You are viewing the content for Thursday 23 February 2006

Eto’o gives Barca edge

Title

IF LAST season’s epic clash between Chelsea and Barcelona was an advert for the beautiful game, this year’s rip-roaring sequel was as astonishing, breathless example of high-octane football - won by Barcelona 2-1.

You could hardly fit more action into one football match with Asier Del Horno sent off, Motta and John Terry scoring own goals, Terry clearing off the line twice, Samuel Eto’o heading a winner and non-stop action for the entire second half.

It was all the more remarkable because the game started so tentatively and failed to burst into action until Chelsea became the victims of a controversial red card against Barcelona for the second season in a row.

Del Horno’s reckless challenge on Messi looked deserving of a booking at most, but his dismissal gave credence to Jose Mourinho’s pre-match warning that Chelsea players should be wary of opponents trying to get home players in trouble.

Clearly Del Horno did not listen to his manager’s words closely enough, but his departure was manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorists who follow Chelsea, not least those sitting in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Followers of European football will hardly need reminding of the history between these sides, including the sending-off of Didier Drogba in the Nou Camp when they met last year or the row that ensued when Chelsea accused Frank Rijkaard of putting pressure on referee Anders Frisk at half-time.

And that’s even before you mention Chelsea’s wonderful 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge last year.

For a while in the opening half it seemed the expected classic would never happen, because in a slow boiling opening period both teams looked cagey.

Chelsea managed only one shot on goal in the first half, a long-range chip from Frank Lampard that was wide of the target, but all the drama was being saved up for later.

Ronaldinho did force Petr Cech into a remarkable save, low to his left when the Brazilian rapped in an effort from a Oleguer cross after 30 minutes.

But that was just the warm-up because the simmering tension and rivalry that clearly exists between the teams suddenly exploded just before half-time when Messi hared down the line, followed by Robben. As the Argentine tangled with his opponent, Del Horno arrived late and clattered into him, leaving him writhing on the floor.

It was a bad challenge rather than a deliberately nasty one, but within seconds Barcelona players engulfed the Spanish international, having run from all over the pitch to reach him.

Referee Hauge chose to issue a red card, a harsh decision and one that Chelsea complained about long and hard. But it was decision that was always a possibility given the nature of the match and the recklessness of the challenge.

Mourinho’s reaction, after much arm-waving of course, was to take off Joe Cole and replace him with Geremi and then swap Crespo for Drogba at half-time. It proved to be a stroke of genius.

Remarkably his substitutions had the effect of galvanising both his team and the crowd, with Robben firing a left-foot shot just wide and then Paulo Ferreira, of all people, rampaging forward and hitting a shot from distance.

Then, out of the blue, Chelsea grabbed an unlikely lead to stun their rivals after 58 minutes.

It was Robben who won a free-kick wide on the left following a foul from Oleguer, and, when Lampard whipped the ball in Barca defender Motta, under pressure from John Terry, stooped to head it into his own net.

Lampard almost fooled keeper Valdes with a copy-cat cross minutes later and, with Claude Makelele outstanding in midfield, Chelsea weathered the storm in an increasingly high octane atmosphere.

Henrik Larrsson was brought on to try and find Barca a goal, but Drogba thundered an effort on the turn just over the bar as Chelsea continued to fight them all the way.

In a bizarre twist of fate, however, Barcelona equalised with an own goal of their own in the 71st minute. This time a free-kick conceded by Carvalho was whipped in by Ronaldinho and headed into the net by Terry who had climbed above everyone to reach the ball.

There was a lucky escape for the home side seconds later when Messi, perhaps the game’s outstanding player, curled a long-range effort onto the bar. Then Terry made amends for his previous error by dramatically clearing off the line when Larsson looked certain to score.

By this stage the action was breathless, and substitute Silvinho was only denied by a fine save from Cech - before Terry hacked off the line for a second time, this time from Ronaldinho.

Barcelona also had a strong penalty shout when Terry bundled over Messi in the area and they eventually took the lead when Marquez crossed from the left and Eto’o rose at the far post to head powerfully home with nine minutes to go.

The result leaves Barcelona firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals, but, if the second leg can match this game for sheer drama and excitement, then there is plenty more to look forward to.

CHELSEA: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele, Joe Cole (Geremi 40), Gudjohnsen, Lampard, Robben (Wright-Phillips 78), Crespo (Drogba 45).

BARCELONA: Valdes, Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst (Sylvinho 69), Messi, Deco (Iniesta 84), Edmilson, Motta (Larsson 65), Eto’o, Ronaldinho.

