Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blues Have Last Laugh Again after Top Trio Are Left Rattled; the Howls of Derision from the Barca Fans Is Music to Chelsea's Ears after They Frustrate Their Attacking Stars with a Gutsy Display. by Simon Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blues Have Last Laugh Again after Top Trio Are Left Rattled; the Howls of Derision from the Barca Fans Is Music to Chelsea's Ears after They Frustrate Their Attacking Stars with a Gutsy Display. by Simon Johnson

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

REAL MADRID may be the team Barcelona will always love to hate, yet Chelsea have once again proven to be the side they hate to play.

This is the fourth time they have met the Blues in the Champions League in the past five seasons and they are still waiting to give them the beating that they crave.

Chelsea's performance was met by howls of derision from the home crowd.

For the visitors, it must have been a very satisfying and familiar noise because it meant the plan to frustrate their opponents had worked again.

They have still suffered only one defeat here in Europe since 2005 and conceded just five goals.

All the talk ahead of this semi-final, first leg was of Barca's incredible attacking threat, especially the front three of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o.

The trio may have found the net 90 times this season but last night their threat was snuffed out.

Chelsea's defensive mindset will have won few friends but they won't be too concerned and conceded just five goals.

All the talk ahead of this semi- final, first leg was of Barca's incredible attacking threat, especially the front three of Lionel Messi, Chelsea's defensive mindset will have won few friends but they won't be too concerned should they make it to their second final in a row. Before that, they have a very difficult second leg at Stamford Bridge next week and Guus Hiddink will be aware that conceding an away goal will mean they have to score twice.

However, the manager must also know that his side have Barcelona rattled and may now have a crucial pyschological advantage. Many of their players were in the side that lost 4-2 at Chelsea in 2005 to go out at the last-16 stage and must fear a repeat. Certainly, the longer the match wore on, the more their superstars lost their cool.

Instead of concentrating on finding a way to unlock the well-marshalled defence led by the exemplary John Terry, the home side looked to get Chelsea's players booked.

For all their obvious talents, Barcelona also have a rather spoilt nature. When on top, they play with a smile on their face. If a team get stuck into them, like Chelsea did, they begin to snarl and Barca didn't display match wore on, the more their superstars lost their cool.

Instead of concentrating on finding a way to unlock the well- marshalled sea's players booked.

For all their obvious talents, Barcelona also have a rather spoilt nature. When on top, they play with a smile on their face. If a team get stuck into them, like Chelsea did, they begin to snarl and Barca didn't display much sportsmanship last night. Even their manager, Pep Guardiola, came across as bitter in the post-match press conference, when he should have been focusing on how he was going to change things next week. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.