European Soccer

Iniesta's Miracle Strike

IniestaEssien (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                                  Photo by ISIphotos.com

After more than 180 minutes without a goal in its Champions League semifinal series, FC Barcelona looked in danger of having its dream season ruined at the hands of Chelsea. At least before Andres Iniesta took on the role of hero and scored a game-winning goal for the ages.

You can argue about the referee all day, but nothing takes away from the brilliance and bravery of Iniesta's clutch finish.

Here it is for those of you who haven't seen it and for those of you who, like me, can't see it enough. Enjoy:


"Andres Iniesta is the God of soccer justice."

Now that's a line.

What did you think of Iniesta's goal? One of the most clutch goals you've ever seen? What was your reaction when it happened live? Is Iniesta your new favorite player?

Share your thoughts on Iniesta's goal and Barcelona's series victory in the comments section below.

  • teh Conde

    can the Guus and the ref play in the final?

    because they were the best two players out there for Barca


  • madmax

    Guus, not crossing the mid-field stripe but once in the first tie no longer looks like genius?


  • tim

    Seriously, Ives and many other posters here, are absolutely all over Barca’s nutsack, even when they deserve to lose. Like someone said earlier, this isnt ice skating, you get points for goals not for style. Chelsea smothered Barca the entire game, got robbed by the ref, and didnt advance because of an away goal.

    What a joke. Dont even talk about being up a man. Thats ridiculous, any Chelsea player/fan would have been glad to keep that player on the field in exchange for those PKs.


  • Erik

    Watching Chelsea play over the course of the semifinal reminded me of the old Italian teams who just played defense and hoped to win 1-0. This tactic NEVER works at the highest levels.

    Poor Guus – ANOTHER semifinal loss…

    Holland – WC 98
    South Korea – WC 02
    Chelsea – UCL 09

    I am glad Barca went through. Now we get a true “Champions League” final, not a Champions versus 3rd place of the same league final.

    All of the whining from the Chelsea supporters confirms why I hate the team and their style of play and attitude. Every time something doesn’t go their way, this over the top “we deserved it more” attitude settles in. Football isn’t about who deserved it, it’s about who puts the ball in the back of the net. In this case, Barca wins on away goals and the rest is history.

    Good riddance Chelsea with your overpaid athletes and piss poor attitudes.


  • Dave

    oy ve, it’s like a broken record w/ your line of reasoning Tim. Why did Barca deserve to lose? Because the referee didn’t MAKE some decisions FOR Chelsea? I’m a Barca fan, but I just can’t agree w/ this thinking. You were a man up for 30 minutes on your home ground, how do you respond to that? ANSWER THAT QUESTION? The ref didn’t take any goals AWAY from you, he just didn’t award you any penalties. And Barca didn’t score on some “cheap” goal, they scored a FANTASTIC goal w/out any tint of unfairness to it.

    The whining is UNBELIEVABLE.

    One thing I will agree with. I was very disappointed in Pep’s inability to employ a Plan “B” against Chelsea. It was obvious that they were going to play the same game as at the Camp Nou but on a smaller pitch, w/ more initiate to attack on the counter-pretty much exactly what they did. But Barca HAD no answer. And yes, it was largely down to ineffective passing and penetration in the final third-I mean Alves wasted about 10 crosses, only to produce a gem on the last one. But the scheme overall was woefully ineffective.

    ManU will do the same thing-just as they did last year in the semis, and look to spring Ronaldo, Rooney and Co. on the counter. And ManU have an even stronger central pairing-so what is Pep to do? You can’t just say we are going to keep attacking when that obviously didn’t work-time for a plan B…


  • Army of Dad

    Why all the Barca love? They seemed content to foul any attacking player that got near their own penalty area. The handballs were pretty bad and at least one of those should have been whistled.

    Drag down an attacker on the break, in and around the box, knock down shots and passes with your arms…NOT beautiful!


  • Jeff

    Disclaimer: I’m a past Barcelona resident and huge Barca fan.

    I damn near dropped my newborn baby when Iniesta scored. My wife grabbed him from me as I cavorted about the living room like a madman with my delirious, brainwashed, Barca-loving 5-year-old daughter dancing with me.

