LONDON: Chelsea got lucky and finished their home leg fixture with a 1-0 lead in the first leg of the Champions League semi final played at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The match started with Barcelona’s clear intention to win and it was Alexis Sanchez who hit the crossbar in the 9th minute. The visiting team would have scored in the 18th minute but it was Fabregas’ sloppy play that avoided Barcelona from getting a goal when the former Arsenal captain mistimed his kick from eight yards.
Barcelona continued their attack and it was Messi who came into action in the 28th minute with a strong towering header but was denied brilliantly by Petr Cech.
The Catalans continued their attack until Messi lost the ball in the 45th minute, leading to a counter attack by Chelsea. Ramires led the way and forwarded a low cross into the area and it was Drogba who converted it into a superb goal, much to the disorganization of the visiting team.
The rest of the match continued with Barcelona creating several chance but not able to convert it into a goal. With luck favoring the Blues, the visiting team’s 24 attempts on goal with their 79 percent possession did not help them clinch an away goal.
Chelsea have kept a good record against the Catalans, winning 4 (including this match) of the 7 matches played between the two sides. Messi’s record against Chelsea has been impressive, with the Argentinian not scoring one single time against the Blues.
Roberto Di Matteo’ s side will travel to Camp Nou next Wednesday with their thin advantage hoping to win the semi final but it would be difficult to snatch flesh(victory) from the Lion’s Den (Camp Nou).
Barcelona are still considered to win the semi final, but history says no team is immune from all forms of pressure. Barcelona know they can always out-pass Arsenal, or even Manchester United. Chelsea, though, have a talent for disrupting their syncopation, for dishing out a bit of pain of their own.