Afterthoughts - Barcelona

Well have woken up this morning and still can't for the life of me understand the referee's thinking on this one. As per my match re...

Well have woken up this morning and still can't for the life of me understand the referee's thinking on this one. As per my match report below where i have watched the game back and made a note of key incidents in the game, we have had 4 half decent shouts for penalties with two nailed on, stonewall penalties and nothing given.

There was a debate after the game last night on Sky Sports and Jaime Redknapp questioned whether or not a referee from Norway should of been given the game last night. He has a fair point. He has refereed 21 Champions League games before the game last night but i can safely say that none of them would of been of such an intensity as last night and a game which has so much at stake. So i agree, he should not of been given the game as his performance last night goes to prove it. I hope UEFA look at his performance as the referee's do in the Premier League as i feel he won't be given a game of such magnitude again for a while.

I for one can understand John Terry's reaction at the final whistle as Club Captain to speak with the referee. I can also understand Didier's reaction to the referee as this guy has basically put an end to Chelsea's Champion's League dreams for sure. Although i do have to admit its not all down to him but 90% of the blame lies with him.

I have watched Sky Sports News (In UK) this morning and even Dermot Gallagher who referred in the Premier League for years has said that he would of given two of those decisions as definite penalties (Drogba pulled shirt by Abidal and foul in the box in the first half and the Pique handball from Anelka in the second) and has also said that the Abidal one in the first half was a red card offence in itself.

We all know the performance of the referee and the blatant errors of judgement by him in the game. I have to say that Abidal's sending off was harsh as it looked like minimal contact and Anelka tripped on his own but hey, that's just my opinion.

But i want to look at the way we played as i do not think it was enough. Yes there are people raving about the way we played in both games and we were tactically very good and shut them out for most part of both games. In Barcelona this was a great performance and slightly lacking attacking play from us but to go there and get a result is understandable.

But last night for me we sat back to much. We started off well and looked to get players forward to support Didier but after a while the same pattern from the first leg came into our play. It was as if we took the lead and was so scared of conceding a goal rather than looking for a second, that we allowed Barcelona to have the majority of possession and put continuous pressure on us.

The most disappointing thing for me about last night was after the sending off. THAT was the time to attack Barcelona and make the additional man count but again, we sat back and let them play. Let them dominate us again. We still had Ballack next to Essien in the middle of midfield, which could of allowed Lampard to be the free man and get on the ball and create, with Malouda and Anelka as options pushing on with him. Belletti would of either been another option to shut up shop or push on.

But i have to say now that Belletti on for Drogba was a mistake in my opinion. We should of taken the initiative and forced Barcelona on the back foot by bringing on Kalou instead and playing three up front with Anelka through the middle, Malouda and Kalou out wide. If we had done this then we would of forced Barcelona to play with four players back to mark and cover a Chelsea counter attack. This would of reduced their numbers in midfield and they would not of been allowed the time and space to push us back towards our own goal and dominate the game once more.

In a way as a result we brought in upon ourselves. I do not believe all the hype around Barcelona. Yes they are a great side in La Liga but who are they really up against there? Ramos in charge of Real Madrid ? with the players they have there anyone can do a half decent job. In two games Barcelona forced Cech to make a save three or four times and that's all. Yes they had possession and dominated possession but that does not win you games. They are now through to the Champions League final against Man Utd and i predict United to win by a canter. (Pains me to say that i know) Ronaldo will have a field day against their back four because United will attack them and not play the same way we did when we had an extra man.

I am delighted personally with Didier Drogba for two reasons. Firstly his reaction to being substituted as he was gutted to be coming off the pitch. Maybe his reputation for going down easily and making out he is injured went before him last night and Guus had to make a decision so took him off, but you could see how gutted he was. Secondly his reaction to the referee last night.

I am not saying it was right or should be followed by people on the local park on a Saturday, but because it showed his passion for the game and for the shirt. He felt hard done by as we all did and he made his case for us after the game. The swearing at the TV camera's stating it was a disgrace will be dealt with by UEFA no question and i have a feeling they will throw the book at him in such a high profile game viewed by millions across the globe.

So after all the dust has settled we are out of the Champions League just one minute away from Rome. But let me just put this into perspective for all us Chelsea fans. Who would of honestly thought in February that we would of been in this position with the club in turmoil under Scolari and us just getting through the group stages? I for one didn't think we had a chance in hell but Hiddink has come into the club and has picked us up and taken us to within a minute of the final. So Guus from us Chelsea fans thank you for taking us as far as you have. Now let's get that FA Cup and second place in the league!!

What do you think about my post? Do you agree or not? Or do you have your own opinion on this? Why not post a comment now and get involved on the site. Know any Chelsea fans that would interested in this post? Click the link below and mail it to them or introduce them to my site! Let's spread the word amongst all Chelsea Fans to come and check this site asap!

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