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Barcelona v Chelsea as it happened

Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea



To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 . (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

2156: There we must leave it. The aforementioned Danny Baker is taking your calls on 606 in four minutes. Jonathan Stevenson returns to the chair for Manchester United-Arsenal tomorrow. Bye for now.

From George, a satisfied Chelsea fan, via text on 81111: "The most important incident was by far Puyol's booking. With Marquez's injury, Barca won't fancy their luck with a third-choice centre-back against an in-form Didier Drogba at the Bridge."

2151: And speaking of Dannys, here's the Stat: "Danny the Stat fans will remember I queried the discrepancy between the Barca marks (high) and the Chelsea marks (low) at half-time. But the times, they are a-changing - as epitomised by the scores on our Player Rater . They are now far more Chelsea-friendly. Andres Iniesta remains top dog on 7.51, but maligned Petr Cech is answering his critics with a seven-breaking 7.04. That could yet all change, dear punters, that could yet all change..."
Barcelona v Chelsea Player Rater

2149: Ooh crikey, Danny Baker is on the BBC Radio channel marked '5 Live' in 11 minutes and I forgot to tell you to get involved in his 606 thread. So get involved would you? He'll be ever so pleased...
Danny Baker on 606

From anon via text on 81111: "Great result, probably have taken it at the beginning. Breaking news: Messi is human!"

From anon via text on 81111: "That was the most uninspired, boring and downright pathetic display of anti-football I've ever seen. Guus is tactically sound as ever but parking the bus really does nothing for any fan."

2141: Well, I know it wasn't the Tuesday goalfest we've become accustomed to. In fact, it was quite the opposite no? But you have to congratulate Chelsea on an excellent defensive performance. That is the first time Barcelona have failed to score at home this season. Astonishing.

BBC Sport's David Garrido at the Camp Nou: "A chorus of expletives from the Barca fans after Bojan put that header over (see 2132). Where's Harry Redknapp's wife Sandra when you need her?!"

Mark Lawrenson on BBC 5 Live: "Barcelona play a certain way, they want to pass you to death, but Chelsea filled all the holes. Every time a Barca player had the ball, they couldn't see any spaces. Barcelona might play better at the Bridge, but I really don't fancy them defensively."

2137: FULL-TIME Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea

2136: Michael Ballack replaced by Nicolas Anelka as Chelsea look to run the clock down.

2135: There's been more action in added time than in the entire second half. Dani Alves' inswinging cross only just spins wide of Petr Cech's right-hand post. The Chelsea keeper turns to his team-mates and tells them to calm down - easy for him to say.

2134: Suddenly, Alex Hleb is through, but his first touch isn't perfect and Petr Cech is out very quickly to make the crucial save. Hleb is on to the follow-up but it's a difficult angle and he hits the side netting.

2132: An absolute sitter. The sitter of all sitters, you might say. Dani Alves swings over a delicious cross from the right and Bojan somehow - somehow - heads over from about two yards. There will be five minutes of added time.

2130: Leo Messi gives the ball away twice in about 10 seconds. The magician's lost his touch tonight.

2128: And now Thierry Henry is off, leaving only Leo Messi of the 'holy trinity' on the pitch. Alex Hleb is on.

2125: Andres Iniesta goes down clutching his face after taking on Michael Ballack. Slight contact, nothing more, but he immediately turns to the ref and waves an imaginary yellow card. Thankfully, Wolfgang Stark ignores that nonsense and merely gives Barca the free-kick - from which they get nothing.

From therocklobster on 606: "Where has Messi gone - must have gone off at half time?"
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From BBC Sport's David Garrido at the Camp Nou: "Squeaky-bum time. I'm slightly annoyed at the guy opposite - a) his whistling at Drogba almost burst my ear, and b) he's got a Barca cushion to sit on."

2123: Massive cheer from the home fans as Samuel Eto'o is replaced by 18-year-old Bojan.

2122: Barcelona break at pace and Andres Iniesta's cross is beaten away at his near post by Petr Cech.

2121: Corner for Chelsea... headed away by Yaya Toure. Oh.

2119: Carles Puyol goes straight through the back of Florent Malouda - but Barca win the free-kick because Chelsea are caught offside in the aftermath. That's a very strange decision by Wolfgang Stark.

Yellow card

2116: Barca skipper Carles Puyol - on as a sub in this game - will miss the second leg after he is booked for a foul on Michael Ballack.

