Barcelona to play Manchester United in Champions League final

6 May

85999205DM039_Chelsea_v_BarManchester United dominated Arsenal, 3-1, on Tuesday to advance to their second straight Champions League final.  The real fun started on Wednesday.  Chelsea played host to Barcelona and Michael Essien put the home side up 1-0 with a cracking volley in the ninth minute.  Despite Barcelona having the majority of the possession, Chelsea always looked like more of a threat to score.  With 25 minutes to play and his team down a goal, Barcelona’s Eric Abidal got sent off for “taking down” Nicolas Anelka as he dribbled into the box.  Chelsea couldn’t take advantage of having an extra man on the pitch and got denied a couple penalty chances due to dubious officiating.  In stoppage time, Andres Iniesta put a screamer past Petr Cech to tie the game at 1 apiece.  Iniesta’s goal was the difference as Barcelona advances to the final on away goals.

Now I’ve heard a lot of complaining about the officiating of the game, which definitely wasn’t good, however, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Chelsea couldn’t get the job done.  They had several clear chances at goal and couldn’t finish.  They had an extra man for the last 25 minutes and didn’t do anything with that.  The behavior of Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba at the end of the game was disgraceful.  I understand being upset, but that doesn’t give you the right to practically assault the ref.

Barcelona faces a tough task against Manchester United, as they will be missing several defenders through suspension or injury.  The Spanish side will have to put on a much better performance if they want to be competitive against the Red Devils.  There were several times that Barcelona players had a chance to take a decent shot on goal, but instead played with the ball or tried to pass it – they need to take those first time shots against ManU in Rome.

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