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Resolute Chelsea hold Barça at bay

Published: Wednesday 29 April 2009, 0.55CET
FC Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea FC
A determined effort from the visitors ensured Barcelona failed to score at home for the first time in this campaign despite their territorial dominance.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou
Resolute Chelsea hold Barça at bay
Barcelona's Lionel Messi takes on Chelsea left-back José Bosingwa ©Getty Images

Match statistics

BarcelonaChelsea

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
1
Attempts off target12
 
2
Corners10
 
2
Offsides4
 
3
Fouls committed7
 
20
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 29 April 2009, 0.55CET

Resolute Chelsea hold Barça at bay

FC Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea FC
A determined effort from the visitors ensured Barcelona failed to score at home for the first time in this campaign despite their territorial dominance.

For the second season running FC Barcelona were frustrated by English opposition in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals as a determined defensive effort from Chelsea FC earned a goalless draw in Catalonia.

Added-time drama
Barça had failed to win their previous four home games against Premier League visitors and, one year on from their stalemate against Manchester United FC, were denied again. Petr Čech made a fine block from Samuel Eto'o's goalbound second-half effort but the home side should have snatched a crucial advantage in added time, substitutes Bojan Krkić and Aleksandr Hleb both spurning golden opportunities. Víctor Valdés had earlier made a fine double save from Didier Drogba and to add to Barcelona's disappointment at failing to score at home for the first time this season, they lost central defender Rafael Márquez to a knee injury only for his replacement Carles Puyol to collect a yellow card which rules him out of next week's return. No one at Barcelona will need reminding their team were eliminated at United 12 months ago following an identical first-leg result.

Constant pressing
Guus Hiddink's decision to opt for John Mikel Obi and Michael Ballack as defensive midfielders in front of Chelsea's back four yielded early dividends. The area in which Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernádez and Lionel Messi usually weave such dangerous passing patterns was hugely congested, meaning the home side lacked rhythm. But when Čech dropped a simple cross and Messi won his first sprint against stand-in left back José Bosingwa, the Portuguese conceding a free kick in the process, normal service at the Camp Nou began to be resumed.

Drogba denied
A series of well-worked interpassing moves allowed Xavi, Eto'o and Thierry Henry to fire in shots as the tempo steadily increased, with Chelsea prevented from playing as high up the pitch as Hiddink had intended. As the visitors, who had drawn their last two matches here, attempted to stem the tide Ballack and Alex both collected yellow cards, although they were joined by Yaya Touré as the home side showed the first signs of frustration. When Henry struck a powerful and accurate shot that Čech had to push round his post, a Barça breakthrough looked imminent. Instead the best chance of the opening period fell to Chelsea as Márquez failed to deal with a long ball, allowing Drogba to race clear, but the Ivorian striker was denied by two brave blocks from Valdés.

Injury blow
The Barcelona goal came under more pressure at the start of the second period, Daniel Alves conceding a free-kick which Drogba dropped on to Ballack's head, but the chance zipped over. The physical intensity of the game was still remarkably high and after Henry shook off a shuddering collision with Alex, Márquez's grim night continued when he collapsed on the turf without being challenged and was carried off holding his knee. Barça responded positively to the setback, Alves powering into Chelsea's penalty area and drawing another good stop from Čech.

Brilliant saves
As Messi and Alves peppered the Chelsea goal with stinging shots Čech added brilliance to his previous efficiency. Eto'o cleverly turned and outpaced Alex before turning the defender again and sliding in a precise shot which the goakeeper blocked with his leg. The real drama was still to come, however, Bojan heading over Alves' right-wing cross from point-blank range before Čech crowned his excellent evening with another fine block from Hleb as Barcelona drew a blank at the Camp Nou for the first time since last season's semi-finals.

Last updated: 29/04/09 10.38CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15279/match=302809/postmatch/report/index.html#resolute+chelsea+hold+barca

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

chelsea

Chelsea

1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
1
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
2
IvanovićBranislav Ivanović
4
MárquezRafael Márquez
Substitution52
5
EssienMichael Essien
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández (C)
8
LampardFrank Lampard
Substitution71
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
11
DrogbaDidier Drogba
9
Eto'oSamuel Eto'o
Substitution82
12
MikelJohn Obi Mikel
10
MessiLionel Messi
13
BallackMichael Ballack
Yellow Card29
Substitution90+5
14
HenryThierry Henry
Substitution87
15
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
20
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
17
BosingwaJosé Bosingwa
22
AbidalÉric Abidal
26
TerryJohn Terry (C)
24
Y. TouréYaya Touré
Yellow Card37
33
AlexAlex
Yellow Card26

Substitutes

25
JorqueraAlbert Jorquera (GK)
40
HilárioHilário (GK)
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
Substitution52
Yellow Card74
9
Di SantoFranco Di Santo
7
GudjohnsenEidur Gudjohnsen
21
KalouSalomon Kalou
11
Bojan KrkićBojan Krkić
Substitution82
35
BellettiJuliano Belletti
Substitution71
15
KeitaSeydou Keita
39
AnelkaNicolas Anelka
Substitution90+5
16
SylvinhoSylvinho
42
MancienneMichael Mancienne
21
HlebAleksandr Hleb
Substitution87
43
StochMiroslav Stoch

Coach

Josep Guardiola (ESP) Guus Hiddink (NED)

Referee

Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Assistant referees

Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER), Mike Pickel (GER)

Fourth official

Babak Rafati (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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