Barcelona v Chelsea live!

28 April 2009 07:11
90+6 It's all over, and Chelsea are the first club to stop Barcelona scoring a goal at the Nou Camp this season. Chelsea might even have won it had Drogba taken that glorious chance late in the first half. But it's Cech who's the hero for the English club, making a string of fine saves to deny Barca. Beautifully set up now for the return leg at Stamford Bridge.

90+5 Anelka replaces Ballack for the last 30 seconds or so.

90+4 Pique picks out Alves with a superb ball crossfield, and the right-back whips the ball in dangerously left-footed. Bojan can't quite get on the end of it, and the ball flashes across goal and out for a goal-kick. Chelsea almost there.

90+3 Another wonderful save from Cech! Not for the first time, the game is allowed to continue despite a Chelsea player lying injured. It's Ballack stricken this time, and he plays Hleb onside as he's set through on goal. But Cech is out quickly to smother the shot, and Hleb wastefully slashes the rebound wide. Two minutes of added time remain, and Barca have spurned two great chances in the dying moments here.

90+2 Iniesta goes down looking for a free-kick 30 yards from goal but gets nothing.

90+1 We're into five added minutes at the Nou Camp. It was always going to be at least that after those two long delays at the start of the second half.

90 Alves swings in a glorious cross from the right, which should have produced a goal for Barca, but sub Bojan heads it over the bar. Wonderful opportunity - how crucial might that miss prove in the final reckoning?

90 The free-kick is cleared.

90 We're entering the last of the 90 minutes as Chelsea weigh up the options from the free-kick.

89 It's the Chelsea fans you can hear in the Nou Camp now as Drogba wins a free-kick in a useful area after being tripped by Pique.

88 Barca guilty of overplaying around a packed Chelsea area. Terry gets a foot in and clears.

87 Former Arsenal man for former Arsenal man as Hleb replaces Henry.

86 Henry wins a free-kick after tangling with Mikel in midfield.

85 Chelsea scramble the free-kick away. Five minutes to go.

84 Iniesta is fouled by Ballack just outside the area. Two talking points there: was it outside, and should Ballack have got a second yellow card? Judging from the replays, the answer to both questions is yes.

82 Barca make the change, and it's Eto'o who makes way for the eye-catching talents of Bojan.

82 The corner is cleared and Chelsea are just eight minutes - plus, one imagines, a significant period of stoppage time - away from a fine result here.

81 The corner is cleared and immediately Barca are on the break. Iniesta is played in on the left but delays his cross/shot until the last moment by which time the angle is tight and Cech is able to block the ball behind for a corner.

80 Malouda the target again, and a good first touch gives him a chance to cross. It's turned behind for a corner.

79 Drogba's header gives Malouda a chance to run down the right, but he can't get a cross away.

78 Bojan is about to be introduced. Will he come on in addition to the three amigos? That would be worth watching for the last 15 or so minutes.

77 Another delay here as Malouda receives treatment. Barca, meanwhile, will really hope now that Marquez's injury is not as serious as first feared with Puyol suspended.

75 The Barca mood does not lighten as Puyol is penalised for a foul as Chelsea break forward, and goes into the book. He'll miss the second leg.

74 Toure immediately wins the ball back for Barca and plays in Eto'o. He squares the ball for Henry who goes down under the challenge of Bosingwa. Ivanovic brings the ball clear as Barca scream for a penalty. The replays show Bosingwa did have a hold of the Barca striker's shirt, which is a bit of a silly thing to do. Spot-kicks have been given for less, that's for sure. Key moment.

73 A patient spell of passing football from Barca ends with Iniesta just overrunning the ball.

72 Essien has moved inside, while Belletti is playing in front of Ivanovic.

71 Interesting change from Hiddink: Juliano Belletti - who scored for Barcelona in their Champions League victory over Arsenal three years ago - is on in place of Lampard.

70 Xavi's corner is met by Pique, but his header is way over the bar.

70 The corner is cleared and then played back into Alves on the right. Cech again is out smartly to smother that, at the expense of a corner.