2115: Samuel Eto'o slips the ball inside to Thierry Henry, who seems to have his shirt pulled a bit by Jose Bosingwa. No penalty - but it was a very slight tug.

2113: Alright, alright, you can stop battering poor old Alex from London (see 2055). I feel bad for publishing it, but it made me laugh a bit. I think he's got a bit confused in his excitement hasn't he?

2112: Substitution time - and it's a shock one too. Juliano Belletti replaces Frank Lampard. He has been very quiet tonight, but still, if you want an away goal...

2111: Samuel Eto'o bulldozes his way through, despite the close attentions of Alex. He cuts back, leaving Alex on the floor, and has the shot - but Petr Cech is equal to it. The Barca fans respond by upping the noise levels.

2108: Frank Lampard's tackle on Andres Iniesta gives Barca a free-kick in a dangerous area, 30 yards out... Dani Alves' effort thwacks the top of the net. A very nervous moment for Chelsea fans.

From Manuel in Fleet, via text on 81111 : "Dani Alves needs to stop acting. And Chelsea need to get Drogba more service."

2105: OK, enough is enough, I quite enjoyed the first half, but this isn't a lot of cop now. A goal, if you wouldn't mind.

2102: Dani Alves hammers a shot in, but Petr Cech beats that away quite easily. Didier Drogba needs treatment after an aerial challenge with Gerard Pique a few moments ago. Drogba gets the inevitable boos and whistles as he trudges off.

2100: Corner from the right goes straight to Leo Messi just inside the box but the Argentine volleys over. He could do with some lessons from Paul Scholes.

2058: Gerard Pique produces a stunning pass from the halfway line, which is chested down by Dani Alves - but Petr Cech is alert to the danger. Barca look like they're settling down again after a scrappy start to the half.

BBC Sport's David Garrido at the Camp Nou: "'Lo importante es que no marquen ellos.' So says Barca fan Alvaro. In other words: 'we can't let Chelsea score an away goal.'"

2055: Now Dani Alves is in agony after being caught by Didier Drogba. He hobbles off, but should be OK shortly.

From Alex, London, via text on 81111: "Chelsea need to be braver. Losing 2-1 is a much better result than 0-0 in Europe."

2053: Thierry Henry is back on, and he is now more concerned about Marquez than his aching head. The Barca defender goes off on the motorised buggy and is replaced by Carles Puyol.

2051: And now another delay as Rafael Marquez goes down in all sorts of trouble. No-one anywhere near him as he is ambling forward but he appears to jar his knee and collapses to the ground.

2050: More whistles from the home crowd as Alex goes to win a header and cleans out Thierry Henry with his shoulder. Henry with a headache.

2048: Florent Malouda punches the air in disgust after he is pulled back by Dani Alves on the left. The Barca right-back avoids the yellow card which would have ruled him out of the second leg. Didier Drogba pings over the free-kick - which Michael Ballack heads inches over.

2046: Off we go again. No changes at half-time.

Chelsea assistant boss Ray Wilkins: "We've got to be very, very disciplined. We've got to get a foothold and get hold of the ball. We've been dictated to a little bit by Barca. If Didier gets another chance, I'm sure he'll stick it in."

BBC London's Chris Slegg at the Camp Nou: "A few of the more pessimistic Chelsea fans I spoke to on La Rambla this afternoon pointed out the hidings Lyon and Bayern have received here and said they just hoped to get back to the Bridge still in contention. That certainly looks achievable so far."

2038: Here's Danny the European Stat with his thoughts: "Oooh, you lot are harsh. Yeah, sure, Barca are the better team so far - and they've got the higher marks on Player Rater to prove it. But Chelsea could get a pretty good result here - yet their boys are languishing in the fours and fives. Harsh. I wouldn't want you lot rating my coursework. If I still did coursework. Which I don't. Except for stats coursework. I love stats, me."
Barcelona v Chelsea Player Rater

From David, Cheshire, via text on 81111: "Forget Manchester City signing Messi or Eto'o. I'd take Iniesta over them both. A different class who has sent Lampard AWOL."

From longlivekingjose on 606: "So far, well done Chelsea!"
Join the debate on 606

2033: Have I lost my goal touch? The last two Tuesdays, I've been commentating on 4-4 thrillers. Call me insane, I sort of enjoyed that half though.