    That being said, the ref was indeed horrible and Chelsea should have had one penalty FOR SURE (the Pique hand ball); Chelsea had numerous other opportunities though – the Chelsea players need look only in the mirror to find those most responsible for not progressing.


  • jimmyfloyd

    “All of the whining from the Chelsea supporters confirms why I hate the team and their style of play and attitude.” Which style of play do you hate exactly, the style that put up 7 goals against Liverpool (a far superior team to Barca) or the one who held the infallible Barca to 1 goal? Seems to me that Chelsea can adapt, and the Catalans have only one game plan. From what we saw yesterday, I think Barca were the weakest team left. Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, United would have been a far more appropriate grouping.

    Don’t hate anybody Eric, we are just having a discussion.


  • HomeyBoehme

    There is a difference between ball to hand and a handball (where a player deliberately plays the ball with his hand). I did not see a deliberate handball in any of the “missed penalties” the entire game.

    @Dave – well said.


  • Northzax

    Jimmy: and should we refer to last week’s game thread? Certainly no whining from Barca supporters there about the mean Chelsea players and the bad reffing…


  • Alex

    SOmeone needs to tell Chelsea’s defensive coordinator that all the pre-vent defense does is PREVENT you from winning!!! Horrible it shouldn’t have come down to the PK’s or the red card they need to finish their chances, they rushed everything, and I’ll say it again ashley cole is garbage!!I hate the away goals rule, its so stupid, so stupid I’ll never like it, there should have been overtime. You should have to win to go to the championship game.


  • Dave

    The only thing I complained (ok whined) about last week was Hiddink’s slight of hand. The day before the match he said it was going to be a “goalfest.” Obviously he had absolutely NO intention of actually realizing that, he did not bring his team to the Camp Nou to score, he brought them there to prevent Barca from scoring and possibly grab one if Barca made a mistake-which they did-see Marquez, but Drogba-the biggest “f*n disgrace” at the Bridge yesterday couldn’t pull through for the Blues-I can only imagine that the Ivorians tirade after the game was down to his fury at himself for missing 2 gilt-edged opportunities over the 2 legs.

    Either way, the complaints last week were about Catenaccio-a style of play employed by a team. This week they are about “unfairness” of a result down to refereeing.

    The ref was atrocious for sure, Chelsea should probably have been awared at least 1 penalty-but at the end of the day, they have ONLY themselves to blame, case closed, Barca ManU in Roma. can’t wait.


  • Dominghosa

    Barcelona spent more than 180 minutes to deliver the perfect pass for the perfect goal. And it was Messi who created it and Iniesta who finished it.
    Disappointing semifinals. Great goal.


  • Turtle

    To set the scene:

    -at the Stamford Bridge in London

    -Barca starts with make shift back line.

    -Red card to Barca with 25 minutes to play (Chelsea up 1-0)

    The facts:

    – Chelsea has total of 5 shots after 65th minute.

    – 0 shots on goal.


    That’s why Chelsea will be watching the final.



  • Kevin

    Okay I didn’t read every comment, but did anyone else love how he let the ball cross over to his right foot before striking?

    It reminded me of a little kid shooting, yet to pull off a righty finish like that is even more difficult than taking it left footed. He wasn’t able to plant his left next to the ball. He had to keep it back to avoid the ball. Thus, it’s amazing that he didn’t send it into the stands. Awesome shot!


  • seed

    why hasn’t anyone pointed out that Johann Cruyff is still involved with the Barca organization: much more, he’s probably the best Barca player ever to have worn the shirt.

    of course he’s going to say chelsea deserved to lose

    let’s be serious


  • Pratsy

    I think its a victory for football in general. I hate teams that snatch a goal (not to take away from Essien’s brilliant strike) and then put ten men behind the ball (cough Italy). Barca play a free flowing, attacking and exciting style of football that is fun to watch and is the way football is meant to be played. Although its controversial, I think that Barca and ManU are the two best teams in Europe and deserve to play each other in the final.


