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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 13:19 GMT
The battle of Stamford Bridge
By Mandeep Sanghera
Our man at Stamford Bridge

It is clear what the game against Barcelona meant to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Emotions were white hot at the end of Chelsea's intense and breathtaking Champions League tie victory over Barcelona on Tuesday.

While Chelsea were ecstatic Barcelona were despondent and a tunnel skirmish involving the Catalan outfit encapsulated a bad-tempered affair.

Chelsea scout Andre Villas banged the side of his fist against the perspex of the players' tunnel and grimaced at Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard.

Rijkaard was walking off to lick his wounds after the defeat but Villas' actions caused the usually cool Dutchman to snap.

He attempted to confront the Blues official only for stewards to hold the seething Barca boss back.

Rijkaard was joined at the mouth of the tunnel by his players as they began to trudge off and they also became embroiled in a struggle with stewards.

Barca striker Samuel Eto'o claimed he was racially abused by a steward, who says he was spat at by the Cameroon international.

These incidents are unsavoury, unwanted and unnecessary but the game was on edge throughout in the wake of the fall out of the first leg.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho did not turn up to the post-match news conference after the 2-1 loss at the Nou Camp and was unhappy with referee Anders Frisk who had sent-off Blues striker Didier Drogba.

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard

Chelsea said a report would be sent to Uefa about an apparent half-time meeting between Frisk and Rijkaard while the build up to the return leg started with Barca's players criticising the tactics of the opponents.

Rijkaard denied the meeting with the referee but any influence he tried to exert on match official Pierluigi Collina at Stamford Bridge did not go down well with Mourinho.

He gestured for the Barca boss to sit back down after Rijkaard sprung to the touchline to remonstrate to Collina about a challenge on Andres Iniesta.

To the Dutchman's disdain the free-kick went to the home side but the abrasive gestures, which are becoming a Mourinho trademark after he put his finger to his lips in the Carling Cup win over Liverpool, were not finished.

The Portuguese seemingly blew a double helping of two-handed kisses in the direction of Barca fans as he walked off down the tunnel.

Rijkaard's calm exterior at the news conference betrayed the burning fire in his eyes.

But, after all the accusations, anger and acrimony has been spent, the quality of the football and engrossing nature of such a heavyweight encounter will live long in the memory.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho


Interview: Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard


Interview: Chelsea spokesman Simon Greenberg




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