FC Barcelona is the most talented soccer club in the world, as some may view them. However as they played their second leg of the UEFA Semifinal against English Premier League giant Chelsea, they faltered in front of their home fans of over 90,000. The team had the advantage most of the game, although they entered the match down a goal from the first leg played in England. Chelsea’s best player, and the core of their defense, John Terry, was ejected during the 37th minute of the first half, allowing Barcelona an incredible 83% possession.
As Barcelona ruled the ball, Chelsea excelled in the counter for there were numerous occasions where the game could have been put out of reach on several breakaways that fell short. Barcelona was granted a penalty kick in the first 5 minutes of the second half, which the entire Camp Nou believed would end the competitiveness of the game, allowing Barcelona to gain the lead and go into preservation mode. However, arguably the best player in the world missed the penalty kick, as Lionel Messi struck the bar, sending fans into a frenzy. Messi looked off all night as he barely had space to operate with Chelsea playing their men back most of the second half. Chelsea defended bravely the second half, not allowing Barcelona to capture the momentum that they had achieved during the first half. And to soccer’s greatest advantage, a goal out of nowhere at the end of regulation by former star Fernando Torres would put Barcelona out of its misery.
The forgotten world class striker regained his popularity in seconds by breaking away from Barcelona’s attacking defensive front of and dancing his way around Barcelona’s goalkeeper, sending 90,000 fans home sick, and Chelsea into the EUFA final.