  • kevin


    Drogba and Anelka are divers who can’t score. It would have been injustice had they one the tie on phantom pk’s and red cards.


  • Colin Ferguson

    Great strike.

    I’m not sure where the Hiddink criticism is coming from. You can’t play 180 minutes against Barca better than that.

    When his tenure at Russia is over, you can guarantee all the big teams will come after him. Absolute genius.


  • Dan Roudebush

    Whe big fuss by Chelsea supporters that Barca had only one shot on goal?

    They actually out shot Chelsea 14-13.

    A shot on goal can be a worse shot (too soft, direct to keeper, etc) then a shot that is not on traget, but the player doesn’t quite get enough curve on the ball, etc.

    When you have 11-vs 10 for over 30% of the game and still get outshot, your not playing to win.

    The other thing that most seem to miss here is how high Barca plays defense and puts pressure on the other team to win the ball in the opponent’s third..


  • Areign

    one shot, one kill.

    all the haters should stop crying about the ref. it sucked both ways over both legs. 3 penatly claims? please, i see one there and its not as bad as henry in the first leg. secondly ballack shouldnt have been on the field in the first leg, and abidal should have been there for the final 30 in the second leg.

    I think a visionary of apathy said it best in the 2002 WC. he said that [The other teams] should stop blaming the referees for their own failings, he said that when people cry conspiracy it just angers him. thank you for that statement hiddink, now i hope you choke on your words and are suffocated by your anti-football.

    also, this was posted above, translated for truth:
    Kudos to Guus Hiddink, who designed perfect tactics to TIE an excellent opponent. Unfortunately for Guus, it is difficult to TIE when the other side HAS THE AWAY GOAL ADVANTAGE.

    also, substituting in, its difficult to win when you dont attack would have also worked.


  • jimmyfloyd

    It is not Chelsea, Barca, or United’s job to entertain you. It is their job to win games. Sometimes the games are entertaining, and sometimes they are not. A 1-0 win on Wednesday would have been more exciting for me than the 4-4 draw they had against L’pool in the previous match.


  • ChelseaMatt

    “Iniesta is the God of soccer justice”?

    (Strange) sense of justice.

    Barca isn’t to blame for the referee’s decisions, but at some point you learn that the ref doesn’t have the testicles to call a penalty and that you can get away with anything. It affected the result of the game. If that’s soccer justice, I’m not sure I’m interested in the sport. Fortunately, I don’t believe that, or else I would just give up watching soccer.


  • Kevin

    The Final is going to be horrible and one sided if you ask me. Barca has shown that they cannot score in handfuls against English teams and an away goal is not going to save you in the Final. That being said they are also goign to have a very piss poor defence in there with injuries and suspensions looming. So for everyone saying that this is a “Dream” Final I think that you are goign to be sorely dissappointed. ManU win by at least 2 goals if not bageling Barca in the Final.


  • Erik


    I think you are right about Barca not having another game plan. I am not a Barca fan in the least and find them quite boring at times. When they turn it on in La Liga, they look great, but otherwise, not really.

    Chelsea has to be one of the most boring teams around. They have their moments when they can score goals, but otherwise they put me to sleep.


  • Pico


    Well said man! It is amazing how quickly people forget that Guus’ Korean team benefited from horrendous officiating against Spain in the 2002 WC. He should know better! Every dog has its day.

    I wonder how many of the Chelsea fans that are lauding their team’s tactical masterpiece against Barcelona would have condemned the Italians for their use of the Catenaccio when they were dominating competition. I bet a few had some not-so-nice adjectives to describe that style.

    Also, can they recall an instance where their team has benefited from poor officiating do the other’s detriment? I bet many of them are offering the same arguments that Barcelona fans are doing right now.

    A few things I have learned from decades of watching football:

    – Victories are not deserved. You win it or loose it on your own. Don’t let anyone else dictate the outcome
    – Goals win games and you always try to score more than your opponents, and then some more
    – ‘Ifs’ do not count or matter
    – Just like in real life, there will always be dark days and sunny days. But life goes on
    – And you always hope Lady Luck likes your smile



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