Chelsea vs. Barcelona: Fate Shines Kindly on Blues at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea beat Barcelona in the first leg of the semifinal, and the hopes to feature in the Champions League final are at an all-time high at Stamford Bridge.
Any Chelsea fans invested in Wednesday night's first-leg clash may have lost about 10 years off their lives, because there were far too many stressful moments to count.
Barcelona had their chances, but the ball seemed disinterested in finding the net for the Spanish giants. In the end, a tremendous opportunity to pull even fell flat, and Chelsea escaped with the result, 1-0.
All eyes are on the all-important second leg at the Camp Nou which will no doubt be rocking from start to finish.
Chelsea played on a razor's edge all game, if not for timely defense and inspired marking from Gary Cahill, they may in fact be headed to Barcelona well into the hole.
Instead, they did what many could not and held the Catalans scoreless to take an aggregate advantage to April 24th's showdown.
The match was spirited from the start, but the close of both halves told the story.
Who will move onto Champions League Final?
The game's only goal came in extra time in the first half. Frank Lampard sent a picture-perfect pass to the left side, corralled beautifully by Ramires.
Barcelona's defense collapsed on the Brazilian perfectly, and it seemed only a perfectly placed shot would find the net. Ramires opted for a magically placed cross to Didier Drogba who took time from laying on the pitch to hit one home.
Stamford Bridge was alive and so are their Chelsea side, at least for the moment.
Next comes a grudge match that will feature just as many chances for Barcelona, with even less hope of staving them off from success.
Roberto Di Matteo may issue that it's better to be lucky than good, because fate was extremely kind on his team that can play haphazardly in the back line.
The 1-0 aggregate is hardly a cushion going forward—and more of a necessary result if Chelsea hopes to pull off the improbable finals run to Allianz Arena.
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