UEFA Champions League: Chelsea at Barcelona (Your Running Commentary)

Didier Drogba (AP) Lionel Messi 3 (AP)

The UEFA Champions League semifinals kick off today with Chelsea traveling to Spain to take on FC Barcelona (2:30pm, ESPN2) in a dream match-up featuring some of the game's biggest stars.

Messi, Lampard, Drogba, Henry, Eto'o, Essien. The world's best will be on display today in what should be a very entertaining match.

If you will be watching today's match, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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106 Responses to UEFA Champions League: Chelsea at Barcelona (Your Running Commentary)

  1. Colin Ferguson says:

    Goals. There will be many goals.

  2. Dominghosa says:

    Uh oh. Chelski is in trouble. Barca brought out their “Wacky Inflatable Waving Arm Flailing Tube Man!”

  3. Colin Ferguson says:

    Haha i saw that. Anyone else just see Henry doing his classic round of jokes in the tunnel?

  4. Alex says:

    Anyone have a link to watch the game?

  5. Dominghosa says:

    iraqgoals, always a good site

  6. malkin says:

    ch5 is working great for me on iraq goals:

    link to iraqgoals.net

  7. madmax says:

    It’s incredible that Chelsea has not gotten a card yet. Tackles from behind, running into the keeper, etc,.etc.

  8. malkin says:

    wish i could use espn 360 but you have to be a verizon customer

  9. Dominghosa says:

    One or two more fouls like that should do the trick max.

  10. FK PIRIN says:

    iraqgoals isn’t working anymore? any other sites?

  11. Kevvo says:

    Chelski absorbing pressure like Man Utd did last year. We’ll see if they can go the full 90…

  12. Dominghosa says:

    One more mistake like that from Marquez and Chelski could … I’m hoping not.

  13. northzax says:

    ok, so why isn’t Henry in the book for that? a sliding into the keeper from behind out of bounds? pure class that.

  14. Barca are dominating in possession and pressure in the final third.

    The Chelsea seal is about to crack!

  15. John in FL says:

    I agree with you, if that isn’t a bookable offense then I don’t know what is. Maybe cause he’s wearing the home Jersey he gets a pass?

  16. usa says:

    thoughts on the first half:

    -barca are technically superior, but chelsea are well orgranized
    -barca are hard to root for with the way they dramatize fouls and throw tantrums to the ref all over the field
    -ivanovic needs to go before henry scores or creates a goal, drop essien back and bring on kalou/anelka
    -once again confused how marquez is ever considered a “world class” defender
    -tommy smith is slightly more insightful than a video game announcer

  17. Gene_SF says:

    Barcelona are a lot of fun to watch and I am hoping they win the series. But I am concerned about their tendency to try to walk the ball into the net. They had excellent shooting opportunities, but did not take a lot of quality shots.

    And Chelsea, as defensive as they have decided to play, probably had the best chance of the half, thanks to a bonehead play by Marquez.

  18. M says:

    What’s the purpose of Rafael Marquez? Everytime I see him play, he always f***s up

  19. madmax says:

    ESPN crew hasn’t got a clue as they call Chelsea play, stout, suffocating, defense, instead of negative football, and foul every attack. German official can’t keep up with all their fouling, so he calls nothing.

  20. sean monaghan says:

    Drinking Game: Everytime a Barca guy is fouled take a drink

  21. DC Josh says:


    What’ so wrong with watching that? I love it!!!

    my thoughts on the first half:

    Even though Chelsea have 10 men right in front of the 18 yard box, Barca (specifically Iniesta) are still finding ways through. They will put one past Chelsea, and hopefully Marquez botches another attempted pass right into the back of his own goal.

    Barca have scored in every game after their first game of the season, I don’t think Chelsea will stop them now.

  22. Leonardo says:

    i need Ray Hudson. tommy and that other guy are just boring. tommy – i dont need references to ol’ irish players, thanks.

    they need to up the volume on the field

    the crowd is awesome… biggest stadium in europe! and they’re gonna make it bigger

  23. DC Josh says:

    Drinking game: every time Messi makes the ball look like its glued to his boots take a drink.

  24. northzax says:

    well that’s the problem with Barca, it’s a great song and dance routine, but so far has been a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing. And there have been two major fouls not called on Barca for those whining, Inestia cleating Drogba and Henry cowardly sliding into Cech from behind out of bounds. if Cheslea does either of those, they see Yellow. So Barca should be just as happy the ref is letting a lot of play go. Barca is whinging and crying every time they are touched, I understand they play in a league where defenders don’t dare touch the mighty Barca offense, but this isn’t Spain. I think Chelski won that half easily.

