Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Downcast DrogbaImage by Ben Sutherland via Flickr

That's it?! The Champions League ambitions over for another season! Andres Iniesta silencing the Stamford Bridge faithful with a clinical goal deep into injury-time and ending the European dream and the chance to avenge the disappointment inflicted by Manchester United in last years final.

I'm proud of the team as reaching the semi final stages in five of the last six seasons is an impressive achievement but again we're left empty handed. The bitter taste of defeat still hurts and having come so close again in Europe I'm beginning to wonder whether we will ever win the Champions League.

Preventing Barcelona from having a shot on target until injury time is no easy task but we defended magnificently. Chelsea were accused of being cynical last week but the game at Stamford Bridge was always going to be a different contest. Michael Essien had given the Blues an early advantage in the ninth minute when he scored a superb volley which had deflected off Yaya Toure from a Lampard cross. Barcelona dominated the possession but they found it difficult to find the breakthrough and it was Chelsea that created the better chances. That was until the third minute of added time which cruelly won the game on away goals.

Drogba again had chances to put the tie beyond Barcelona but instead comparisons to last years elimination can be drawn. Just as with the Champions League final he finished the game off the pitch and surrounded by controversy. Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo waved four penalty appeals and I felt Daniel Alves should have been dismissed for consistantly commiting fouls. There were disappointing scenes at the final whistle as Overbo suffered a barrage of abuse from Chelsea players, including Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and England captain John Terry. The referee is said to have admitted he made mistakes to UEFA officials after the game but that doesn't change the result!
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