69 Eto'o spins away from the Chelsea defence superbly and breaks through clear on goal. But Cech stands up superbly to make the save. The Chelsea keeper's had his critics in recent weeks but he's had a fine night so far.

68 Alves gets the free-kick up and over the wall but can't get the ball down underneath the bar. Close.

67 Essien's shanked clearance puts Malouda under pressure from Eto'o. The Barca man emerges with the ball and the ball is played inside to Messi who wins a free-kick in a dangerous position.

66 Lovely flowing break from Barca ends with Iniesta finding the overlapping Abidal on the left, whose low cross is well dealt with by a sliding Terry. Vital clearance that.

65 Puyol gets up above Malouda to head Cech's long clearance away, and wins a free-kick as the Chelsea man is penalised for backing in to the veteran centre-half.

64 The crowd are not best pleased with the linesman for flagging against Eto'o, and they might have a case. Looked level when Iniesta played the ball.

63 Eto'o can't control Iniesta's throughball and Cech gathers. Barca stepping up the pace here as they search for a goal. They're not often denied here at the Nou Camp.

62 The corner is headed clear by Drogba, who stays down clutching his head. The ref bizarrely fails to halt play despite a clear head injury for the Chelsea striker, and the ball drops to Alves who fires a shot goalwards. Cech makes a good block before the ref eventually stops the game and allows Drogba to receive treatment and take part in a dead-heat contest with Henry for groggiest-looking face.

61 A sensational first touch from Messi kickstarts another Barca attack that ends with Alves feading Xavi on the right. Lampard gets back to help out his defence and clears. But the ball is quickly back in the Chelsea defensive third and cleared for a corner.

60 Xavi plays the corner directly out to Messi on the left edge of the area, but his volley is always travelling comfortably over the bar. Great set-piece delivery to pick him out, though.

59 Messi wins a corner on the right.

58 A glorious crossfield pass from Pique clears Terry and lands on Alves' chest. A good first touch, and Alves' second would have been a shot on goal. But the ball just gets away from him and Cech is out smartly to pounce.

57 Puyol dispossesses Malouda and gets a huge ovation from the Barca faithful.

56 Probing forward run from Messi, but he can't get the ball through to Henry on the left as Essien makes the interception. Messi's had no change out of Chelsea tonight.

55 Alves, the brave soldier, is back into the fray.

54 Alves goes looking to win the ball back and throws himself theatrically to the ground after a challenge by Drogba. Alves may well be genuinely hurt, there, but his over-the-top antics do leave him quite a tricky player to have much sympathy for when he starts writhing around screaming in apparent agony.

54 More clever work from Iniesta wins the ball back for Barca and sets Alves away on the right, but he's crowded out by yellow shirts and loses out to Lampard.

53 Mikel gives away a free-kick in midfield.

52 Henry, meanwhile, is back on the field. There'll certainly be plenty of added time at the end of this match after those two long delays at the start of the second half. About four minutes of the first seven spent dealing with injured Barca players, I reckon.

52 Marquez is stretchered off, and it'll be Puyol who replaces him. Not a bad sub to have, I suppose.

50 The game restarts with Barca temporarily down to 10 before Marquez goes down clutching his left knee with no Chelsea player anywhere near him. Which doesn't usually end well. Real strange one, that. Marquez was calmly bringing the ball out of defence when his left knee just seemed to buckle underneath him.

48 There's going to be a long delay here. Henry comes off worse after contesting a high ball with Alex. The former Arsenal man looks decidedly groggy as he's finally helped to his feet. Not surprising, really: Alex is quite a big unit. No blame attached to the Chelsea defender - it was an unfortunate clash of heads and no more.

48 Good chance. It's Drogba who takes it, and the ball comes to Ballack who heads over the bar.

47 Free-kick for Chelsea in a very dangerous position on the left.

46 Barca get the second half under way.

45+1 Sure enough, Stark blows his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end. Barca have seen more of the ball, but Drogba has had the best chance of the night and there have been some signs of frustration from the home side.