  25. DC Josh says:

    I love Derek Rae, but never understood the infatuation ESPN has with the bobble head Tommy Smith.

    Derek Rae and Robbie Earle would be fantastic.

    Ray Hudson should do every Barca game by himself, who needs play-by-play when you have Hudson, the poetic color commentator every kid wishes they could grow up to be.

  26. northzax says:

    what’s Dani Alvez complaining about? not getting a card?

  27. northzax says:

    and that could easily have been a first yellow for Alex, but there wasn’t the intent you’d need to see to send a player off at this point.

  28. madmax says:

    Henry decapitated by Alex, no card. German official should be banned from future games aka German chap who blew USA / Ghana.

  29. Martek says:

    If only Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson were calling this game, easily the best soccer b’casting team in America

    Henry will come back strong in a minute

    Rafa Marquez just went down on his own. Barca’s big break!!! Rafa is rubbish

  30. Onion Bag says:

    Marquez just blew out his knee…

  31. John in FL says:

    KARMA struck on Marquez……..

  32. MVK says:

    anyone have a link that will work on my work computer (I cant download any packets etc..)

  33. northzax says:

    that looks like an ACL or patella tendon gone for Marquez. much as the guy is a doofus and thug, you hate to see that. hearts just stopped in Mexico City.

    nice to see that Henry is ok, however.

  34. Dominghosa says:

    You don’t watch much La Liga do you northzax? Every Spanish team plays physical with Barca, especially with Messi, since that’s one of the best reasons to stop that offense.
    Many, many teams complain about every call/non-call.

  35. Dominghosa says:

    Also, Messi doesn’t get much protection in La Liga, either. It’s been a complaint all season that the over physicality on Messi usually goes unpunished.

  36. northzax says:

    yes, Dominghosa, you can see that Chelsea is complaining about every call, can’t you?

    and Max, replay that on the DVR, Alex hit him with his chest.

  37. Michael Vann says:

    Rafa’s knee went out. He’s done. That looked nasty with no contact. Ouch! I want to laugh and point but I can’t ’cause as soon as I do it’s gonna happen to one of our boys!

  38. Dominghosa says:

    Didn’t say all teams, haha.

  39. madmax says:

    Alves gets his achilles cleaned by Drogba, Rae and Smyth blame Alves. Turning off espn sound.

  40. Leonardo says:

    Messi v Bosingwa
    Drogba v Danny Alves

    i’m really diggin these matchups! danny y drogba have been at it! intense…

    Messi owned bosingwa but they called a foul on the other side of the field

  41. Dominghosa says:

    Not much to complain when you don’t see much of the ball and get fouled.

  42. Leonardo says:

    Lampard is a ghost

    wow never thought i’d see him disappear like that

  43. MVK says:


  44. Leonardo says:

    drogba down… got knocked in the head. exactly like henry got just 5 minutes prior

    barcelona attacking all game, chelsea hoping for a tie

  45. Dominghosa says:

    Dani Alves time …

  46. Leonardo says:

    barca – free kick dead center – top of box
    alves gonna take it

  47. Alex says:

    If Barcelona had Clint Mathis instead of Messi, they’d be 1 up right now…

  48. Leonardo says:

    Alex i thought the same thing!

    Drogba is starting to “roll around like a pastry” again (Special1TV reference)

    Cech just made a great save! EtoO tried to eek a shot passed him… no dice

  49. Dominghosa says:

    If Eto’o glanced his head up, he would have saw Henry for the opening gol. …

  50. Leonardo says:

    Sub: Lampard the Ghost is out. Belletti is in to the applause of the fans (used to play in Barca)

  51. Northzax says:

    Let me guess, Et’o was fouled somehow there?

    Where’s the complaining about the headbutt to drogba? Oh right, that one was a good no call.

    Both sides are giving as good as they get, Barca is being just as tough as Chelsea is, which is a win for Chelsea.

  52. luis says:

    Alex that is true

  53. Dominghosa says:

    tug in the box goes unnoticed

  54. MVK says:

    That should have been a PK

  55. madmax says:

    Henry pulled down in box, no call. German officials must be removed from future games. British commentators all over the spectrum praising Chelsea negative football.

