Skip to content

Offshore drilling, UEFA Champions League: Chelsea 2 (3), at Barcelona 2 (2)

Apr 24, 2012, 5:12 PM EST

FC Barcelona v FC Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Getty Images

Man of the Match: Nothing against Ramires, who gave a man of the match performance with his first half goal and stellar defending, but Petr Cech needs some recognition. He only had five saves (after 11 last week), but three of them were point blank chances that nobody would have faulted him for conceding. Over the course of two legs, Chelsea would have been embarrassed without him. But that’s why he gets paid the big bucks, and that’s why some insist he’s still amongst the world’s best at his position.

Packaged for takeaway:

  • If anybody tells you Chelsea got lucky, print this out post out, crumple it up, and invite them to consume it. Chelsea saw their right center back leave early and their left center back (and captain) commit a random act of stupidity to get excused. They played an hour down a man, found two goals within that span, and deservedly go on to Munich.
  • In addition to Ramires and Cech, Frank Lampard again stood out. Another assist (on the Ramires goal), impeccable positioning, and he always found another gear to get up and provide a ball for a counter, even though he was often dropping to be the deepest  midfielder.
  • John Terry embarrassed himself today. I’m sure he won’t see it any differently. His knee to the back of Alexis Sanchez should have cost his team the game. He deservedly misses the final. Surely, he knows he let his team down. Thankfully the hurdle he erected only accentuates the brilliance of this teammates’ performances.
  • Didier Drogba again worked himself into the ground. He couldn’t make it to 90 this week, but throughout the second half he was perpetually tracking deep into Chelsea’s third, be it to help dig balls out of the corners or to provide help in the air. If he wasn’t so willing to get back up top when Chelsea were trying to come out of their end, he might have lasted longer.
  • But for all of Chelsea’s virtues, this was still Barcelona’s game to win. They played up a man for two-thirds of it and managed to generate two goals. However, their defense failed them again on the Ramires’ goal. Pep Guardiola is left to wonder if re-inverting the pyramid cost him a chance to defend Barça’s European title.
  • Chelsea’s biggest battle might have been won before the match when they convinced somebody to step into Lionel Messi’s boots and pose as the all-world attacker. The Messi we saw on Tuesday missed a number of chances we’ve seen the real Messi convert time and time again throughout this record-setting year. Most are going to remember the penalty kick Messi put off the bar early in the second half, but there were other chances, particularly in the first, that he could have converted.
  • That is not to say Messi was terrible. He assisted on the second goal and forced Cech into two incredible stops (one on each side of half). However, his decision-making in the final 15 minutes was really poor. He always played one too many passes, invariably giving Chelsea that extra split-second to catch up to the play. The only time he ventured a speculative shot on goal, he found the post.
  • But that advice could have been given to the entire Barcelona team: Just shoot the ball, already.
  • Gerard Piqué, reinserted into the lineup after sitting on the bench in London, left early and was taken to a local hospital for tests after an early collision with Victor Valdes. He reportedly is fine, but Barcelona definitely could have used him at the end of the today’s game.
  • Barcelona couldn’t have asked for anything more from this game. Penalty kick, man advantage, and plenty of good chances – they wasted it all. Now, they’re left with the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao. Even if they win it, this year will not be remember for what wasn’t. The team desperately needs to find some other options if they’re to meet their expectations.
  • For Chelsea, what looked like a throwaway season after the sacking of André Villas-Boas now has Roman Abramovich within 90 minutes of his biggest prize. They’ll face either a home team (Bayern Munich) or the man who has defined their team (Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid). They’ll need to get Gary Cahill and David Luiz healthy, because John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are going to be suspended (along with Raul Meireles and Ramires).
  • Want to re-live the fun? Here’s PST’s play-by-play. Just ignore that part of the first half where Chrome locked up on my and I had to dust off Firefox.
Latest Posts
  1. LIVE – Premier League, at the half: West Brom, Newcastle ahead; goalless elsewhere

    Feb 28, 2015, 10:55 AM EST

    Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League Getty Images

    Goals are in short supply. See if they arrive in the second half by watching live, here.