Ref: Terje Hauge (Norway).

 

Eto’o gives Barca edge

Title

IF LAST season’s epic clash between Chelsea and Barcelona was an advert for the beautiful game, this year’s rip-roaring sequel was as astonishing, breathless example of high-octane football - won by Barcelona 2-1.

You could hardly fit more action into one football match with Asier Del Horno sent off, Motta and John Terry scoring own goals, Terry clearing off the line twice, Samuel Eto’o heading a winner and non-stop action for the entire second half.

It was all the more remarkable because the game started so tentatively and failed to burst into action until Chelsea became the victims of a controversial red card against Barcelona for the second season in a row.

Del Horno’s reckless challenge on Messi looked deserving of a booking at most, but his dismissal gave credence to Jose Mourinho’s pre-match warning that Chelsea players should be wary of opponents trying to get home players in trouble.

Clearly Del Horno did not listen to his manager’s words closely enough, but his departure was manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorists who follow Chelsea, not least those sitting in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Followers of European football will hardly need reminding of the history between these sides, including the sending-off of Didier Drogba in the Nou Camp when they met last year or the row that ensued when Chelsea accused Frank Rijkaard of putting pressure on referee Anders Frisk at half-time.

And that’s even before you mention Chelsea’s wonderful 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge last year.

For a while in the opening half it seemed the expected classic would never happen, because in a slow boiling opening period both teams looked cagey.

Chelsea managed only one shot on goal in the first half, a long-range chip from Frank Lampard that was wide of the target, but all the drama was being saved up for later.

Ronaldinho did force Petr Cech into a remarkable save, low to his left when the Brazilian rapped in an effort from a Oleguer cross after 30 minutes.

But that was just the warm-up because the simmering tension and rivalry that clearly exists between the teams suddenly exploded just before half-time when Messi hared down the line, followed by Robben. As the Argentine tangled with his opponent, Del Horno arrived late and clattered into him, leaving him writhing on the floor.

It was a bad challenge rather than a deliberately nasty one, but within seconds Barcelona players engulfed the Spanish international, having run from all over the pitch to reach him.

Referee Hauge chose to issue a red card, a harsh decision and one that Chelsea complained about long and hard. But it was decision that was always a possibility given the nature of the match and the recklessness of the challenge.

Mourinho’s reaction, after much arm-waving of course, was to take off Joe Cole and replace him with Geremi and then swap Crespo for Drogba at half-time. It proved to be a stroke of genius.

Remarkably his substitutions had the effect of galvanising both his team and the crowd, with Robben firing a left-foot shot just wide and then Paulo Ferreira, of all people, rampaging forward and hitting a shot from distance.

Then, out of the blue, Chelsea grabbed an unlikely lead to stun their rivals after 58 minutes.

It was Robben who won a free-kick wide on the left following a foul from Oleguer, and, when Lampard whipped the ball in Barca defender Motta, under pressure from John Terry, stooped to head it into his own net.

Lampard almost fooled keeper Valdes with a copy-cat cross minutes later and, with Claude Makelele outstanding in midfield, Chelsea weathered the storm in an increasingly high octane atmosphere.

Henrik Larrsson was brought on to try and find Barca a goal, but Drogba thundered an effort on the turn just over the bar as Chelsea continued to fight them all the way.

In a bizarre twist of fate, however, Barcelona equalised with an own goal of their own in the 71st minute. This time a free-kick conceded by Carvalho was whipped in by Ronaldinho and headed into the net by Terry who had climbed above everyone to reach the ball.

There was a lucky escape for the home side seconds later when Messi, perhaps the game’s outstanding player, curled a long-range effort onto the bar. Then Terry made amends for his previous error by dramatically clearing off the line when Larsson looked certain to score.

By this stage the action was breathless, and substitute Silvinho was only denied by a fine save from Cech - before Terry hacked off the line for a second time, this time from Ronaldinho.

Barcelona also had a strong penalty shout when Terry bundled over Messi in the area and they eventually took the lead when Marquez crossed from the left and Eto’o rose at the far post to head powerfully home with nine minutes to go.

The result leaves Barcelona firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals, but, if the second leg can match this game for sheer drama and excitement, then there is plenty more to look forward to.

CHELSEA: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele, Joe Cole (Geremi 40), Gudjohnsen, Lampard, Robben (Wright-Phillips 78), Crespo (Drogba 45).

BARCELONA: Valdes, Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst (Sylvinho 69), Messi, Deco (Iniesta 84), Edmilson, Motta (Larsson 65), Eto’o, Ronaldinho.

