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Barcelona frustration at textbook Chelsea display
Chelsea will feel they are within touching distance of the Champions League final after holding Barcelona to a goalless draw a the Nou Camp in the first leg of their semi-final.
The Chelsea performance oozed professionalism, with Guus Hiddink’s players showing terrific resilience to leave Barca coach Pep Guardiola bemoaning Chelsea tactics and the performance of the referee.
“Five or six players in defence, a lot of players back, physically very strong,” said Guardiola. We tried to attack, we created chances and we presented a good image to people around the world but playing football is always difficult when one side doesn’t want to.”
Neutrals may have some sympathy for Guardiola, but Hiddink would be entitled to look at those comments as evidence that his team did just about everything right.
There were no gifts of the sort they enjoyed in the quarter-final against Liverpool, hence no away goal, but they will go into the second leg at Stamford Bridge with no fear … and against Barcelona that’s half the battle.
What do you think? Are we looking at another all-English final?
PHOTO: Guardiola shakes hands with Hiddink at the Nou Camp, April 28, 2009. REUTERS/Toby Melville