  56. Frank says:

    Everyone here who is happy that Marquez blew out his knee should be ashamed of themselves. A sport rivalry should not come to this. I wish I personally knew you guys so I can blow out your knees.

  57. Dominghosa says:

    eh, he probably would have fell anyway, pass was two seconds too late

  58. John in FL says:

    link to rojadirecta.com

    MVK crappy pic and in Portuguese..better than nothing

  59. Turtle says:

    comment of the match was that Capello doesn’t really have anyone to watch at this game.

    it actually woke out of my slumber. i hate chelsea. way to make this as boring as a Serie A game….

  60. MVK says:

    John- thnx man, I figured out that rojadirect site, I dont have speakers at work reguardless

  61. Leonardo says:

    i’m a defender. when in doubt, don’t call a PK.

    every time they say “Pique” I think “PK”
    anyone else have that issue?

  62. Dominghosa says:

    thanks turtle, i was just about to write that — thanks chelski for making this one boring CL semifinal. Horrible.

  63. madmax says:

    Ugly performance by Chelsea and the Officials not good for Int. football.

  64. brant says:

    I think that dive (83d minute) was waaaaaay over-embelished…

  65. Dominghosa says:

    I was thinking Pique is a horrible last name for a defender … but the kid has done well throughout the season.

  66. Northzax says:

    So ballack and pujols both avoid the second yellow. Seems equal.

  67. madmax says:

    German official lets wall set up again 8 yds from ball and it’s blocked.

  68. Leonardo says:

    foul against iniesta at the edge of the box, left side. barca wasted it.

    “defensive master class” – tommy and his amigo agree. ugh.

  69. Martek says:

    Chelski is going to escape here! Amazing

  70. Martek says:

    AAH! Bojan almost made a liar of me! Wow, what a chance!

  71. Dominghosa says:

    oh Bojan. better position and timing would have changed the scoreboard. ooooooppphhh…

  72. MVK says:

    wow that header should have been in the back of the net, I dont want an all english final, but I think thats going to haunt Barca

  73. Leonardo says:

    Golden Boy wastes a open header! right in front of goal. horrible miss.

    5 min injury time

  74. Martek says:

    Whoa! Petr CEch is playing out of his mind.

  75. Martek says:

    Why bring on Anelka with 60 sec left?

  76. Dominghosa says:

    Well, the consolation is that when Chelski open up at home, Barca will put up a 5 spot on them.

  77. Martek says:

    If Chelski plays like this at the Bridge, and gets that many more yellows and wins, what kind of team will they have available for Rome?

  78. Dominghosa says:

    Roman Abramovich should pay all of us or we’re never going to get back the last two wasted hours.

  79. MVK says:

    “Golden Boy wastes a open header! right in front of goal. horrible miss. ”

    Bojan Krkic is golden boy?

  80. madmax says:

    Only one question, who was worst, Chelsea or the Official. Not a great day for football.

  81. sean monaghan says:

    I wonder how long Rafa is out for

    and Madmax, its called playing for the nil nil away from home,call it anti-football,but Hiddink and Chelsea got the result they wanted.

  82. MVK says:

    if there is a god Chelsea will get run in the 2nd leg… 70 – 30 in posession, 19 – 3 in shots, 7 – 20 in fouls… pure anti-football

  83. Leonardo says:

    MVK – well, Barca’s Golden Boy
    link to fcbtransfers.blogspot.com

    Chelsea was ugly. but an away tie is good

  84. northzax says:

    Why bring on Anelka with 60 sec left?

    Posted by: Martek | April 28, 2009 at 04:36 PM

    to burn another 30 seconds. regular tactic.

    And since Chelsea just held a team averaging 4 goals a match at home to nil for the first time since August, I think the blame is on Barca for blowing every decent chance they had.

    and folks, the point of ‘football’ is to put the ball in the other guys’ net, and keep him from putting the ball in yours. pretty is fun, but defense wins championships.

  85. Jim says:

    Why are so many people surprised at Chelsea’s negative play? I’ve seen more of these types of games in the later stages of the Champions League than I can count.

    When two talented teams meet in the first leg, the away team almost always drops 10 behind the ball, allows the other team the middle third, and tries to get the key away goal on the counter.


  86. usa says:

    mission accomplished by chelsea. yes it was far from exciting but all the goons like madmex whining about how chelsea played need to realize their goal was not to play exciting soccer for you. and madmex’s constant griping about the refereeing needs to read the boy who cried wolf.

