Chelsea FC will welcome FC Barcelona to Stamford Bridge for the conclusion of their semi-final aiming to extend an unbeaten record that runs back to February 2006 – when the Spanish side were the winners.
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FC Barcelona visit Chelsea FC for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final looking to avoid the fate they suffered on the last two occasions they played on English soil.
• In both 2007 and 2008, the Spanish side saw their UEFA Champions League hopes go up in smoke in second-leg ties away to Premier League opposition – against Manchester United FC at this stage last season and against Liverpool FC in the last 16 the year before.
• Indeed, Barça will be hoping that history does not repeat itself given that they drew 0-0 at home with United in the first leg in 2007/08 before suffering a 1-0 defeat in the return at Old Trafford.
• Both teams had chances to take a first-leg advantage at the Camp Nou, Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdés making a fine double block to deny Didier Drogba in the first half and his opposite number Petr Čech producing splendid stops from Samuel Eto'o and substitute Aleksandr Hleb, although another replacement, Bojan Krkić, might have won it for Barcelona in added time, heading over from point-blank range.
• It was the first time Barcelona had failed to score at home this season in 28 matches in the Camp Nou; indeed, perhaps ominously for the Spanish side, the last team to leave their ground with a clean sheet were United in last season's semi-finals.
• Excluding a 1-0 defeat at Wisla Kraków in the third qualifying round second leg Josep Guardiola's side are unbeaten on their UEFA Champions League travels this season – scoring 14 goals in five games so far – yet they can expect a daunting examination at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea have a formidable record in the competition.
• As Chelsea bid to reach a second successive final, they can draw encouragement from their 17-match unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge, dating back to February 2006. They also know that in Guus Hiddink they have a manager well acquainted with this stage of the competition, having both won and lost semi-finals with PSV Eindhoven.
• Guardiola won a semi-final as a player in 1994 and intriguingly, his team were actually the last to win here in the competition when they prevailed 2-1 in the first leg of the clubs' first knockout round tie in 2005/06, courtesy of a John Terry own goal and an Eto'o header. It was Chelsea's first home reverse against Spanish opponents and the ensuing 3-2 aggregate defeat was the last time they were eliminated by non-English opposition in the UEFA Champions League.
• Chelsea emerged victorious from a thrilling quarter-final against Liverpool, winning 7-5 on aggregate (3-1 away, 4-4 home). They had earlier beaten Juventus 3-2 on aggregate (1-0 home, 2-2 away) after finishing second in Group A with a record of W3 D2 L1.
• Barcelona advanced to their third semi-final in four seasons with an impressive 5-1 aggregate quarter-final win against FC Bayern München (4-0 home, 1-1 away). They had previously defeated Olympique Lyonnais 6-3 on aggregate (1-1 away, 5-2 home) having topped Group C with a record of W4 D1 L1.
• Chelsea have won one of their four previous semi-finals:
2007/08 Liverpool 4-3 won (1-1 away, 3-2 home)
2006/07 Liverpool 1-1, lost 1-4 on pens (1-0 home, 0-1 away)
2004/05 Liverpool 0-1 lost (0-0 home, 0-1 away)
2003/04 AS Monaco FC 3-5 lost (1-3 away, 2-2 home)
• Barcelona have won four of the nine previous semi-finals they have contested.
2007/08 Manchester United 0-1 lost (0-0 home, 0-1 away)
2005/06 AC Milan 1-0 won (1-0 away, 0-0 home)
2001/02 Real Madrid CF 1-3 lost (0-2 home, 1-1 away)
1999/00 Valencia CF 3-5 lost (1-4 away, 2-1 home)
1993/94 FC Porto 3-0 won (home)
1985/86 IFK Göteborg 3-3, won 5-4 on pens (0-3 away, 3-0 home)
1974/75 Leeds United AFC 2-3 lost (1-2 away, 1-1 home)
1960/61 Hamburger SV 1-0 won (replay) (1-0 home, 1-2 away)
1959/60 Real Madrid CF 2-6 lost (1-3 away, 1-3 home)
The Spanish side advanced to the 1991/92 final as group winners.