Ref: Terje Hauge (Norway).

 

Eto’o gives Barca edge

Title

IF LAST season’s epic clash between Chelsea and Barcelona was an advert for the beautiful game, this year’s rip-roaring sequel was as astonishing, breathless example of high-octane football - won by Barcelona 2-1.

You could hardly fit more action into one football match with Asier Del Horno sent off, Motta and John Terry scoring own goals, Terry clearing off the line twice, Samuel Eto’o heading a winner and non-stop action for the entire second half.

It was all the more remarkable because the game started so tentatively and failed to burst into action until Chelsea became the victims of a controversial red card against Barcelona for the second season in a row.

Del Horno’s reckless challenge on Messi looked deserving of a booking at most, but his dismissal gave credence to Jose Mourinho’s pre-match warning that Chelsea players should be wary of opponents trying to get home players in trouble.

Clearly Del Horno did not listen to his manager’s words closely enough, but his departure was manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorists who follow Chelsea, not least those sitting in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Followers of European football will hardly need reminding of the history between these sides, including the sending-off of Didier Drogba in the Nou Camp when they met last year or the row that ensued when Chelsea accused Frank Rijkaard of putting pressure on referee Anders Frisk at half-time.

And that’s even before you mention Chelsea’s wonderful 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge last year.

For a while in the opening half it seemed the expected classic would never happen, because in a slow boiling opening period both teams looked cagey.

Chelsea managed only one shot on goal in the first half, a long-range chip from Frank Lampard that was wide of the target, but all the drama was being saved up for later.

Ronaldinho did force Petr Cech into a remarkable save, low to his left when the Brazilian rapped in an effort from a Oleguer cross after 30 minutes.

But that was just the warm-up because the simmering tension and rivalry that clearly exists between the teams suddenly exploded just before half-time when Messi hared down the line, followed by Robben. As the Argentine tangled with his opponent, Del Horno arrived late and clattered into him, leaving him writhing on the floor.

It was a bad challenge rather than a deliberately nasty one, but within seconds Barcelona players engulfed the Spanish international, having run from all over the pitch to reach him.

Referee Hauge chose to issue a red card, a harsh decision and one that Chelsea complained about long and hard. But it was decision that was always a possibility given the nature of the match and the recklessness of the challenge.

Mourinho’s reaction, after much arm-waving of course, was to take off Joe Cole and replace him with Geremi and then swap Crespo for Drogba at half-time. It proved to be a stroke of genius.

Remarkably his substitutions had the effect of galvanising both his team and the crowd, with Robben firing a left-foot shot just wide and then Paulo Ferreira, of all people, rampaging forward and hitting a shot from distance.

Then, out of the blue, Chelsea grabbed an unlikely lead to stun their rivals after 58 minutes.

It was Robben who won a free-kick wide on the left following a foul from Oleguer, and, when Lampard whipped the ball in Barca defender Motta, under pressure from John Terry, stooped to head it into his own net.

Lampard almost fooled keeper Valdes with a copy-cat cross minutes later and, with Claude Makelele outstanding in midfield, Chelsea weathered the storm in an increasingly high octane atmosphere.

Henrik Larrsson was brought on to try and find Barca a goal, but Drogba thundered an effort on the turn just over the bar as Chelsea continued to fight them all the way.

In a bizarre twist of fate, however, Barcelona equalised with an own goal of their own in the 71st minute. This time a free-kick conceded by Carvalho was whipped in by Ronaldinho and headed into the net by Terry who had climbed above everyone to reach the ball.

There was a lucky escape for the home side seconds later when Messi, perhaps the game’s outstanding player, curled a long-range effort onto the bar. Then Terry made amends for his previous error by dramatically clearing off the line when Larsson looked certain to score.

By this stage the action was breathless, and substitute Silvinho was only denied by a fine save from Cech - before Terry hacked off the line for a second time, this time from Ronaldinho.

Barcelona also had a strong penalty shout when Terry bundled over Messi in the area and they eventually took the lead when Marquez crossed from the left and Eto’o rose at the far post to head powerfully home with nine minutes to go.

The result leaves Barcelona firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals, but, if the second leg can match this game for sheer drama and excitement, then there is plenty more to look forward to.

CHELSEA: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele, Joe Cole (Geremi 40), Gudjohnsen, Lampard, Robben (Wright-Phillips 78), Crespo (Drogba 45).

BARCELONA: Valdes, Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst (Sylvinho 69), Messi, Deco (Iniesta 84), Edmilson, Motta (Larsson 65), Eto’o, Ronaldinho.

Ref: Terje Hauge (Norway).

