Champions League: Chelsea Pay Price for Profligacy, not Poor Refereeing

Yahya RisasCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea argues with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on May 6, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The unsavoury scenes at the end of the Chelsea, Barcelona clash at Stamford bridge will forever be remembered vividly by many a football fan, for a long time to come.


It was absolutely disgraceful and disgusting listening to Drogba’s foul-mouthed television tirade and watching Ballack remonstrate with the referee.


Football is a sport where there must be a winner and loser at some point. The fact that Chelsea didn’t lose to Barcelona over the two legs and still were dumped out of the champions’ league is due to the complexity of the away goals rule that UEFA enacted.


Many people have called for video technology in the beautiful game, and FIFA have rightly refused to sanction such interventions.


It’s a game made more fascinating by the human error element.


Just imagine if Football was like cricket where the umpire has to see television replays to make decisions or Tennis where a player is given an opportunity to challenge a decision, would we witness scenes as ludicrous as those from Stamford Bridge or the now infamous emotional breakdown of Gallas at the end of the Arsenal, Birmingham game last season.


Referees are part of the game, so a margin of error is expected, not that I believe Tom Henning Ovrebo’s performance was behind Chelsea’s elimination.


Chelsea had enough guilt edged chances to kill off the tie, but they failed to put away even one and got their goal through a moment of Zidane like brilliance from Essien.


If Drogba had put away the chance gifted to him after Rafael Marquez’s slip at the camp Nou, or put away one of the chances that were easily presented to him by the make shift Barcelona defence of Yaya Toure at Stamford Bridge, then Barcelona would have found it very difficult to break down the Chelsea machine and a repeat of last year’s final would be on the cards.


As far as I am concerned the referee made few mistakes notably Pique’s hand ball and Abidal’s red card, with ten men, Barcelona were vulnerable, yet Chelsea didn’t make their extra man count by bossing the midfield and keeping possession of the ball.


For the master motivator that Hiddink is, he came short on tactics, why on earth do you substitute a striker for defender cum midfielder when Barcelona are down to ten and looking for the equaliser hence vulnerable at the back?


It’s a question that he only can answer, but wait a minute; he also blames a certain Mr. Tom Henning Ovrebo for his tactical errors, how ridiculous.


If Iniesta hadn’t scored that injury time equaliser, then none of the Chelsea players and staff would be castigating Mr Ovrebo, just like at emirates on Tuesday night, the only ramification of a supposedly poor refereeing decision is that Darren Fletcher is suspended for the final, not that many Man united fans care that much.


For the neutrals, it’s the dream final, refereeing mistakes or not, it should be a thrilling encounter with two of this generation’s greatest players in Messi and Cristiano on show.