Barcelona and Chelsea were considered as two of the fiercest football teams in Europe a decade back. The two giants came face to face in the semi-final of the Champions League in 2009. The second leg of the Chelsea vs Barcelona 2009 Champions League was played on this day, May 6, 2009, exactly 11 years back, touted as one of the most controversial Champions League games in recent times. Here's a look at the Chelsea vs Barcelona Champions League highlights.
The first leg was hosted at Camp Nou, with the game ending in a goalless draw. The tie was now to be decided at the Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were led by the likes of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, while the Barcelona ranks boasted of the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Chelsea got the breakthrough within just nine minutes of the game when Michael Essien scored a stunning volley from outside the penalty area, as Victor Valdes failed to stop it cross the net.
The game was marred by controversy after several decisions were alleged to have favoured Barcelona. Didier Drogba was brought down into the box by Eric Abidal, but a penalty was denied. Just into the second half, Drogba failed to hit the ball past Valdes despite beating Gerrard Pique. Minutes later, Drogba appealed for a penalty after he was brought down into the penalty area, but the appeal fell on deaf ears, as the Chelsea striker reacted furiously.
Eric Abidal was sent off in the 66th minute after he was booked for a foul on Nicolas Anelka. Despite being a man down, Pep Guardiola's Barcelona did not stop, which yielded results in the final minute of the game. Lionel Messi made a brilliant run just on the edge of the penalty box to find an unmarked Andres Iniesta, who struck the ball from outside the box to equalise in the game.
The injury time of the game saw more controversy when Michael Ballack alleged a handball. Ballack hit the ball in the penalty area, however, it was blocked by Samuel Eto'o, with the Chelsea midfielder almost running into the referee after his appeal for a penalty was denied. Post-game saw unruly scenes as Drogba and Lampard couldn't hide their anguish and began accusing the referee of unfairness. Despite the game ending in a draw, Barcelona qualified for the final of the Champions League courtesy of an away goal. Barcelona went on to win the final against Manchester United that season.