• The clubs have met three times previously in knockout ties in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona coming out on top twice – although on each occasion the side with home advantage in the second leg has prevailed.
• The full breakdown of results is:
2005/06 first knockout round
Chelsea 1-2 Barcelona
Barcelona 1-1 Chelsea
Barcelona win 3-2 on aggregate
2004/05 first knockout round
Barcelona 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona
Chelsea win 5-4 on aggregate
Chelsea 3-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (after extra time)
Barcelona win 6-4 on aggregate
• The only survivors of the sides' first UEFA Champions League meetings in 1999/00 are Barcelona's Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández and their coach Guardiola. Puyol played in both matches while Xavi featured in the first leg in London and Guardiola in the return – when Chelsea suffered their heaviest defeat in European competition.
• The clubs also met in the 2006/07 group stage. Chelsea won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge through Didier Drogba's 47th-minute goal before the Ivory Coast striker earned his side a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou with an equaliser three minutes into added time. Prior to Drogba's late intervention, Deco – now a Chelsea player – had given Barcelona the lead after three minutes before Frank Lampard (52) and former Blues' forward Eidur Gudjohnsen (58) traded goals.
• The full lineups for that most recent encounter in London on 18 October 2006 were:
Chelsea: Henrique Hilário, Khalid Boulahrouz (Joe Cole), Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Claude Makelele, Michael Ballack (Paulo Ferreira), Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba (Salomon Kalou), Andriy Shevchenko (Arjen Robben).
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés, Gianluca Zambrotta, Rafael Márquez, Carles Puyol (Oleguer Presas), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Andrés Iniesta), Xavi Hernández, Edmílson, Deco, Lionel Messi, Eidur Gujohnsen (Ludovic Giuly), Ronaldinho.
• Chelsea's full record against Spanish clubs is: W11 D7 L6.
• Their home record is W6 D3 L1.
• In two-legged ties with Spanish clubs, their record is W3 L4.
• The London club have drawn their last two meetings with Spanish opposition at Stamford Bridge – held 1-1 by Valencia in the 2006/07 quarter-final first leg and 0-0 by the same side in last season's group stage.
• Chelsea beat Real Madrid to win their first European honour – the 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. The London club won a replay 2-1 after a 1-1 draw in Athens.
• Barcelona's full record against English clubs is: W20 D16 L15.
• Their away record is: W6 D6 L12.
• Their record in two-legged knockout ties against English clubs is: W7 L7.
• Barcelona have a poor record in semi-finals against opponents from England, having lost four out of five in UEFA club competition:
2007/08 UEFA Champions League, Manchester United 0-1 lost (0-0 home, 0-1 away)
2000/01 UEFA Cup, Liverpool 0-1 lost (0-0 home, 0-1 away)
1981/82 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-1 won (1-1 away, 1-0 home)
1975/76 UEFA Cup, Liverpool 1-2 lost (0-1 home, 1-1 away)
1974/75 European Champion Clubs' Cup, Leeds United AFC 2-3 lost (1-2 away, 1-1 home)
• Barcelona have had mixed fortunes in finals against English clubs. They lost the 1991 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final 2-1 to Manchester United but defeated Arsenal by the same score in the UEFA Champions League final in 2006.
• Barcelona have played out a 0-0 home draw in the first leg of a European tie only twice previously; against United in the semi-finals of last season's competition and against Liverpool FC in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup semi-final. On each occasion, the Spanish outfit lost the return 1-0.
• Score draws included, however, on four of the nine previous occasions Barcelona drew the first leg at home, they went on to win the tie in the away leg.
• Chelsea have earned a 0-0 away draw in the first leg of a UEFA club competition tie twice previously, winning through once. The victory came against Olympiacos CFP in last season's UEFA Champions League first knockout round thanks to a 3-0 home win at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea lost to Swedish side Åtvidabergs FF in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round in 1971/72, bowing out on away goals after a 1-1 draw in London that ended their defence of the trophy.