  2. Watch Live: Stoke City vs. Hull City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:44 AM EST

    Hull City v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Sone Aluko and Gaston Ramirez move last week’s hero Dame N’Doye to the bench, as the Tigers look to put together a three-match winning streak.

  3. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Swansea City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:39 AM EST

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Danny Ings will lead the charge for Burnley, which has controversially non-suspended Ashley Barnes in the Starting XI.

  4. West Ham United 1-3 Crystal Palace: Eagles win fiery London derby

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:39 AM EST

    Eagles soar past Hammers a Murray scores twice, gets red card.

  5. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:35 AM EST

    Aston Villa v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    Emmanuel Riviere gets a start for Newcastle, with Ayoze Perez heading for the bench. Cancer-battler Jonas Gutierrez is back in the 18 as well.

  6. Watch Live: West Bromwich Albion vs. Southampton (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:27 AM EST

    Koeman's arrival as boss has been key in steadying Saints. Getty Images

    Can the Baggies beat high-flying Saints? Watch live online, right here.

  7. Watch Live: Manchester United vs. Sunderland (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 9:08 AM EST

    Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Can the Red Devils stay in the top four with a win? Watch live online, right here.

  8. WATCH: Premier League live online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 27

    Feb 28, 2015, 8:20 AM EST

    Live Extra

    How to watch every single PL game during Week 27 live online or via the app.

  9. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:33 AM EST

    Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace FC Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace FC

    How will Pardew get on as he returns to Upton Park? Watch live online, here.

  10. Odell Beckham Jr. appears on TV show in England, reveals former dream was to be a pro soccer player

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:20 AM EST

    Washington Redskins v New York Giants Getty Images

    Beckham chats with Sky Sports in the UK about his dream to play soccer, ‘that’ catch and much more.

  11. WATCH: Van Gaal remains coy over Manchester United’s league standing

    Feb 27, 2015, 11:46 PM EST

    Manchester United v Cambridge United - FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Getty Images

    Louis van Gaal speaks of Manchester United’s mindset at this stage of the season.

  12. Celtic aim to catch fans who violated UEFA policy with fireworks

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

    Celtic Getty Images

    Celtic released a statement that urged fans to join hunt for the people who set off fireworks in Europa League competition and violated UEFA’s code of conduct.

  13. Mourinho believes Premier League ‘loses credibility’ with Matic suspension

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:15 PM EST

    France Soccer Champions League AP

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho asserted the Premier League’s reputation is at stake with Nemanja Matic’s ban.

  14. Former DC United midfielder Freddy Adu to sign with Swedish side

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:32 PM EST

    Credit: Blackpool Gazette Credit: Blackpool Gazette

    Freddy Adu will have a shot to revive his career in Sweden.

  15. Bale, Ronaldo declared fully fit after ‘precautionary’ training week

    Feb 27, 2015, 6:48 PM EST

    FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL

    Bale and Ronaldo are set to perform in Sunday’s match vs. Villarreal after not taking part in full training sessions this week.

  16. Bayern Munich down FC Köln, cruise to 11-point Bundesliga lead

    Feb 27, 2015, 5:40 PM EST

    FC Bayern Muenchen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Getty Images

    Bayern Munich unsurprisingly improves on their position in league competition.

  17. Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Everton, Man United, Man City, Stoke

    Feb 27, 2015, 4:20 PM EST

    464041878 Getty Images

    Citizens, Red Devils and Toffees will all bag big wins this weekend, according to PST’s Editor and Lead Writer.

  18. Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:50 PM EST

    FBL-ENG-FACUP-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL Getty Images

    Preview of West Ham-Crystal Palace match airing live on NBCSN this Saturday morning.