“Chelsea’s rage exploded when Andrés Iniesta’s goal, deep in injury time, edged them out of the 2009 Champions League semi-final on the away-goals rule at Stamford Bridge.”
The 2009 tie. Barca win. Barca win ans go on to beat Manchester United to lift the trophy. The world is all blazing. ” The Catalans have cheated their way to glory. ” Did Barca really do that? No.
The date is set. It is going to be Chelsea vs Barca yet again in the Champions League. With the English Champions finishing second in their group, Chelsea will face the 2015 winners FC Barcelona in the Round of 16 as the fixtures are set to be something like these :
February 20th: Chelsea vs Barca at the Stamford Bridge
March 14th: Barca vs Chelsea at the Camp Nou
Chelsea vs Barca clash is always going to be talked for a little bit longer period of time. Be it for 18 years old Lionel Messi, who absolutely tore the Chelsea defense apart with an astounding show at Stamford Bridge, the ‘controversial’ 2009 clash settled by Iniesta Golazo or the famous ‘2012 upset’ by Chelsea in the Camp Nou with Fernando Torres settling the old calculations. The article will probably be too long and boring if I start covering here about all three famous clashes between these two world-class clubs. Despite it happened some eight years ago, the 2009 2nd leg from the Stamford Bridge still gets mentioned every time Chelsea and Barcelona are discussed together for its various ‘controversial’ aspects that happened inside the pitch. Since Barcelona ultimately emerged victorious through Andres Iniesta’s special goal that ruptured every active commentators’ swell, the refereeing decisions that benefited either side were overlooked and every bit of sympathy went in to favor Chelsea, which was further ratified by the famous post-match rant coming from Chelsea players: Drogba and Ballack.
The reactions after this preset were more than obvious.
“ Barca cheated on its way to secure Champions League Final Berth ”
the ref was biased or UEFAlona etc. were the common phrases we kept hearing after the match. The massive anti-Barca internet squad made people believe another part of the story. Yeah, there were few referee errors but both of the team were benefitted by those decisions. But the majority of people do not think so. They believe that Chelsea was criminally robbed. Some people also termed the match as the ‘biggest robbery’ in world football. But let me tell you otherwise. The story of Chelsea being robbed is just an internet propaganda and it was actually Barca, who suffered more due to malicious referee decisions.
Before moving on to the second leg, let me remind you of the major incidents of the first leg from Camp Nou. Chelsea fans always cried for the few ‘penalty calls’ that were denied at Stamford Bridge, but it was Henry who was denied a clear penalty in Camp Nou. The videos are all over the internet and one can watch them too if one isn’t sure. Furthermore, Samuel Eto’o was wrongly flagged offside for two times when he was one vs one against the goalkeeper. Now it would be an injustice to say that the strikers of that caliber; Henry and Eto’o would not have scored those chances. Puyol was wrongly booked in that match hence ruling him out of 2nd leg at the Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had already gotten numerous unfair advantages before the second leg that could have possibly change the outcome of the match.
Now, let’s move to the 2nd leg of that match where everyone talks that Chelsea was denied 6 or 7 clear penalties. Just a hoax by the anti-Barca squad, rewatch the game and it was actually 3 or 4 where Chelsea players were calling for a penalty. The first case is of Malouda. He fell down with the slightest touch possible and it was actually outside of the box. Only Chelsea fans have guts to appeal penalty for the blatant dive that too outside of the box. No shame at all. The second case is Abidal’s challenge towards Drogba inside the box. It was the softest touch possible and Abidal slightly pulled his shirt. 50-50 case. Can be a penalty and cannot be either. No point in discussing that. I have to accept that Pique’s handball was 100% penalty but it will compensate the injustice towards Barca from the first leg. Barca was the victim of injustice once again as Nicolas Anelka dived in the most disgraceful way possible to get Eric Abidal a direct red card when in reality it was not even a foul committed by him. This changed the scenario of whole game until Iniesta stepped up and scored one of the most beautiful goals in the history of Champions League. Chelsea was also saved from multiple bookings for the improper conduct of their players in the pitch which is generally unacceptable in modern day football. But since the world famous rant by two bad losers Drogba and Ballack, the majority of the people believes another side of the same story. Obviously, Chelsea sympathized as they were the losing team but Barca was the real victim of malicious referee decisions of that match.