• Overall, that Åtvidaberg defeat is the only time in five occasions Chelsea have lost a tie having drawn the first leg away from home. That statistic includes recent UEFA Champions League victories against Liverpool (2007/08 semi-finals, 1-1 away, 3-2 home after extra time) and FC Porto (2006/07 quarter-finals, 1-1 away, 2-1 home).
• Chelsea manager Hiddink took his former club, PSV, past Spanish opposition in Real Madrid at this stage of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1988. PSV drew 1-1 in Spain before a goalless draw in the Netherlands secured an away-goals win for the eventual champions.
• During his second spell with PSV, however, Hiddink saw his charges lose narrowly to Milan in the 2004/05 semi-finals – suffering an away-goals defeat after they followed a 2-0 away reverse with a 3-1 home win.
• Hiddink experienced a semi-final defeat by Spanish opponents only last summer when his Russia side lost in the last four of UEFA EURO 2008™ against Spain, going down 3-0 to a team that included the Barcelona trio of Andrés Iniesta, Puyol and Xavi, with the latter scoring the first goal.
• Puyol and Xavi were in the Spain team beaten on penalties by Hiddink's Korea Republic in the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Xavi scoring in the 5-3 shoot-out defeat following a goalless 120 minutes.
• Hiddink has had spells in charge of Valencia (1991-93), Real Madrid (1998-99) and Real Betis Balompié (2000). He suffered five Liga defeats in six matches against Barça while with Valencia, though enjoyed a 1-0 victory at the Mestalla in 1991/92. Hiddink fared little better at Madrid, with a 2-2 home draw and a 3-0 reverse at the Camp Nou. The Dutchman celebrated victory in his first match in charge of Betis, however, masterminding a 2-1 home win against Barcelona on 13 February 2000.
• Hiddink led Valencia to victory against Barcelona in the 1991/92 Copa del Rey Round of 16. Valencia won their home leg 4-2 and although they lost the return 2-0, they prevailed 5-4 in the penalty shoot-out.
• Barcelona coach Guardiola may have won the European Cup as a player at Wembley but his record playing away against English sides was W1 D1 L3:
2-2 v Manchester United FC, UEFA Champions League 1993/94
4-2 v Arsenal FC, UEFA Champions League 1999/00
1-3 v Chelsea, UEFA Champions League 1999/00
0-3 v England, friendly 2000/01
0-1 v Liverpool, UEFA Cup 2000/01
• Chelsea pair Deco and Juliano Belletti were in the Barcelona team that defeated Arsenal in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final – Belletti stepping off the bench to score the winning goal. Chelsea's Ashley Cole plus Thierry Henry and Hleb, both now Barcelona players, were on the losing Arsenal side that day.
• Belletti actually scored an own goal when playing for Barcelona against Chelsea at the Camp Nou in the clubs' first knockout round tie in 2004/05.
• During his eight years with Arsenal (1999-07), Henry scored ten goals in 19 appearances against Chelsea – winning nine of those games and losing only four.
• Hleb, meanwhile, was at Arsenal between 2005 and 2008, playing eight times against Chelsea but tasting victory only once and suffering five defeats.
• Barcelona forward Gudjohnsen spent six seasons with Chelsea between 2000 and 2006, winning two Premier League titles and the League Cup.
• Nicolas Anelka scored against Barcelona in February 2000 during his season-long stint at Real Madrid in a 3-0 Liga win at the Santiago Bernabéu.
• The tie reunites several international colleagues: Barcelona's Eric Abidal and Henry with their France team-mates Florent Malouda and Anelka, while Yaya Touré plays alongside Chelsea strikers Drogba and Salomon Kalou for the Ivory Coast.
• The winners will advance to a final against Manchester United or Arsenal at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on 27 May.