2031: HALF-TIME Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea

BBC London's Chris Slegg at the Camp Nou: "Cech has done well to keep his concentration given the incessant percussion band camped right behind his goal. At least they have a wider repertoire than the Sheffield Wednesday band."

2029: Slip by Branislav Ivanovic now and Thierry Henry gallops away down the left but he delays his final ball for far too long and Chelsea crowd him out in the end.

2028: And now Samuel Eto'o latches onto Andres Iniesta's pass but he's marginally offside.

2027: Well, there's another attack for a start, but Didier Drogba slips as he charges into the box.

From Sharon, London, via text on 81111: "Re 1940: Ummm, when do Chelsea start attacking Guus?"

2024: Chelsea so, so close to taking the lead. Rafael Marquez manages to play the ball straight into Didier Drogba's path. The striker's initial shot is saved but he picks up the rebound and instead of shooting first time, attempts to take it past the keeper and Barca can recover.

Yellow card

2022: The home crowd are apoplectic as Yaya Toure picks up a yellow card for berating the referee after Jon Mikel Obi's trip on Andres Iniesta. Signs of frustration from Barca.

2021: Bit of pushing and shoving between Didier Drogba and Dani Alves after a Florent Malouda challenge. Lots of continental-style pointing going on.

Jon in London, via text on 81111: "Cech's pass completion rate is fantastic! 99% of passes manage to go up field to an opposing player. Skills."

2018: Thierry Henry drives a low shot though a crowd of players and Petr Cech does very well to push it behind for a corner. Barcelona have had nine shots to Chelsea's one.

BBC Sport's David Garrido at the Camp Nou: "We all know someone like the guy to my left, who starts chants that no-one else joins in with... but never gets the hint. Barca playing lovely stuff, though."

Yellow card

2015: Michael Ballack is next man into the book for a late, sliding challenge on Thierry Henry. Only Nicolas Anelka - who is on the bench - is a booking away from a ban.

2013: Another long Petr Cech kick and the ball goes straight back to the opposition. Surely this wasn't in Guus Hiddink's masterplan? Xavi canters forward and shoots just wide.

Yellow card

2011: Alex - already on a warning - flicks out a leg to bring down the advancing Leo Messi. Yellow card. Xavi's free-kick clips a Chelsea defender's head and goes over.

2010: Thierry Henry skips down the left-hand channel and beats Alex easily, but the Chelsea defender recovers well to block the cross. The Blues are doing OK defensively, but nothing going forward.

2007: Andres Iniesta sees a shot dribble wide after taking a slight deflection - but he doesn't win the corner.

BBC London's Chris Slegg at the Camp Nou: "If ever there was a 12th man, the Barca fans are it. The decibel level is deafening when they try to exert pressure on the referee. A crescendo of boos and whistles greet Alex's challenge."

From Eagleeeee! on 606: "When Chelsea defend, Ballack is dropping deeper than Essien, which is a bit strange. Essien is almost playing as a forward midfielder with Lampard and Malouda. Hiddink's masterplan?"
Join the debate on 606

Mark Lawrenson on BBC 5 Live: "The problem for Chelsea is that Petr Cech keeps kicking it long for Drogba but it's going straight through to the keeper, giving Barca possession."

2004: Leo Messi blazes a long-range shot high and wide for Barca. Home side in control here.

2002: Alex with a vital clearance for Chelsea. Leo Messi plays a beautiful pass to release Dani Alves on the right but the Chelsea defender clears the cross as Samuel Eto'o lurks.

BBC Sport's David Garrido at the Camp Nou: "The sheer monstrous size of this place still astounds me. Three girls in Barca shirts have just left the stand. Is now REALLY the time to take a toilet break?"

2000: The Barca fans are at it again as Alex clatters into Rafael Marquez, the Barca defender making the most of it. A stern word from the ref, but no card.

1958: The home fans create the most tremendous din as Jose Bosingwa brings down Leo Messi on the right wing. The Chelsea left-back does appear to get some ball, but it was a clumsy effort. Messi puts the free-kick straight out of play. Rubbish, that boy, rubbish.

1956: Eric Abidal sends in the cross from the left and again Petr Cech is struggling, palming it away unconvincingly and needing Jose Bosingwa to finish the clearance.

1955: Leo Messi hasn't had the best of starts, his first touch was a mis-control and now he collects the ball in the box and tries to take on three defenders - and fails.

1952: Andres Iniesta shows off some fancy footwork to beat Frank Lampard in his own half. Early warning there that Barca aren't just Leo Messi.