45+1 Great feet from Iniesta out on the left, nicking the ball from Ivanovic and taking the ball away from him. But his throughball intended for Eto'o is overhit and runs through to Cech. That should be the end of the first-half action.

45 There will be just a single added minute at the end of a highly satisfactory first half for the visitors.

45 Iniesta lets fly from distance, stinging Cech's hands with a fizzing drive.

44 Despite the galaxy of attacking talent on display and more than one piece of kamikaze defending, we remain goalless. Ivanovic is the latest defender to make a mess of things, letting Henry in. But Alex gets back to snub out the immediate danger, forcing Henry to eventually turn and play the ball back to midfield.

43 Quick break from Barca, but an erroneously-raised flag from the linesman after Iniesta plays in Eto'o ends the attack.

42 More comical defending from Barcelona - Pique at fault this time - gives Chelsea another chance. Lampard latches on to the ball and plays in Drogba, who loses his footing at the vital moment. Chelsea ending the half the stronger here.

40 The corner is played straight into Valdes' hands.

39 The best chance of the game, and it falls to Chelsea. A horror touch from Matquez leaves Drogba through on Valdes, who does brilliantly to deny the Ivorian not once but twice. That could have been a crucial moment, but the danger is not over yet: Chelsea have a corner.

38 Another challenge between Malouda and Alves sparks more claim and counter-claim from the two sets of players. This might not have been the free-flowing exhibition of the beautiful game we'd expected, but it's certainly been entertainingly fiesty.

36 Mikel trips Iniesta and Toure talks himself into a booking with some undesired advice for the ref. Just some signs of frustration from the home side.

35 There's an off-the-ball incident between Drogba and Alves. They're out on Barca's right-hand side while the ball is away on the left. It all appeared to stem from a clash between Malouda and Alves. Alves felt he was fouled, Drogba felt the Barca man was over-acting. And there appears to be no way of reconciling the two.

35 The corner is quickly taken short and comes to nothing.

34 Good stop by Cech. Messi jinks across the area before finding Iniesta. He sets the ball up for Henry whose drilled shot was goalbound before Cech got across to divert the ball round the post.

32 Abidal is flagged offside on the left. A very tight call, that one.

32 Ivanovic is caught out by a crossfield pass to Henry, but Cech gets down well to save comfortably in the end at his near post.

31 Chelsea clear the corner, and Drogba is then clipped by Alves. Free-kick and a chance for Chelsea to clear.

30 Essien heads behind to give Barcelona yet another corner.

29 Ballack becomes the second Chelsea player booked after a late challenge on Henry.

29 Henry feeds the overlapping Abidal on the left, but his cross is drilled straight into the arms of Cech.

28 Alves squares the ball to Xavi 25 yards from goal. He's given a bit of time to line up a shot, which he fires across goal and fractionally wide. Chelsea would be well advised not to give him a similar amount of time in future.

27 This time Chelsea get the ball clear for a throw.

27 Xavi again with the corner which is headed out to Messi, whose shot deflects behind. Another corner for the hosts.

27 Xavi it is who takes the free-kick, which flicks off the wall and over the bar for a corner.

26 Messi finds some real space for the first time and runs at the Chelsea backline. Alex is the unfortunate defender who sticks out a leg and trips the Argentinian in a central position about 30 yards from goal. Alex has his name taken, and Chelsea have a free-kick to defend.

25 The corner is headed clear.

24 Henry is clear on the left for Barca, but Alex gets back to him and makes a fine challenge at the expense of a corner.

24 Mikel gives the ball away to Iniesta in a dangerous area, but he drags his shot horribly wide. Should have done more with that gift.

22 Malouda breaks free down the left but his run is halted by the linesman's flag.

21 Chelsea will be pretty happy with the opening 20 minutes of this one. Barcelona have shown only glimpses of their attacking menace, and Chelsea have coped easily enough with everything so far.

20 Henry tees up Messi on the edge of the area, but the Argentinian blazes his first-time shot high over the bar. A relief to see he is human.

