Is Chelsea going to win the champions League? I don’t know and at the moment, I don’t care.
Chelsea were underdogs before the first leg and surprisingly were still underdogs before the second leg despite securing a good 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
I wasn’t expecting us to attack Barca–few teams can survive the Barca carousel; but I was scared we may not be able to defend wave after wave of Barca attacks for 90 minutes.
Football pundits all over the World believed Barca will net in more than three goals. Colin Udoh predicted a 4 – 1 victory for Barcelona. It was only our own Daniel Amokachi who gave us the benefit of the doubt– predicting a draw; although his was a one all draw.
Before the kickoff, at the tunnel, I saw Barcelona’s Pique whispering something into the ears of the Referee and I was like, “hey, Pique, what are you telling the Ref?, why not wait for the game to start”?
Well the game kicked off and we were pretty much in it until Sanchez’s dribble, robbed us of one of our best performers from the first leg–Gary Cahill. And oh my God, who was replacing him? Bosingwa. My heart was racing to my mouth. And then came the most difficult part of it all– John Terry’s red card, I was like, “here comes UEFA and Barcelona again!” I couldn’t continue with the game. I switched off my television and left. I was going to take my bath out of frustration and disappointment when I heard the shouts of a goal being scored. At this point, I thought Barca had scored again and when I switched on the TV, Lo and Behold! It was Ramires, I went crazy with ecstasy.
The second half was one of my most difficult moments of a football match. I believed that Barca will surely find a way to score and complete my nightmare but we were defending resiliently and the boys were giving me loads of hope.
When they got the penalty, that feeling came back again, “Robbery! I shouted!” And there was Messi, the best player in the World (although he is yet to score against us), ready to take the penalty. I prayed to the Heavens in this manner, “God, do this for me and my Chelsea”. And He did. Messi hit the woodwork
(I still kept my bragging rights) and from then, I continued with watching the game. 70 minutes went past, then 75, 80, 85, and then came that substitution. “What! Why Drogba for Torres, we are supposed to be defending not attacking,” I screamed into the TV screen, “Why not Essien for Drogba?” I asked rhetorically.
But I was wrong! RDM(Roberto Di Matteo) was the coach, he knew what he wanted. And that magic moment came– an 18-yard box defensive clearance from Ivanovic, (though I didn’t see it initially, all I saw was a white figure running with the ball towards Barca’s goal post). I waited for the offside whistle. None came, so I started praying for Torres to score (recalling his famous miss against Manchester United at Old trafford).
But this time, he didn’t disappoint. When he rounded Valdes, I took off celebrating. I couldn’t wait for the ball to hit the back of the net, just like I did when Terry took his kick in Moscow. on that occasion, I had watched Van der sar go the other way, and had taken off celebrating only for my friends to call me back, telling me he had missed). But last nite, it went in. And we are in the finals. The UEFA Champions league finals: against all odds; against the mighty Barcelona.
The defeat in season 2008/09 was bitter. It was very bitter. And not just because of the controversial circumstances surrounding our loss, but also the manner in which Barca went through with a last minute goal. That performance that night by Chelsea against Barca was the best I have seen any team play against Barca in a game of that significance. Still Barca went through. I’m sure no Chelsea fan has forgotten that and I’m sure we were all waiting for a chance to give it back to them. It was so painful that night. But it was all avenged last nite.
Ask me if we are gonna win the Champions League and my simple answer will be, “Beating Barca, is my trophy”.
Note: this is my honest feeling about last night’s game as a Chelsea fan. And in case you can’t still catch my drift, I AM A BLUE FOR LIFE!
I am on Twitter @Cyrilchiddy