Terry breaks Barca hearts
By James Pearson. Last Updated: 08/03/05 9:38pm
John Terry's late header broke Barcelona's hearts as Chelsea booked their place in the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League with a thrilling 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were in firm control of the tie early through goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff, however the Catalan giants struck back.
Ronaldinho pulled one back from the penalty spot, before his exquisite shot from the edge of the area put the Liga giants ahead on the away goals rule.
The visitors continued to dominate proceedings with a constant possession and pressure before Terry's goal after 76 minutes secured a priceless 5-4 aggregate victory.
Following a fairly even start to the contest the home side took control with a blistering three-goal haul in a nine-minute spell.
Firstly Mateja Kezman broke away down the right and his superb ball into the middle was controlled by Gudjohnsen, who turned Gerard in the box, before firing past Victor Valdes.
Chelsea continued to pile on the pressure with Lampard firing over from close range following John Terry's flick-on, while Duff played a square ball into the middle only for everyone to miss the cross.
Two goals in the space of three minutes put the home side in control of the tie. Firstly Joe Cole's deflected shot deceived Valdes only for Lampard to volley home the rebound into the empty net.
Shortly after, Cole set Duff free down the middle and the Irish international made no mistake with the finish - firing a first-time ball past the on-rushing Valdes from the edge of the season.
With nothing to loose Barca began to assert themselves on the contest with Samuel Eto's forcing Petr Cech into a superb save to tip over the Cameroon international's stinging shot.
The turning point of the first half came after 27 minutes when Pierluigi Collina adjudged Paulo Ferreira to have handled Juliano Belletti's right wing cross in the penalty area.
Up stepped Ronaldinho and he became the first player to score at Stamford Bridge past Cech since November after forcing the ball past the Czech international's fingers away to his right side.
Barca were penning the home side deep into their own half following their lifeline and moments after Cech tipped over Deco's rasping right-footed free-kick the visitors were ahead on away goals.
Ronaldinho, who was now controlling the contest, was not closed down on the edge of the area and with the defence expecting a through-ball he toe-poked the ball superbly past the helpless Cech.
The home faithful were stunned, but were almost celebrating just before half time when Cole struck Valdes' upright, with Duff's follow-up not enough to beat the Spanish keeper.
The second half began just at it ended before the break; incessant pressure from the visitors with only a string of superb Cech saves keeping them at bay.
Lampard had a brace of efforts, the first a long-range shot that was deflected out for a corner before Valdes flung himself to his right to save the midfielder's header from Duff's corner.
Despite the chance it was all Barca and Cech was at full stretch to push Belletti's long-range shot just wide of his far post.
Eto'o showed a clean pair of heels to Carvalho just after the hour mark, but the Portuguese defender recovered superbly to tackle the pacey African second before he pulled the trigger.
Barca were defending as though their lives depended on it and nothing epitomised their character more than when Carles Puyol and substitute Silvinho threw themselves at the back post to block Gudjohnsen's effort.
Andres Iniesta was inches from ending the contest but his left footed shot was tipped onto the post by Cech with Eto'o following up the rebound, but firing over.
Despite looking second best Chelsea's efficient corner routine paid dividends with Terry connecting superbly in the middle to head home with Valdes seemingly impeded by Carvalho.
Barca piled on the pressure late on, however The Blues would not let a second lead slip and just about deserved their passage though to the next stage of Europe's premier club competition.
Click here for Chelsea v Barcelona player ratings.
|3||1st Half Goals||2|
|8||Shots on Target||7|
|3||Shots off Target||6|
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