourinho's side to seal a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
A superb, individual goal from World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho 12 minutes from time broke the deadlock in the Nou Camp and put Barca 3-1 ahead on aggregate.
The English champions saved themselves from defeat on the night when a Frank Lampard penalty with the last kick of the game made the score 1-1— but 3-2 to Barcelona on aggregate.
Villarreal completed a winning Spanish double over British opposition by beating Rangers on away goals to take their place in the last eight of their first Champions League campaign.
The teams drew 2-2 in Glasgow two weeks ago and Tuesday's match finished 1-1 to see Villarreal advance.
Peter Lovenkrands put Rangers ahead after 12 minutes but Rodolf Arruabarrena equalised in the 49th and with no further goals, Villarreal, who began the competition in the qualifying stages back in August, ended the night victorious.
However, it did not pass of without trouble.
A window in the Villarreal team bus was broken when Scottish fans threw bottles and shouted insults as the players approached the Madrigal stadium and Spanish police arrested eight Britons in Benidorm following violence before the match started.
Reports said groups of Scottish fans hurled stones, bottles and glass at police.
Italian giants Juventus also made it through to the last eight on the away goals rule, helped on their way by a fortunate late goal that gave them a 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen and the slim advantage after a final 4-4 aggregate scoreline.
Werder won the first leg 3-2 in Bremen and went 4-2 ahead on aggregate when Frenchman Johan Micoud struck early in the game.
But Juve battled back to score through David Trezeguet and Emerson, who slotted the ball into the empty net in the dying minutes after German keeper Tim Wiese fumbled a harmless-looking cross with just two minutes to play.
A bemused Wiese said afterwards: "It's just insane that that happened. It's unbelievable. But it happened and I have to move on. I wanted to make sure I had the ball tucked in securely and then...
"Something like that will never happen again for the rest of my life. What can I say? It was a very stupid thing. I have to sleep over this and try to keep doing a good job."
Emerson said afterwards if it not been for a shout from team mate Fabio Cannavaro he would not have scored.
The ball Wiese dropped was rolling out towards the Brazilian who was walking away from the penalty area and did not see it.
Emerson recalled: "It was Fabio that alerted me, he shouted `Puma', `Puma' and I just drove it in," said Emerson, referring to his nickname.
"It was luck but luck that we deserved," he added.
After weeks of media hype and with the controversy of last year's match at the Nou Camp still fresh in the mind, Barcelona's clash with Chelsea was eagerly awaited by fans of both clubs and neutrals across the world.
In the event, and with UEFA warning both clubs they would be closely watching for any misdemeanours, the match passed off without any noticeable controversy on the field.
Barca dominated for long periods and played some excellent football despite losing Argentine winger Lionel Messi early on while Chelsea defended well and looked dangerous on the break but failed to seriously trouble the home defence too often.
Then with the clock running down and Barca content to see out the 90 minutes without either side scoring, Ronaldinho cut through the centre of Chelsea's defence, fending off a strong challenge from John Terry to shoot low and hard past Petr Cech.
Lampard equalised from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Terry went down in the area but the Spanish champions and title favourites avenged their defeat by the London side at the same stage last season, when Chelsea won 5-4 on aggregate.
Four second leg ties in the first knockout round will be played on Wednesday with Arsenal facing Real Madrid, AC Milan hosting Bayern Munich, Olympique Lyon at home to PSV Eindhoven and European champions Liverpool entertaining Benfica.
Inter Milan play Ajax Amsterdam in the remaining tie next week when the final eight chasing a place in this season's final in Paris on May 17 will be known.
First Published: Mar 08, 2006 10:32 IST