Up until the 84th minute, the 2nd leg between Chelsea and Benfica was a fairly lackluster one. However, an unmarked Javi Garcia headed the ball past Petr Cech to cause sudden panic amongst Chelsea fans.
This anxiety was short-lived though, a net-breaking strike and a very smug dance from Raul Meireles followed, successfully securing a semi-final pairing with the worlds greatest.
Secretly envious Arsenal and Tottenham fans will be sniggering at the prospect of Lionel and his chums possibly causing mayhem at the Bridge.
I can’t see it happening.
You may argue that we’re not the team we used to be, but we have never failed to give the Spanish giants a tough time and our recent run of form sheds a little light on what would have more likely been a catastrophic tie if AVB was still at the helm.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was completely angered after their controversial Champions League exit mid-week.
I’m just disgusted, they are the best team in the world but at 1-1 and, playing with intelligence, you can do something. I understand better why Mourinho gets upset every time he plays here – in my opinion it was not fair.
Due to a traumatic experience of mine, I completely agree with Zlatan.
Does anyone remember Tom Ovrebo?
He was the corrupt official in charge of the Semi-Final tie between Chelsea and Barcelona 3 years ago.
The first leg at the Nou Camp ended in a 0-0 draw.
The second leg at Stamford Bridge goes down as one of the worst days of my life.
Michael Essien opened the scoring with a spectacular volley from the edge of the box to give the Blues the upper hand.
Then came the first of Ovrebo’s many disgusting decisions as Florent Malouda was clearly pulled down inside the box and a free-kick was given, much to the anger of the Chelsea fans.
Next, Drogba was yanked to the ground by Abidal after racing through the Barcelona defence and into the path of Victor Valdes. No penalty was given.
It got worse shortly after as Anelka was thrown to the ground inside the penalty area. Again nothing was given.
Cries of injustice got even louder after this, Gerard Pique showed off his volley-ball skills with a clear hand-ball after Nicolas Anelka attempted to flick the ball past him. No penalty was given again.
After 4 clear penalties were not awarded, Andres Iniesta’s shot from the edge of the box flew over Petr Cech and rolled down the net in stoppage time, cruelly knocking us out on away goals. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was horrific.
I left the ground immediately, much to the frustration of the over-ambitious fool sitting next to me.
“Keep Believing! Keep Believing!” He cried.
“Bore off weirdo.” I mumbled as I brushed the village idiot aside.
It came to my attention later that Ovrebo had time to slip in another clanger when Samuel Eto’o gave Victor Valdes a run for his money, blocking Michael Ballack’s shot with his arm. No penalty was given as the appeal count hit 5.
I became increasingly suspicious when the referee ran away from an up-front Michael Ballack screaming and waving his arms around furiously. He resembled a very guilty man. Match fixing? I wouldn’t bet against it. Surely Ballack’s over the top (but justified) protests would normally be deserving of a yellow card.
This game was definitely added to the ‘Worst Day of My Life’ list. I can still remember the commentator’s exact words as Iniesta ran off in jubilation.
And the Chelsea fans cover their eyes in horror!
This quote was a huge under-statement on my behalf.
In this upcoming tie we’re obviously ranked outsiders, but it would be amazing if we could get some revenge on the team that robbed us of a back to back European Cup Final.
We almost threw all our chances of finishing in the top four away yesterday though, Wigan could have easily won the game if it wasn’t for some bad decisions from the linesman. It’s incredibly cheeky of me after my rant about Tom Ovrebo, but we were due to be on the good side of some awful officiating for once.
3 points were the priority, though if Torres’ volley went in victory would have just been that little bit sweeter.
A trip around the corner to the Craven Cottage is next and it won’t be easy, especially if we play like we did on Saturday. Of course I’m fully positive about every game we’re entering at the moment though, as Di Matteo has restored hope in what was a zombie of a team.
It’s unlikely, but if Roberto can pull off a phenomenal victory over 2-legs against Barcelona, I would make him favourite for the job.
Lionel, be scared.
Oliver Salt [twitter - @olliesalt]