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Neil Ashton's tactics board... your at-a- glance guide to the Nou Camp action

29 Apr 2009 08:32:39

Neil Ashton's tactics board... your at-a- glance guide to the Nou Camp action

Key plays 1 PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Michael Mancienne, Juliano Belletti and Ricardo Carvalho were all trialled in the left back position but Jose Bosingwa got the nod. It wasn't pretty at times but it sure was effective. 2 PEP WILL BE A CROSS MAN Barcelona troubled Chelsea keeper Petr Cech early on with some teasing crosses and the Czech did not look at ease. But Barca then naively abandoned that tactic and Cech grew in confidence. The Spanish side could capitalise next time if Guardiola is on the ball. 3 NOT A FAN OF DIVER DAN Hiddink clearly told his players to put a foot whenever Barcelona were in possession but try to win the ball cleanly. Alves made this tactic difficult he could start a row in an empty room and rolled around on the floor at every opportunity. No way through: Samuel Eto'o (right) has his effort saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech Key moments33 mins Henry finds himself in space on the edge of the area and Chelsea's defence opens up for him. Cech shows him the near post and Henry tries to beat him with a drilled effort, only for the keeper to dive to his right to keep it out. 40 mins Drogba finally comes alive just before the break, latching on to Marquez's weak back-pass. Drogba is clean through but Valdes makes a double save to deny the Chelsea striker an unlikely opener. 69 mins Eto'o gets clear of Terry, twists inside Alex and seems certain to score but Cech saves Chelsea with his legs. Another top-class effort by Chelsea's keeper. He is keeping their Champions League dream alive. 90 mins It should have been 1-0. Alves crossed from the right and Bojan, on as a substitute, floated away from Terry. But the Spaniard, unmarked six yards out, headed over the bar when he really should have scored. 93 minsSubstitute Alexander Hleb is through on goal but Cech races out of his goal to deny the Barca winger on the angle. The ball falls kindly back to him but he skews the rebound wide of the target with Cech exposed. Head-to-head: Thierry Henry, right, battles for the ball with Branislav Ivanovic Key clashes Henry v IvanovicIvanovic has been so impressive of late but he struggled at first to contain Henry's runs down the left, unsure whether to stay tight or drop off him. In the end, he did neither. He fouled him early on and was out of position as Henry sped past him midway through the first half. Messi v BosingwaMessi always looked to drift inside and threaten using his stronger left foot, but he also has deceptive pace. Bosingwa was fooled in the opening minutes when he clattered into the Barcelona forward but Messi couldn't match his promise with an end product. Drogba v PiqueDrogba was up front on his own for most of the night but someone forgot to tell him that he had to do some legwork. Pique was pumped up for this one, watching over his every move but Drogba's only interest in the game was a first-half effort that was well saved by Valdes. Stat attack As an Arsenal player, Thierry Henry scored 10 goals in 19 matches against Chelsea. Barcelona have five former Premier League players in their squad: Henry, Hleb, Sylvinho (Arsenal), Gudjohnsen (Chelsea) and Pique (Manchester United). Both coaches have won the Champions League or European Cup; Guus Hiddink as manager of PSV in 1988 and Pep Guardiola as a Barcelona player in 1992. Barcelona have eight surviving players from their 2006 Champions League final win over Arsenal: Valdes, Marquez, Puyol, Eto'o, Jorquera, Sylvinho, Xavi and Iniesta. Chelsea have reached the Champions League semi-finals three years running and five times in six seasons. Wish you were here? They will re-write more than 50 years of history when Sir Norman Foster and his team of architects get to work on a £180m refurbishment programme at the Nou Camp later this year, yet no-one would dare remodel this Barcelona team. The graphic above shows the number of successful passes Barcelona midfielder Xavi made from each area of the pitch during the 0-0 draw with Chelsea More than 90,000 disciples were inside this breakfast bowl of a stadium last night. They pay homage to Pep Guardiola's free-scoring team, sitting in the steeply banked stands that have been home to Spanish football's second most successful club for half a century. This is one of football's iconic stadiums, a sporting cathedral which houses 18 Spanish League titles in a trophy cabinet deep in the main stand. Their fanatical supporters began taking their places an hour before kick-off last night in an arena soon to be protected from the elements when work begins on a retractable roof later this year. They are fiercely proud, waving Catalonia flags as a symbol of their heritage and repeatedly chanting 'Barca' before unfurling a banner which makes their intention to be at the Champions League final in Rome next month clear: 'Totes les victories ens porten a Roma!'. More than 3,000 Chelsea fans made the trip, high up in the gods, most unaware this would be their last visit to the Nou Camp in its present form, with another 8,000 seats set to be added, taking the capacity to 106,000.


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