Advantage: – Chelsea!!!

Chelsea have achieved what no other team has been able to achieve this season : A clean sheet at Nou Camp.

That tells the story. And believe me there really isnt much else to say.

It was a really disciplined effort from Gus Hiddinks men who knew the task at hand unlike Bayern Munich who were caught sleeping in 1 half of a football game and paid a heavy price. Gus Hiddink got it spot on tactically as his back four were able to control the famous Barca trinity with great ease and panache at times…

Messi was more mediocre than Emmanuel Eboue…Henry caused a few problems for Ivanovic on the left but the end product was missing. Eto looked like a sulking baby who knows his days are numbered at a team that is playing at its peak.

Petr Cech was indeed the man of the match. It was no even contest by any means thou the score line seems to suggest that. Overall Barca had around 20 shots at goal compared to Chelsea’s 3. So you can imagine that Cech had his hands full. And he was looking a lot different and more confident Cech compared to the one we saw against Liverpool.

Drogba had the best chance of the game but was denied from a decent save by Valdes. Eto was similarly denied in an almost one on one by a superb Cech save.

Guardiola’s side looked a distant shadow of the Barca we hear about in newspapers. Same goes for most of its players. Messi gave away more balls than Denilson does for Arsenal in a game. Xavi and Toure wer checked by Ballack and Mikel regularly.

Barca morale would sure be depleted after this draw and i wonder how it would go for them if Real Madrid pull one over on the Guardiola men in the El Classico at the weekend. Another major concern for the Catalan side will be that Puyol misses the next match following a suspension and Marquez limped off injured after the hour mark. So Barca are sure to lack experience in the centre of defense and Drogba and company will surely look to exploit that area…

I had told you guys earlier that Chelsea in Europe are a very difficult proposition for any sides especially over the two legs. The game isn’t over yet, but all in all it was a great draw for Chelsea though a not so great game for us viewers.

Lets see how it goes in the second leg. I will be here to keep you posted next week. But before that we will know for sure who Chelsea or Barcelona will face in the final of the Champions league.

See you tomorrow with the results of the match between the 2 English giants!!!

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Chelsea vs. Cluj and Liverpool vs. PSV (1st Oct, 2008)

The champions League is getting more and more exciting by the day. Especially, Chelsea’s group is wide open with both Chelsea and Cluj sitting at 4 pts after yesterday’s draw between the two and Roma at 3 pts after its comprehensive win.

Didier Drogba started for the first time this season but failed to make a mark and suffered a serious knee ligament injury in the closing stages of the game. Only further assessment of the same will let us know how long he will be away after just being back from a long term lay-off. Though Chelsea doesn’t lack the fire power in front of goal, with the likes of Anelka and Soloman Kalou along with the wonder kid Franco di Santo also signed from Audax Italiano in January of this year.

In another game featuring an English team yesterday, Liverpool comprehensively beat PSV with Robbie Keane finally breaking the duck. He had been struggling to score since his twenty million pound move from Tottenham.

Champions League Matches (30th Sep 2008)

Arsenal came back to their goal-scoring form by defeating Porto by a solid 4 goals. Arsenal opened the match in a state which can best be called nervousness with the Porto players hitting the bar and being denied by a clearance off the line. This could have been attributed to Arsenal’s defeat last weekend to newly promoted side Hull City. Seems that the hair dryer treatment given to the boys by Wenger after that match worked once they broke the deadlock with Van Persie’s opener. After the first goal Arsenal went from strength to strength and finally achieved their first win in the group stages.

Man United featured against Allborg in what can be described as a highly physical encounter. Sir Alex Fergusson’s boys eventually ran out winners by 3-0. Dimitar Berbatov scored a brace to open his goal scoring account for ManU after his record breaking move from Tottenham.