1950: Long ball over the top and Florent Malouda is after it - but Victor Valdes, who has a reputation as a bit of a dodgy keeper, gets there first.

1949: This is a decent start. Michael Essien lays the ball off for Frank Lampard, who strokes a shot wide of Victor Valdes' left-hand post.

1946: Hells bells. Thierry Henry knocks the ball past Branislav Ivanovic and tries to out-pace him, the Chelsea defender deciding to bring him down instead. Xavi takes the free-kick, Petr Cech comes then hesitates, and Samuel Eto'o wins the header at the back post. The ball bounces dangerously across goal before Rafael Marquez has a shot deflected over.

1945: German referee Wolfgang Stark gets the game under way.

BBC London's Chris Slegg in Barcelona: "When I was a lad, Crystal Palace and Barcelona shared a Subbuteo box. First impressions of the Nou Camp is that it is slightly grander than Selhurst Park. The Chelsea fans are in good voice perched way up in the gods to my left. It must look like a Subbuteo pitch to them."

1943: The players are out... I am, officially, too excited.

BBC Sport's David Garrido at the Camp Nou: "I'm surrounded by red and blue jester hats, and in front are two slightly unnerving, inflatable Barca players. Cue the anthem..."

1940: The Barcelona anthem rings out at the Camp Nou as the Barca fans wave their blue and red flags. Goosebumps time.

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink: "We know we are facing maybe the best team in the world at the moment, but we've got to put the brakes on them and take the initiative. My team have to show they have the guts to try to play and not just wait until they are beaten. Chelsea are not a side who can sit back and wait to play on the counter. We are a team that must play courageously."

1932: The Camp Nou looks absolutely stunning. It's nowhere near full yet but the atmosphere is already crackling.

From KloseButNoCigar on 606: "Re 1805: Puyol can be a liability at centre-back and was at fault for one of Valencia's goals at the weekend. Good choice for the more level-headed Marquez and Pique. I'm a Fulham fan but still cheering on the Blues. The win won't come from Messi though. It will be won and lost in central midfield."
Join the debate on 606

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola: "I'm as happy as a little boy with a new pair of shoes. I don't know if this moment can ever be repeated. The world will be watching, we are playing football which gives me joy and pride and I have 100 per cent faith in my squad. The tie will only be settled in London but we will try and play at our top level, with intensity and quick, decisive passing."
Feature - Guardiola's guiding hand

From TC, in Barcelona, via text on 81111: "Outside the Nou Camp having a beer alongside Barca fans. Cracking atmosphere, and that's before we go in. Let's get this on. Pressure all on Barca. They expect to batter us. C'mon the Chels."

1919: Here's a thing: Guus Hiddink has lost semi-finals at the World Cup (twice), European Championships and Champions League. He did win one when PSV won the European Cup in 1988.

From Kiya, Camp Nou, via text on 81111: "Atmosphere is understandably electric here! Sitting with the Barca fans, most are confident of an easy win with Bosingwa to be left dazed by Messi..."

From stephen_macca on 606: "Not that I like Chelsea by any means but Drogba could have a field day against the far from impressive Barca defence. Don't know if it's why he's on the bench but Puyol had a shocker against Valencia at the weekend."
Join the debate on 606

1904: Given those stats, you'd have thought Barca might have wrapped up La Liga by now. In fact, it's still very much in the balance. They have a four-point lead over Juande Ramos's Real Madrid ahead of El Clasico at the Bernabeu on Saturday. An early shout: Jonathan Stevenson will be bringing you live text commentary on that match from 1830 BST.

1859: Some frightening stats for you: Barcelona have scored 94 goals in La Liga. They have scored 29 in the Champions League (Chelsea have scored 19, Arsenal 16, Man Utd 14). Leo Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry have scored more goals between them (66) than the entire Chelsea team have managed in the Premier League.

From Ollie in Kent, via text on 81111: "Chelsea conceded four at home to Liverpool. Alex is a liability and Bosingwa is out of position against the best footballing talent on the planet. I'm a Chelsea fan but I can't see anything but a comfortable Barca win."

1855: Not sure why Carles Puyol starts on the bench. The Barca skipper is a booking away from a suspension, so maybe that explains it?

From Harry, Radley, via text on 81111: "We've got to worry about Xavi and Iniesta. If Essien can't keep them under wraps then we're in trouble. But I say Chelsea 2-1, Drogba and Lamps."

