Ugly, tactical and brilliant football by Chelsea. Defenders rode the pick and roll passer all night and disrupted Barca's favorite moves. The few times they put the ball in the air they revealed Cech's lack of confidence, but he bravely smothered anything on the ground.
Essien felt wasted for 70 minutes. Inaccurate and slow, taking up space but not winning that many balls, I didn't think. And I never thought I'd see Lampard substituted. But as soon as he left the field, Essien slid into a more central role and Chelsea were immediately more threatening. Belletti added pace and freed up Essien to be a more advanced playmaker.
Overall, first class tactics by Hiddink to overcome his immobile fullbacks, Alex and Terry.
It's going to be another rough one at Stamford Bridge. A single away goal by Barca and the pressure will really be on Chelsea. I'm sure Hiddink will be a bit more attacking, but he can't afford to take too many chances. No matter where they play, Barca are still a deadly attacking team.
I'm sorry Marquez seems to have a serious injury. I'm delighted Puyol has a suspension. Suddenly there's a bit of a hole in Barca's central defense. Could be an opportunity for Drogba.
Who had a magnificent game, I must say. Missed one golden chance. But fantastic possession all game, great control, made excellent decisions with the ball, protected Chelsea brilliantly. A wonderful game by the much maligned striker.
As I said, next week's match will be another tense affair. I'm curious and nervous to see how much Hiddink will open it up without an away goal in his back pocket.
If she don't come
I'll tickle her bum
With a lump of celery!
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
-- Bertrand Russell
To make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first invent the universe.
-- Carl Sagan