Chelsea Barcelona Champions League Clash Finishes 2 – 2

November 1, 2006

chelsea-soccer-ball.jpgDidier Drogba’s 92nd minute strike puts Barcelona on the verge of elimination as Chelsea draw the Spanish champions 2 – 2 at the Nou Camp.

It was a sloppy and contemptuous affair that saw 10 yellow cards and very little in the way of beautiful football. Even the managers seemed particularly hostile, with Jose Mourinho sliding on his knees in celebration of Chelses’s game-tying goal, and Frank Rijkaard charging referee Stefano Farina at game’s end.

Chelsea had dominated throughout, but were made to pay for their two glaring mistakes.

In the 3rd minute, Deco was left completely unmarked just outside the area and the Portuguese star showed just how ill-advised that can be, firing a lovely strike past Hilario for the early Barcelona lead.

Even though Chelsea had the better of the first half, they would not answer back until the 52nd when Frank Lampard chipped Victor Valdes from an impossible angle, just inches from the end-line, to make it even at 1 – 1.

But just 6 minutes later, the Chelsea defense again made a critical error. Khalid Boulahrouz, who had kept Ronaldinho in check for the better part of two matches, finally slipped up. When the Dutch defender overcommitted and missed a stab at stealing from Ronaldinho well out on the wing, the Brazilian superstar raced undefended toward goal and crossed neatly to Eidur Gudjohnsen who tapped home what looked to be the winner.

Chelsea began to press and seemed destined to score in the final ten minutes, but both Michael Ballack and Arjen Robben missed gilt-edged chances that would have salvaged a draw.

Just when it seemed they were about to give in, the Blues appeared to be lifted when beleaguered referee Farina signaled five minutes of added time. The English champions would only need two.

Michael Essien raced from his own half and lofted a brilliant ball to John Terry on the far post. The Chelsea captain headed across to Didier Drogba who promptly chested down past Rafael Marquez and fired a low left-footed strike back across Valdes as the visitor’s bench erupted.

The final 2 – 2 scoreline spells frustration for Barcelona who are still unable to defeat Chelsea when both teams play with eleven.

The draw also leaves Barca in trouble in Group A as Werder Bremen jumped to second with a 3 – 0 pasting of Levski Sofia. A 5th of December showdown between the La Liga champions and Bremen will possibly see Barca needing a win to advance.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are well in control of their destiny, as one more draw or better will see them through to the knockout stages.

Match Highlights Video 2:04 (new window)

Champions League Fixtures/Results 31.10.06 01.11.06

Related:
Spartak Moscow 0 – 1 Inter Milan, Champions League Thriller in Freezing Temperatures
Jerseys Chelsea
Jerseys – Barcelona

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