Champions League semi-finals: Ramires’s brilliance lifts Chelsea over Barca, 2-2 (agg 3-2)

szólj hozzá: Barca Chelsea 2:2 EXTENDED HIG
Ramires is the man. The Brazilian provided that laser like cross to find Didier Drogba in the first leg to score the only goal and the winner in the first leg.
In the second leg in the Camp Nou, Frank Lampard finds Ramires who raced ahead of a slowly reacting Barca defense to chip the ball over Victor Valdes to score a goal that Messi would be proud to embalm in his trove of unforgettable goals. Did Ramires dream up that strike? The skinny Brazilian whose legs motor up and down unflaggingly is known for providing an impetus to the attack but he’s been accused equally unflaggingly for lacking a footballing brain. That was genius.
A groggy Chelsea reeling from two goals down and John Terry’s ejection got back on its feet. The second half saw Leo Messi miss a penalty and a Chelsea defense that defied Barca time and time again with Petr Cech standing like a colossus in front of goal. Fernando Torres administered a sucker punch in extra time as Chelsea exited the Camp Nou in a blaze of glory.
Roberto Di Matteo is now one match from Roman Abramovich’s dream of realizing a Champions League trophy. After all the coaches with world class credentials the Russian oligarch has wooed to Stamford Bridge, some who have come very, very close but never really delivered on that promise, his best bet lies in a coach whose philosophy can be best summed up as “live and let live.”
Chelsea can also count on their fingers, a Barca rendered unambitious and deflated after the El Clasico encounter over the weekend. It was the second time in a row they had conceded a goal within seconds off scoring one of their own. It speaks of making do with an older and makeshift defense exposed as vulnerable to opportunistic counterattacking. Which poses this interesting question after Man Utd was outclassed in last year’s Champions League finals. Would the Red Devils have fared better this year, maybe even won, if they had met present day Barca at this crucial stage? Absolutely yes.

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