Chelsea's four changes from the 1-0 win over West Ham include the return of Alex at centre-back, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack in midfield and battering ram striker Didier Drogba up front. Jose Bosingwa does indeed play at left-back, face-to-face with Lionel Messi. Thierry Henry is back up top for Barcelona , with Andres Iniesta slotting back into midfield. Captain Carles Puyol is on the bench, with Rafael Marquez playing at centre-back and Eric Abidal at left-back.

From Chris in Surbiton via text on 81111: "All this talk about Bosingwa and Messi, what about Henry against Ivanovic? Easy peasy - Blues win 2-0, beast beats beauty, sorry Disney."

1843: TEAMS Barcelona v Chelsea
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Marquez, Abidal, Toure, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Henry, Eto'o. Subs: Jorquera, Puyol, Gudjohnsen, Bojan, Keita, Silvinho, Hleb.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Bosingwa, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack, Essien, Malouda, Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Di Santo, Kalou, Belletti, Anelka, Mancienne, Stoch.

1841: Interesting wording from Hiddink on the subject of Drogba, who will plough a lone furrow up front this evening. "He plays in a very charismatic way, fighting for the team. He's very efficient with his productivity and he knows what to do. He knows, also, what not to do. He knows not to over-act. We haven't spoken about that specifically but he knows how he has to play and he knows his importance."

1838: Early indications suggest that source (see 1825) is very disputable indeed. Jose Bosingwa is on the team-sheet, while Jon Mikel Obi starts in midfield. Confirmation to follow.

1836: While you wouldn't blame Chelsea for obsessing about Messi, Barcelona will have to deal with Didier Drogba. If the Ivorian scores, he'll set a new record after scoring in his last five Champions League games.

From Shaun, Arsenal fan, Peterborough, via text on 81111: "Was lucky enough to visit Nou Camp in October, Barca were 5-0 up at half-time, amazing performance. Sadly I think it'll be 1-0 tonight, all the hype about Messi has put the standards very high! Still, come on Barca."

From Aaron, Miami, via text on 81111: "A totally gutted Chelsea fan stuck at work in Miami wishing he could sneak out of the office. I'd take 2-1 Barca right now. I feel that would be a good result! COME ON YOU BLUES!"

1825: Excellent. The rumours have started. I_met_Roman on 606 claims an "undisputable source at Stamford Bridge" has told him/her that Jose Bosingwa isn't even starting tonight.
Join the debate on 606

From Kristoff via text on 81111 : "A Villa fan wishing Chelsea luck: 2-3, Lamps with two and Drogba. Can't see Chelsea keeping Messi quiet for 90 mins."

1818: In the absence of the suspended Ashley Cole, the man charged with marking magical Messi is set to be Jose Bosingwa. "I'm prepared for the challenge," he said. "It is no problem marking Messi." I hope, for his sake, Bosingwa didn't watch the first leg of Barca v Bayern in which Christian Lell - a stand-in left-back - was made to look an absolute fool by the brilliance of Messi.

1813: Chelsea opted not to let the cameras in on their final training session at the Nou Camp. What secret could Guus Hiddink be hiding? Whatever it is, it had better involve stopping Leo Messi. The Argentine, this season's top scorer in the Champions League with eight, is described by team-mate Dani Alves as a "little God of football".
Dani Alves Q&A

From The Unused Substitute on 606: "I had a feeling against Liverpool at Anfield, and I have a feeling again tonight against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Yep, I genuinely believe we're gonna get a great result tonight."
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From anon via text on 81111: "Early forecast, 3-1 to Barca, Messi tearing Bosingwa apart."

1807: Well, OK, it's not quite here. Still one hour and 45 minutes to go until kick-off, during which time I will publish as many of your texts and 606 natter as possible. If you're at the Camp Nou, don't bother texting in via 81111 *, it would only make me cry…
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* However, if you do decide to try to make me cry with a text from Barcelona - or anywhere else in the world - you can only do so from a UK mobile. Thanks for listening.

1800: Don't worry, you can breathe again. It's here, it's finally here... it's Champions League semi-final time.

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see also
Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea
28 Apr 09 |  Europe
Barcelona v Chelsea photos
28 Apr 09 |  Football
Man City discuss Eto'o with Barca
28 Apr 09 |  Man City
Dani Alves Q&A
27 Apr 09 |  Europe
Guardiola's guiding hand
27 Apr 09 |  Europe

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