20 April 2012 09:54

 By Charlie Charalambous

Sweet. But not yet double sweet. Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo said Chelsea had to play two ‘perfect games’ against world beaters Barcelona and there is another 90 minutes plus of football to play.
Chelsea may have been out passed and out played at times but they were not out fought or out thought – the Blue shirts did the business. As Lampard agreed there was ‘unfinished business’ to be resolved with Barca stoppage time
Iniesta’s stoppage time goal in 2009 that broke Chelsea hearts left a nasty taste in the mouth these past three years.
It was pure joy to see Barcelona get all the bad breaks but the home team deserved their luck as fortune continues to smile on them. Chelsea were clinical in front of goal – once chance – bang --- Drogba buries it in the corner.
Messi, Fabregas, Iniesta and Sanchez tried to dance there way around the defence but tough guys like Terry don’t dance -- they put their body on the line.
Just like Spurs tried to diss Chelsea, Barca also talked up their chances of steam rolling our aging, long ball merchants.
As Spurs learned at Wembley -- and Barca soon discovered -- there is life in the old Drog yet which is why Chelsea would be crazy to let this Blues legend go on a free to China to play for Anelka.
And AVB should take a long hard look at how Roberto has transformed a team that was written off as has-beens.
Andre Villas Boas wanted a faster, slicker, newer version of a team that has achieved more than any veteran Chelsea supporter could have dreamed off.
Certainly the team needs fresh blood but AVB failed to understand that Lampard, Terry, Drogba, Essien and Cole are synonymous with Chelsea – they are modern standard bearers of the winning prototype.
Chelsea could not have beaten Barca without them and these Blue legends must dig deep to muster another body-and-soul performance at the Nou Camp to conquer Barcelona.
Undoubtedly Barca will not be as wasteful in front of goal as they were at Stamford Bridge while Di Matteo’s army know they will need to score to give themselves a fighting chance.
Even if Chelsea fail to lift the Holy Grail this season the players have proven they demand respect as champions where age is an after thought.
And I’m quietly confident that when the Chelsea XI cross the white line at the Nou Camp they will give blood, sweat and tears for the badge on their shirt not the name on the back of it.
Credit to Barcelona they didn’t whinge or bemoan their bad luck, players of such calibre acknowledge that being clinical in front of goal is what counts – not stats on 72% possession, 24 attempts on goal and 500 passes completed.
Trying to play football against Barcelona is pointless, the ball sticks to their feet permanently so it’s a matter of closing down the space and letting them go wide because it’s not in their DNA to pump the ball in the box.
Chelsea were battered in London and will have to lift up the drawbridge again as the Barca boys let rip with slings and arrows.
It may not be easy on the eye but an intriguing game of football awaits in Spain for what promises to be a nail-biting, cut-and-thrust encounter.
Before that there is the not so trivial affair of another London derby with Arsenal where, again, the next chapter on our resurgence must be a positive one. So don’t write us off just yet because if it’s too good to be true it must be Blue.