 

Eto’o gives Barca edge

Title

IF LAST season’s epic clash between Chelsea and Barcelona was an advert for the beautiful game, this year’s rip-roaring sequel was as astonishing, breathless example of high-octane football - won by Barcelona 2-1.

You could hardly fit more action into one football match with Asier Del Horno sent off, Motta and John Terry scoring own goals, Terry clearing off the line twice, Samuel Eto’o heading a winner and non-stop action for the entire second half.

It was all the more remarkable because the game started so tentatively and failed to burst into action until Chelsea became the victims of a controversial red card against Barcelona for the second season in a row.

Del Horno’s reckless challenge on Messi looked deserving of a booking at most, but his dismissal gave credence to Jose Mourinho’s pre-match warning that Chelsea players should be wary of opponents trying to get home players in trouble.

Clearly Del Horno did not listen to his manager’s words closely enough, but his departure was manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorists who follow Chelsea, not least those sitting in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Followers of European football will hardly need reminding of the history between these sides, including the sending-off of Didier Drogba in the Nou Camp when they met last year or the row that ensued when Chelsea accused Frank Rijkaard of putting pressure on referee Anders Frisk at half-time.

And that’s even before you mention Chelsea’s wonderful 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge last year.

For a while in the opening half it seemed the expected classic would never happen, because in a slow boiling opening period both teams looked cagey.

Chelsea managed only one shot on goal in the first half, a long-range chip from Frank Lampard that was wide of the target, but all the drama was being saved up for later.

Ronaldinho did force Petr Cech into a remarkable save, low to his left when the Brazilian rapped in an effort from a Oleguer cross after 30 minutes.

But that was just the warm-up because the simmering tension and rivalry that clearly exists between the teams suddenly exploded just before half-time when Messi hared down the line, followed by Robben. As the Argentine tangled with his opponent, Del Horno arrived late and clattered into him, leaving him writhing on the floor.

It was a bad challenge rather than a deliberately nasty one, but within seconds Barcelona players engulfed the Spanish international, having run from all over the pitch to reach him.

Referee Hauge chose to issue a red card, a harsh decision and one that Chelsea complained about long and hard. But it was decision that was always a possibility given the nature of the match and the recklessness of the challenge.

Mourinho’s reaction, after much arm-waving of course, was to take off Joe Cole and replace him with Geremi and then swap Crespo for Drogba at half-time. It proved to be a stroke of genius.

Remarkably his substitutions had the effect of galvanising both his team and the crowd, with Robben firing a left-foot shot just wide and then Paulo Ferreira, of all people, rampaging forward and hitting a shot from distance.

Then, out of the blue, Chelsea grabbed an unlikely lead to stun their rivals after 58 minutes.

It was Robben who won a free-kick wide on the left following a foul from Oleguer, and, when Lampard whipped the ball in Barca defender Motta, under pressure from John Terry, stooped to head it into his own net.

Lampard almost fooled keeper Valdes with a copy-cat cross minutes later and, with Claude Makelele outstanding in midfield, Chelsea weathered the storm in an increasingly high octane atmosphere.

Henrik Larrsson was brought on to try and find Barca a goal, but Drogba thundered an effort on the turn just over the bar as Chelsea continued to fight them all the way.

In a bizarre twist of fate, however, Barcelona equalised with an own goal of their own in the 71st minute. This time a free-kick conceded by Carvalho was whipped in by Ronaldinho and headed into the net by Terry who had climbed above everyone to reach the ball.

There was a lucky escape for the home side seconds later when Messi, perhaps the game’s outstanding player, curled a long-range effort onto the bar. Then Terry made amends for his previous error by dramatically clearing off the line when Larsson looked certain to score.

By this stage the action was breathless, and substitute Silvinho was only denied by a fine save from Cech - before Terry hacked off the line for a second time, this time from Ronaldinho.

Barcelona also had a strong penalty shout when Terry bundled over Messi in the area and they eventually took the lead when Marquez crossed from the left and Eto’o rose at the far post to head powerfully home with nine minutes to go.

The result leaves Barcelona firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals, but, if the second leg can match this game for sheer drama and excitement, then there is plenty more to look forward to.

CHELSEA: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele, Joe Cole (Geremi 40), Gudjohnsen, Lampard, Robben (Wright-Phillips 78), Crespo (Drogba 45).

BARCELONA: Valdes, Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst (Sylvinho 69), Messi, Deco (Iniesta 84), Edmilson, Motta (Larsson 65), Eto’o, Ronaldinho.

Ref: Terje Hauge (Norway).

