Camp Blue takes over Barcelona
A heroic Chelsea survived the dismissal of captain John Terry and a Lionel Messi missed penalty to eliminate holders Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate and secure a place in the Champions League final after an action-packed clash on Tuesday.Updated: Apr 26, 2012 02:42 IST
The semis second leg at the Nou Camp ended 2-2 and burst into life towards the end of the first half when Sergio Busquets put Barca ahead, Terry was sent off for kneeing the leg of Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta made it 2-0.Barca looked in total control but were rocked when Frank Lampard sent Ramires clear in first-half added time and the Chelsea midfielder lifted the ball brilliantly over the onrushing Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes into the empty net.
Barca squandered a chance to make it 3-1 early in the second half when the referee awarded a penalty for a Didier Drogba foul on Cesc Fabregas and Messi, who was denied by a post late on, crashed his spot kick against the crossbar.
Fernando Torres, who has a great record against Barca despite misfiring so many times for the Premier League side, then netted for Chelsea in stoppage time after being clear on goal.
Chelsea's triumph is all the more remarkable given they sacked coach Andre Villas-Boas last month and Roberto Di Matteo is only caretaker manager. They lie sixth in the EPL.
"We've done it. We scored an away goal and I think that was the key," goalkeeper Petr Cech said. "What can I say. We scored goals and fought for 90 minutes. We were down to 10 men and down 2-1, but I think it's fantastic what we've done."
Barca's elimination is a fresh setback for Pep Guardiola's side after they lost last week's first leg in London 1-0 and crashed to a 2-1 La Liga reverse at home to bitter rivals Real Madrid on Saturday. Real are favourites for La Liga glory.
Chelsea will play Real or Bayern Munich in the May 19 final. Bayern lead 2-1 from last week's first leg. The match is scheduled late on Wednesday.
First Published: Apr 26, 2012 01:37 IST