18 Nice turn and shot from Eto'o, but his 25-yard effort was always bouncing wide.

17 The first real danger moment for Chelsea as Alves ghosts in behind and tries to find Henry with a low cross. It's intercepted, and the chance never arrives.

16 Lovely passing move from Barca, but it comes to an end with a perfectly timed tackle on Eto'o by Ballack. The home fans call for a free-kick, but again the ref gets it spot on.

15 Alex makes a stirring forward run and plays a one-two with Essien before losing control of the ball and fouling Marquez. The home fans want a booking, but it'd be harsh. The German ref Wolfgang Stark is content to give just the free-kick.

14 Good challenge from Bosingwa on Messi. One anticipates that the Portuguese may have plenty more to make.

12 Abidal's teasing cross from the left has Cech scrambling, but he gets a vital touch on it to take the ball away from Iniesta.

11 Messi - at the moment playing quite central with Eto'o out on the right - tries to thread a pass through for Henry but Alex intercepts.

10 Barca enjoying the bulk of the early possession, predictably, but yet to seriously test the Chelsea backline apart from that early free-kick from the left.

9 A beautiful fast break from Barca featuring Toure, Iniesta and Henry ends with Messi bursting into the box and being dispossessed by two yellow shirts. A warning for Chelsea, there, but they dealt with it well in the end.

8 Messi plays the ball inside to Alves this time and looks for a return ball that never comes.

7 Yaya Toure - who could yet face his brother Kolo in this year's final - is muscled off the ball as Barca break down in the middle third.

5 Messi gets round Lampard easily before playing the ball out to the overlapping Dani Alves. But the former Sevilla man overhits his cross.

4 Half a chance - no more than that - for Chelsea as Malouda plays in Essien who squares for Lampard 20 yards from Valdes' goal. Lampard goes for goal but slices well wide of the target.

3 Chelsea have their first spell of possession, but it doesn't last long. The ball is played out to Messi on the right, who surprises everyone by miscontrollling.

2 The free-kick clears a confused-looking Cech and headed dangerously back across goal, but a flag goes up to help Chelsea out.

2 Early problems for Chelsea as Henry scampers clear of Ivanovic who can do nothing but hack down the Frenchman.

1 Chelsea, copying James with the yellow kit, get the 2009 Champions League semi-finals under way.

If you want to put your money where your mouth is, then Sky Bet offer 12/1 for a 3-1 Barca win tonight. James, alas, is too young to take advantage of the 40/1 available on his prediction. Barca are 4/6 to take a lead to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are 9/2 and a draw tonight is a 13/5 shot.

A 3-1 home win seems to be the favourite, judging by your emails. Sam from Switzerland and Michael Mondezie are the latest to opt for that outcome. We shall see.

Ginger Al predicts a 3-1 home win, but 12-year-old James Gowland - "dressed head to toe in my yellow Chelsea kit" - is tipping the reverse scoreline. Which would be quite the upset. Vichar from India goes for a less sensational 1-1 draw, fearing Barca may pay the price for leaving Carles Puyol on the bench. Keep them coming, people.

So what are your predictions and expectations for tonight's game? Will things get Messi for Chelsea, or will they be top Drogs? And will I come up with any worse puns than those before the night is done? Thoughts via email to

Welcome to our coverage of tonight's mouthwatering Champions League semi-final first-leg clash between Barcelona and Chelsea at the Nou Camp. The teams are in, with right-back Jose Bosingwa handed the unenviable task of playing at left-back and stifling the world's best player, Leo Messi. Good luck with that. Nic Anelka, meanwhile, has to settle for a place on the bench.

Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Marquez, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, Toure Yaya, Iniesta, Messi, Eto'o, Henry. Subs: Jorquera, Puyol, Gudjohnsen, Bojan, Keita, Sylvinho, Hleb

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Bosingwa, Mikel, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Di Santo, Kalou, Belletti, Anelka, Mancienne, Stoch

Source: SKY_Sports