An element of luck was on hand to enable Chelsea eke out a memorable victory over Barcelona in the two sides' first leg Champions League Semifinal encounter at Stamford Bridge.
This is not to say Chelsea didn't earn their victory. They did.
It was their intelligence and restriction of space that kept Barcelona from scoring. But from the many glaring chances Barcelona created, the match could have ended with three goals to one in favor of Barcelona.
It is noteworthy that Chelsea's only goal came from their lone clear-cut chance. All in all, Chelsea must be commended for a disciplined performance. Now all they need to do is replicate this at Camp Nou in the second leg.
Here are the memorable events of the match.
First seven minutes: Total control of possession by Barcelona
Eighth minute: Fabrega's perfect and intelligent chip over Chelsea's last line of four from a Messi lay-off finds Alexis Sanchez who beats the offside trap. Alexis dinks the ball over Petr Čech but misses narrowly when the ball bounces off the crossbar.
10th minute: Chelsea's throwing, up right in the Barcelona first third, causes panic in the Barcelona area. Frantic attempt to clear the ball fails. A Chelsea player finally stabs the ball into touch.
16th minute: Lionel Messi weaves his first magic by a scything run into the heart of Chelsea defense and into their penalty area. Fabregas misses from the resultant lay-off.
18th minute: Another panic in the Barcelona penalty area as Ramires is almost through on goal.
19th minute: Fabregas executes a darting run of his own.
21st minute: Barcelona's first corner.
23rd minute: An Andre Iniesta magic along the Chelsea byline. He is bundled over, but the plausible penalty appeal, which Barcelona don't even make, is waved away.
25th minute: Barcelona begin to dominate in the Chelsea half, using the structural V.
27th minute: Messi heads on goal from a lopped ball by Busquets. Čech saves.
33rd minute: Barcelona corner, taken short. Drogba throws himself to the ground in the penalty area to earn Chelsea reprieve.
40th minute: Barcelona's third corner.
42nd minute: Barcelona almost scores, when Messi takes on the entire Chelsea defense again, passes to Fabregas who thinks he has scored, but Ashley Cole clears in the nick of time.
43rd minute fourth Barcelona corner
45 + 1: Goal Chelsea. Messi is dispossessed by Frank Lampard near the center-circle. He feeds Ramires a long ball down left, Ramires advances toward the Barcelona goal. Several Barcelona players track back frantically. Ramires passes just behind them and through to Drogba who drives low and fiercely into the Barcelona goal.
49th minute: Fifth Barcelona corner.
50th minute: An Adriano shot almost catches Čech by surprise. He parries away.
52nd minute: First Chelsea corner.
56th minute: A sweeping move by Barcelona ends with Fabregas lopping for Alexis Sanchez who is through on goal. He pauses briefly and picks his spot, but places wide.
57th minute: Another sweeping move by Barcelona is wasted when Dani Alves fires over.
61st minute: Messi takes on the entire Chelsea defense in an amazing run forward, only a last minute touch on the ball saves Chelsea.
64th minute: Another Messi run. He is hacked at on the way but escapes. It ends by his shot being deflected for corner. Messi is not happy with the tackles.
65th minute: Corner Barcelona.
69th minute: Ramires is yellow carded. Resultant free-kick is ballooned over by Xavi.
70th minute: Free kick Chelsea. Yellow card Pedro. John Terry heads wide.
There were many moments of magic from Barcelona's little Argentine during the course of the 90 minutes of the match. Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images.
76th minute: Another Barcelona free-kick goes to waste.
77th minute: Thiago comes on for Fabregas.
85th minute: Yellow card Drogba for foul on Messi.
86th minute: Barcelona almost scores from a Messi free-kick that is flicked on by Carlos Puyol. Čech saves at the last moment.
87th minute: Ramires subbed.
90th minute: Corner Barcelona.
92nd minute: Barcelona execute a well-coordinated move that ends with a Pedro shot off the post and with Busquets firing over.
93rd minute: Referee ends the game.
Chelsea have won.
It is a psychological victory as well. It could help them salvage the Premier League season. What's more, they could even pull off a Champions League semifinal upset over Barcelona, considering, of course, that they consolidate this victory at the Camp Nou.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!