  87. NJsoccer says:

    Yeah if Barca had won here it would of been hard to make that up on aggregate. Chelsea got the result they wanted, they just wanted to hold Barca to a tie.

  88. Josh says:

    Same thing as last year. Barca pass the ball all over but don’t really threaten in proportion to their amount of possession.

  89. brandon says:

    was that the same leg that marquez used when he attacked tim howard in columbus. now that would be karma.

    btw – i’m not happy that marquez got hurt, but i don’t feel sorry for the guy. injuries happen in sports, and when the injury happens to someone that has had two blatant, vicious red cards against the us, you’re not going to get any sympathy from me.

  90. LaLiga>EPL says:

    EPL American fans, seems like you’re getting your wish. Chelsea vs. Man U. Bunch of chavs. Global football can’t get any more boring. Wake me up when it’s over.

  91. madmax says:

    Negative football is almost always assisted by poor officiating, some baboons can’t see the connection, scratching their bottoms I suppose.

    Example, in the USA/Ghana game, every time the USA won the ball and broke, a Ghana player dropped to the ground 10 meters to the rear. Only the official stopping play made this tactic successful.

    Fortunately Beckenbauer removed the official from future games which included the final. It’s not harsh to ask that this group also be removed.

  92. sean monaghan says:

    Negative football is usually used away from home,or to produce a result.

    It is how it is used…..

    Chelsea play at the nou camp with a 4-5-1 and sit back trying to get a nil nil

    Rangers play a 4-5-1 at home…

    Why do you think Catenaccio was favored so much in Italy?Clean sheets.

  93. northzax says:

    EPL American fans, seems like you’re getting your wish. Chelsea vs. Man U. Bunch of chavs. Global football can’t get any more boring. Wake me up when it’s over.

    Posted by: LaLiga>EPL | April 28, 2009 at 05:42 PM

    up, apparently not, I must say.

    MadMax: you’re right, by the way, Henry and Puyols should both have seen red as well as Ballack, frankly. both of them tackled a player from behind, after the whistle.

    as a reminder, the beautiful La Liga star slide tackled a keeper a yard out of bounds. from behind. that is gorgeous, classy football, right there. so anyone who is calling Chelsea ugly and thuggy should also be calling for a red card for that tackle =defend that, and Puyol’s getting a yellow five minutes into his appearance followed by the late tackle after the whistle five minutes later. go ahead. tell me why they should both have been on the pitch at the end of the match, while Chelsea are the ones who played ugly? it goes both ways, people.

  94. mb says:

    ives, will you explain how Marquez can start for Barcelona but Onyewu can’t find a good transfer out of the Belgian league?

    whenever US and Mexico play, i’m praying Marquez starts at center back- he makes more mistakes than Joe Biden in a VP debate.

  95. Dominghosa says:

    Barca and Real Madrid, would never play for a nil-nil result. Heck even Villareal, Sevilla or Atletico wouldn’t.
    I’m surprised Guus did.

  96. dagger says:

    Ives, “Messi, Lampard, Drogba, Henry, Eto’o, Essien. The world’s best will be on display today in what should be a very entertaining match.”
    Unfortunately it was rubbish. Guus pulled 10 men back and went into hack the attack. I agree with madmax, the official allowed the tactic to work. Chelsea could easily have 3 men out for the return game, Malouda, Alex, and Ballack if the official was only adequate.

    If the officials won’t do their jobs they should be removed, or the rules need to be expanded on persist ant fouling. There shouldn’t be any reward for play like this.

  97. NateinSF says:

    Ballack is one dirty player, horrible

  98. LJ says:

    It was a pretty decent game, plenty of chances. What are you bitches complaining about?

  99. Mig says:

    NateinSF: You are one of the rare people I’ve ever heard say that about Ballack. I agree, he is on of the dirtiest footballers I’ve ever seen. I’m a Chelsea fan and have been for 15 years but I can’t stand the big German. He’s also so slow it’s painful to watch him run.


  100. Chris May says:

    “Goals. There will be many goals.”

    I think you got that one wrong.

  101. madmax says:

    The quality of the CL’s games is probably out of the hands of individual clubs, managers, and players. Even the German Official Stark, admitted he allowed dangerous play and persistent fouling because, ‘that is expected in these CL matches’. FIFA must change to a one game and out format starting with the final eight before football becomes the new pro wrestling or roller derby.