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The BBC's Ron Jones
"This was one of the truly great European matches"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 18 April, 2000, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Chelsea's European dream shattered
Figo's strike tied the aggregate scores
Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (AET)
Aggregate: 6-4

Chelsea's Champions League challenge was wrecked as Barcelona secured a remarkable victory in the second leg of their quarter-final.

With just seven minutes of normal time remaining the west London side were heading through to the last four, after Tore Andre Flo's goal had given them a 4-3 aggregate lead.

Match facts
24: Rivaldo's opener puts Barca back in it
45: Figo makes it 3-3 overall
60: Flo edges Chelsea towards the last four
83: Dani levels for Barca
85: Rivaldo misses a penalty
98: Rivaldo scors from the spot, Babayaro sent off
104: Kluivert's goal ends it

But the Spanish outfit produced an amazing finale to take the game into extra time.

And when Chelsea were reduced to 10 men in the extra 30-minute period, Barcelona took advantage, as goals from Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert secured a thrilling win.

The result was a humbling experience for Chelsea, who had begun the night with such optimism as they defended the 3-1 lead they had carved out at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.

But Barcelona, backed by a passionate 98,000 crowd, produced a first-half masterclass as Rivaldo and Luis Figo cancelled out the two-goal lead.

At that stage the Blues were heading for the exit door on the away goals rule.

Flo's goal had threatened to take Chelsea through

But Chelsea battled back superbly and Flo put them in front at 4-3 overall with a 60th minute strike.

In a rollercoaster finale substitute Dani had a handful of chances for Barca before at last equalising.

And three minutes from the end Kluivert bundled the ball into the net to send the Catalan faithful wild - but the referee had already blown for a penalty following Frank Leboeuf's clumsy challenge on the Dutch striker.

The Blues were given their last lifeline when Rivaldo missed the target with his penalty - but it mattered little.

In extra time Celestine Babayaro was sent off after bundling over Luis Figo.

Rivaldo showed enormous bravery to step up again to take the spot kick - and this time he made no mistake with a low strike to de Goey's right.

Kluivert then headed a 104th minute goal to wrap up an astonishing victory.

There were still chances at both ends on a night of high drama, but there was to be no way back for the Blues.

Barcelona now face another Spanish side, Valencia, in the semi-finals.

Rivaldo revival

Chelsea had high hopes going into the return leg but they surrendered the initiative when Rivaldo pulled a goal back after 24 minutes.

Rivaldo had a mixed night from the penalty spot
Didier Deschamps brought down Rivaldo 30 yards out and the Brazilian then saw his free-kick take a huge deflection off the wall and ricochet past Chelsea keeper Ed de Goey.

And the tie was turned on its head in first-half injury time when Luis Figo smacked the ball into the Chelsea net after Kluivert's neat strike had collided with the post.

Chelsea had to score in the second half or their European challenge would have been over.

The visitors restarted in determined fashion and their pressure paid off with 60 minutes on the clock.

There seemed little danger as Gianfranco Zola chased down what seemed a forlorn long-ball - but Barca keeper Ruud Hesp slipped as he tried to clear the ball and kicked it straight at Flo.

The Norwegian frontman took another stride towards goal and then curled the ball around the hapless Hesp.

Still Barcelona were not down, though.

Frank Leboeuf suffered a torrid time at the back
De Goey was forced to tip a goal-bound cross from Michael Reiziger and the Dutch keeper was relieved to see a header from Kluivert rebound off the bar.

Substitute Dani had two glorious chances to level for Barcelona - but he headed wide after Figo's free-kick had found him unmarked at the far post and then saw another header turned around the post by de Goey.

Dani was at the centre of the action and he finally found the net with his third header - this time glancing the ball home from Pep Guardiola's free-kick.

The tie looked over when Kluivert forced the ball over the line - but he had been felled by Leboeuf and the penalty was awarded.

Rivaldo stepped up but fired the spot-kick wide of the post.

There was to be redemption for Rivaldo eight minutes into extra time, however, with his second penalty.

And Babayaro's dismissal effectively ended Chelsea's challenge, Kluivert wrapping up the win with goal number five.

With the London side's European dream in tatters, Vialli said that the club still had plenty to play for.

"We have to turn disappointment into something that works in our favour," he said, referring to their FA Cup final against Aston Villa on 20 May.


Barcelona: Hesp, Zenden, F de Boer, Reiziger, Puyol, Cocu, Guardiola, Gabri, Rivaldo, Kluivert, Figo.
Subs: Arnau, Abelardo, Litmanen, Sergi, Dani, Simao, Xavi.

Chelsea: De Goey, Babayaro, Desailly, Leboeuf, Ferrer, Morris, Wise, Deschamps, Di Matteo, Zola, Flo.
Subs: Cudicini, Petrescu, Poyet, Sutton, Ambrosetti, Lambourde, Thome.

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

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