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Chelsea vs. Barcelona: Your Running Commentary

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One of the few things that Lionel Messi has yet to do in his remarkable career is score against Chelsea. He'll get an opportunity to snap that six-game drought in the first leg of Barcelona's highly anticipated UEFA Champions League semifinal with Chelsea, with Wednesday's first leg taking place at Stamford Bridge (2 p.m., FX).

Barcelona is on a mission to repeat as UCL title holders, and to do that the Spanish giants will aim to seize control of the series on the road in a rematch of the controversial 2009 semifinal that they won on a late Andres Iniesta goal. The match also marks the return to London for a pair of former Premier League standouts, as Javier Mascherano and Cesc Fabregas are both in the starting XI for Pep Guardiola's side.

Chelsea has been playing a much better brand of soccer under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, and the Blues need an advantageous result at home to avoid having to climb a steep mountain at Camp Nou in next week's return leg.

If you will be watching today's match, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

Comments

  1. I love watching Barca but as a Chelsea fan, I gotta say that was righteous.

    Bizarre game though. One thing that was odd was the positive spirit between the players tonight. As much as Drogba was on the ground, he wasn’t yelling for fouls and the Barca Spaniards weren’t diving and crying. It was kind of refreshing.

    That said, wow did Chelsea shorten that 2nd half with time….usage (wasting). 🙂

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  2. We get it man, you hate Chelsea. Being clinical doesn’t always mean being lucky. Getting one chance and finishing is being clutch, not lucky. Barcelona couldn’t finish and Cech played great. You can dominate a game all you want but it’s all for nothing if you can’t finish. In this case, it was all for nothing for Barca.

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  3. I don’t blame Chelsea for using the correct strategy to win. The blame goes to Barca for spending most of the game by making hundreds of unnecessary passes. Get the ball to the net, and stop wasting so much time!

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  4. agreed 100% … and where were all these so-called Barca fans a decade ago … yeah … no where, they were probably Milan fans.

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  5. What a beast. I’m cheering for Barca, but that was a fantastic shift. I hope he comes to MLS, that was a performance full of heart and determination.

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  6. Spot on. Drogba was dominant at times. Nowhere near a disgrace. Exaggerate “injuries”? Sure, but nothing that hasn’t been seen before.

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  7. Yo-you sound like a bitter hater. Can’t you just enjoy things? It was a great game, Chelsea had some things go their way, but your attempts at discrediting what was an amazing defensive display just look juvenile.

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  8. Drogba man of the match. What a shift. He was a beast all game. Barca never really got into it in the 2nd half.

    Props to Chelsea, even when they had all 11 back defending.

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  9. god, barca fans are so egotistical and have such a sense of entitlement because they out possess their opponents. get out of here.

    anyway, good (yet boring and scrappy) win for Chelsea. huge they didn’t allow any away goals. but i don’t think 1-0 is going to be enough. maybe they can score in Barca, but that’ll be tough.

    great second leg matches coming up!

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  10. Pep has paid the price of having no legitimate strikers. Chelsea chopped down Messi and made him give up the ball, to pretenders who needed spoon fed tap ins that they get in League play.

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  11. Chelsea just beat the best team in world football without conceding an away goal.

    I doubt they’ll be penning apologies to all ‘purists’ out there.

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  12. Well, a potentially good game turned out to be terribly boring thanks to an entire match of anti-football.

    Hopefully the second leg of my Madrid match doesn’t end up like this. Probably won’t though, Bayern has far more respect for themselves.

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  13. You’re telling me that the little Barcelona players are throwing Drogba to the ground?

    This guy might be the biggest diver in football.

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  14. Alexis is now even with Cesc for ineptitude in front of goal. They are in Barcelona but like two pink M&Ms in a bowl full of red and brown. They are in there but you know they don’t belong.,,

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  15. fox won the bidding war for the Champion’s League U.S. broadcast rights. i’m guessing ESPN couldn’t afford both the EPL and the champion’s league and went with the one they thought would get the best bang for the buck.

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  16. the penalty not given might be luck, but I fail to see how a combination of good defensive plays and the other team missing shots make chelsea ‘lucky’.

    the missing wide-open shots part would mean that every team that’s ever played against me has been very lucky.

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  17. Sorry, I was referring to the 1992 US Olympic basketball team, usually referred to as the Dream Team. Probably the greatest collection of individual talent on one team ever, in any sport, and they absolutely destroyed every team they faced.

    Sure it’s apples and oranges, but people talk about Barca like they’re as dominant a team as that US basketball team was. And great though Barcelona is, they aren’t this transcendent collection of talent that some people present them as. I mean, they probably won’t even win their league! We just need to temper our praise of them.

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  18. This official refuses to hand out yellows to Chelsea for professional fouls.

    I swear they said they were going to start doing that more.

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  19. Oh Alexis! What a waste by an elegant chip by Fabregas

    Chelsea starting the half well though. Defending is easier when you have all 11 back.

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  20. Are you saying the obviously pro barca commenters would exaggerate the legitimacy of a barca penalty claim??

    Well, I never.

    I’m with you. I get that their possession is poetry in motion and all that, but that doesn’t mean they should be awarded victories without having to score the actual goals.

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  21. so you’d put the 92 Barca team against this current dynasty, eh? That would be a fun what if…. Id’ do the same with the current Real Madrid and the Zidane’s squad…

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  22. As a Fulham supporter, the last thing I want to do is defend Chelsea. But a couple things: it was never a penalty. Notice how no Barca players appealed when Iniesta went down? Because there was no foul. And while I hate Drogba, Barca have been fouling him constantly. Is he going down easily. Yeah, probably. But (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) you guys are being too hard on him. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the obsession with this Barca team. They’re great, absolutely, but they aren’t the ’92 Dream Team. Calm down.

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  23. Sorry, that was Messi with the turnover at midfield, Ramires controls the diagonal ball and his cross is able to find Drogba for the finish.

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