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Barcelona shattered by Chelsea draw Barcelona shattered by Chelsea draw
by Amin George Forji
2006-11-02 10:36:54
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The night of Tuesday, October 31st was a black one for Barcelona, when they clashed with their English archrivals, Chelsea, in front of their own fans. The 2-2 result means that the former European Champions will now have to hope they can still advance to the second round.

Barca was certain of a win until the very last second, when the Ivory Coast international, Didier Drogba, shocked the Nou Camp by snatching an injury-time equaliser, sliding the ball under the arms of Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Barcelona had taken an early lead in the third minute, when Deco intercepted a pass in midfield and fired home. Five minutes later, Barca almost doubled the lead when the Argentinean striker, Lionel Messi, cleverly spotted Ronaldinho with a pass, but the magical player hit it over the bar. Chelsea realised that they needed to wake up and a series of good passes almost resulted in Chelsea's Ghanaian defender Michael Essien scoring, but his header was pushed over the bar by Valdes.

The game quickly got out of hands with the referee distributing yellow cards to both sides, but with no player wanting to be the first to collect a red, the momentum of the match slowed and the score seemed set to stay 1-0 at half time.

The second half began just like the first, with the Chelsea wasting their good fortune. Holland's Arjen Robben squandered two glaring chances within two minutes before English midfielder Frank Lampard equalised, after flipping the ball over Valdes.

Wounded, Barcelona replied instantly. It was Chelsea's own former man, Eidur Gudjohnsen who delivered the reply in the 58th minute with a close range finish, making it 2-1 for Barcelona, thus sending the anxious Nou Camp crowd into joy; it was his first goal at the Nou Camp.

Chelsea became more aggressive and Barcelona struggled to preserve the lead, but their effort was not enough to prevent the determined Drogba creating a shock in the last seconds of the game. After controlling Michael Essien's beautiful pass with his chest, he fired a shot into the back of the net sending the home fans into tears.

With Werder Bremen beating Levski Sofia 3-0 in the other group match, it now means that the former champions will need to reply on their own efforts and some luck to advance to the second round. They are now in third position, two points behind Werder Bremen and Chelsea remain first with 10 points.

  
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Amin2006-11-01 10:24:20
Barcelona is suffering cos of the absense of Cameroon Samuel Eto'o.

George


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