The results of champions league semi finals has astonished football fans all over the world. After looking at the semi-finals draw, the entire football world would have been looking for El Classico at the Allianz Arena. It was thought that the two heavy-weights from Spain could beat the English and German oppositions with ease. But the champions league under dogs had the last laugh. The team which is in the 5th position in England will be battling with the team which is in the 2nd position in Germany in the final.
After taking the charge as Chelsea manager, Roberto Di Matteo changed his predecessor AVB’s 4-2-1-3 formation to 4-2-3-1 formation which has been working for him effectively. In both the semi-final legs, Chelsea played with a defensive approach with all its players packed in the back. Chelsea scored 3 times against the catalan side within a span of 6 days; but the stunning fact was that all these 3 goals were scored only in the added injury minutes.
In the 1st leg at Stamford Bridge, Drogba scored the winner for the Blues from a blistering Ramires’s pass in the injury time of the 1st half.
Chelsea’s defensive approach did not provide the space and width for the Barca players to shoot towards the goal. However in the 35th minute, dead lock was broken for Barcelona through a cool Sergio Busquets finish. Dani Alves fed Cuenca outside the box and the Spanish winger went outside the line after cutting the ball to Busquets, who finished well. 2 mins later, further sadness awaited Chelsea. In the 37th minute, Terry was sent off for bringing down Alexis Sanchez at the edge of the box. Worse was to come 6 mins later. In the 43rd minute, Iniesta scored the 2nd goal for the home side. Messi provided a fine touch to the Spaniard and the midfielder finished it easily. However, the hero of 1st leg, Ramires put Chelsea ahead based on away-goal criteria by scoring after a beautiful 1-2 with Frank Lampard in the injury time of the 1st half.
The Catalan side was once again pushed to a position to score in order to go through to the final at Munich. One of those rare events in football occurred at Nou Camp in the 53rd minute - 3 times FIFA World player of the Year Messi missed a crucial penalty. Barcelona hopes of travelling to Munich finally came to end when Fernando Torres scored the second goal for Chelsea in the injury time of the 2nd half.
24 hours later, another immense Spanish side Real Madrid were forced out of the competition. Trailing 1-2 after the 1st leg at Allianz Arena, Real Madrid needed to score & win to go through. In the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 2 goals for the home side within 14 mins of start. But Arjen Robben’s penalty in the 26th minute brought Bayern Munich back into the game. No further goals were scored, including extra-time, which resulted in deciding the winner through penalty shoot-outs. In the Shoot-outs, Ronaldo, Kaka and Ramos missed the penalties for Real which paved the way for Bayern to reach the final.
The stunning fact was that within 24 hours, the 2007, 2008, (2009-2011) FIFA World players of the year had missed crucial penalties.
By the way, both the finalists are now suffering from suspension worries. Meireles, Ramires, Ivanovic and Terry won’t be available for final for Chelsea whereas, Badstubber, Alaba and Gustavo will be missing for Bayern. Let us hope the grand finale will be bringing lots of enthusiasm and entertainment just like the semi finals did.