It was a night that left the footballing world speechless.
2 goals down to the best team in the world with 10 men, Champions League final fantasies were dead.
The headlines were being written before we could speak.
“Chelsea humiliated in the Nou Camp”
“A night to forget for Chelsea fans”
This was not the case.
An exquisite chip from Ramires on the stroke of half time, a phenomenal defensive effort, an extremely rare penalty miss from the best the world can offer and a just as rare Fernando Torres goal were the components of a Chelsea masterclass that booked a dream trip to Munich.
Gary Neville was clearly one of those stunned by El Nino’s late strike, his legendary piece of commentating added to an absolutely flabbergasting night of Champions League football.
Chelsea fingernails were tormented, 1 deadly Barcelona goal in the latter stages would have cruelly signaled game over and it had happened before.
Barcelona know how to break our hearts.
Heartbreak is a word often associated with the Champions League for Chelsea, and I feared the worst when Messi and co. cranked up the pressure late on. As the game reached the 85th minute, I buckled.
The tension was killing me, so I switched over in panic to the Syndicate on BBC1.
This strategy failed to evict any anxiety. Nothing at that moment in time could have possibly relieved me of my substantial amount of nerves as I continuously paced up and down my living room, counting down the minutes.
As my mind boggled with what could be happening over on Sky Sports 1, my Dad adopted a different approach. He decided he would rather close our kitchen door and watch the game out there without me knowing.
Time was running slower than Gareth Barry, when suddenly I heard a cry coming from the kitchen.
“HE’S IN! HE’S IN!”
The numbers 401 were tapped in on my remote faster than a shooting meteorite, and the sight of Torres stroking the ball into an empty net ejected every single nerve in my body. My living room almost erupted. We did it.
After such an incredible hype, I was sunk back down to earth. Being a Chelsea fan can never ensure 100% euphoria.
John Terry’s moment of absurdity rules him out of the final along with Raul Meireles, Ramires and the sympathised Branislav Ivanovic.
Brani had just completed a superb defensive duty that earned Chelsea victory against the European Champions against all the odds, he was absolutely buzzing. Unfortunately for him though, he had completely forgotten about the booking that rules him out of the final.
Geoff Shreeves took the role of the Grim Reaper, as he licked his lips and spitefully leapt at the opportunity to break his heart and embarrass him live on TV.
He knew the poor Serbian was completely unaware about his suspension and heartlessly reminded him in the post-match interview.
When the works broke to Ivanovic, you could tell he had a lump in his throat.
His dream had just been shattered. It wasn’t a surprise to see him walk out of the interview early.
It was so malicious and completely unnecessary for Shreeves to do this, and it left me feeling a little bit down-hearted knowing that someone’s life-long dreams had just been crushed in such an obnoxious and inconsiderate way.
Returning to the John Terry incident, there was just no kneed. (That was a good one)
But in all seriousness, I could not believe that of all people to commit an act of complete foolishness, it was the man with the armband.
A man who many believe to be a reliable chief of the game went through a moment of absolute ludicrousness.
How on earth did he think he would get away with it?
It was a naive crime committed by Mr.Experienced, and it could have easily cost us a place in the final.
Thankfully it didn’t.
I’m not defending a completely lunatic action, but at least John showed guts in asking to apologise live on air. What other footballers request something like this after such an embarrassing moment?
John has paid the biggest price for his crazy outlash now, he will be forever haunted that he won’t feature in potentially the greatest game of Chelsea’s all time history.
My previous article suggested that Di Matteo needed a “Nou Camp miracle” to stand any chance of being appointed by Mr.Abramovich, and with this miracle sensationally occurring, there’s no doubt giving Roberto the job has crossed his mind.
I also asked the intriguing question of – “Are we in store for a special end to a disappointing season?”
The implausible triumph in Spain answers ‘Yes’ to a question many would have laughed at.
Our season is turning into one heck of a rollercoaster, and it doesn’t look like stopping.
Follow me on twitter – @olliesalt