 

Eto’o gives Barca edge

Title

IF LAST season’s epic clash between Chelsea and Barcelona was an advert for the beautiful game, this year’s rip-roaring sequel was as astonishing, breathless example of high-octane football - won by Barcelona 2-1.

You could hardly fit more action into one football match with Asier Del Horno sent off, Motta and John Terry scoring own goals, Terry clearing off the line twice, Samuel Eto’o heading a winner and non-stop action for the entire second half.

It was all the more remarkable because the game started so tentatively and failed to burst into action until Chelsea became the victims of a controversial red card against Barcelona for the second season in a row.

Del Horno’s reckless challenge on Messi looked deserving of a booking at most, but his dismissal gave credence to Jose Mourinho’s pre-match warning that Chelsea players should be wary of opponents trying to get home players in trouble.

Clearly Del Horno did not listen to his manager’s words closely enough, but his departure was manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorists who follow Chelsea, not least those sitting in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Followers of European football will hardly need reminding of the history between these sides, including the sending-off of Didier Drogba in the Nou Camp when they met last year or the row that ensued when Chelsea accused Frank Rijkaard of putting pressure on referee Anders Frisk at half-time.

And that’s even before you mention Chelsea’s wonderful 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge last year.

For a while in the opening half it seemed the expected classic would never happen, because in a slow boiling opening period both teams looked cagey.

Chelsea managed only one shot on goal in the first half, a long-range chip from Frank Lampard that was wide of the target, but all the drama was being saved up for later.

Ronaldinho did force Petr Cech into a remarkable save, low to his left when the Brazilian rapped in an effort from a Oleguer cross after 30 minutes.

But that was just the warm-up because the simmering tension and rivalry that clearly exists between the teams suddenly exploded just before half-time when Messi hared down the line, followed by Robben. As the Argentine tangled with his opponent, Del Horno arrived late and clattered into him, leaving him writhing on the floor.

It was a bad challenge rather than a deliberately nasty one, but within seconds Barcelona players engulfed the Spanish international, having run from all over the pitch to reach him.

Referee Hauge chose to issue a red card, a harsh decision and one that Chelsea complained about long and hard. But it was decision that was always a possibility given the nature of the match and the recklessness of the challenge.

Mourinho’s reaction, after much arm-waving of course, was to take off Joe Cole and replace him with Geremi and then swap Crespo for Drogba at half-time. It proved to be a stroke of genius.

Remarkably his substitutions had the effect of galvanising both his team and the crowd, with Robben firing a left-foot shot just wide and then Paulo Ferreira, of all people, rampaging forward and hitting a shot from distance.

Then, out of the blue, Chelsea grabbed an unlikely lead to stun their rivals after 58 minutes.

It was Robben who won a free-kick wide on the left following a foul from Oleguer, and, when Lampard whipped the ball in Barca defender Motta, under pressure from John Terry, stooped to head it into his own net.

Lampard almost fooled keeper Valdes with a copy-cat cross minutes later and, with Claude Makelele outstanding in midfield, Chelsea weathered the storm in an increasingly high octane atmosphere.

Henrik Larrsson was brought on to try and find Barca a goal, but Drogba thundered an effort on the turn just over the bar as Chelsea continued to fight them all the way.

In a bizarre twist of fate, however, Barcelona equalised with an own goal of their own in the 71st minute. This time a free-kick conceded by Carvalho was whipped in by Ronaldinho and headed into the net by Terry who had climbed above everyone to reach the ball.

There was a lucky escape for the home side seconds later when Messi, perhaps the game’s outstanding player, curled a long-range effort onto the bar. Then Terry made amends for his previous error by dramatically clearing off the line when Larsson looked certain to score.

By this stage the action was breathless, and substitute Silvinho was only denied by a fine save from Cech - before Terry hacked off the line for a second time, this time from Ronaldinho.

Barcelona also had a strong penalty shout when Terry bundled over Messi in the area and they eventually took the lead when Marquez crossed from the left and Eto’o rose at the far post to head powerfully home with nine minutes to go.

The result leaves Barcelona firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals, but, if the second leg can match this game for sheer drama and excitement, then there is plenty more to look forward to.

CHELSEA: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele, Joe Cole (Geremi 40), Gudjohnsen, Lampard, Robben (Wright-Phillips 78), Crespo (Drogba 45).

BARCELONA: Valdes, Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst (Sylvinho 69), Messi, Deco (Iniesta 84), Edmilson, Motta (Larsson 65), Eto’o, Ronaldinho.

Ref: Terje Hauge (Norway).