Saturday night was huge for a lot of Chelsea fans like me. Ever since I have started following English Premier League (EPL), I have been following Chelsea. This season has been a roller coaster ride for the football club. We got a new coach “AVB” and he didn’t get the results which were expected out of the team. The team was low on confidence, morale was down and generally it looked like we were down and out. But then the coach was sacked, a new “interim” coach comes into picture. The team starts by winning against Napoli in the Champions League and slowly and steadily gains confidence. After couple of good games against the English teams, Chelsea is faced with the one of the biggest challenges in the form of Barcelona, the best football club, in the world. A lot of people had counted Chelsea off, saying they would never be able to beat Barcelona. It is true that defeating Barcelona by playing Barca style football is next to impossible – just ask Arsenal. So they did what they had to do. They counter attacked when the opportunity arose, otherwise defended as if their lives depended on keeping a clean sheet.
After Chelsea won the first leg against Barca, people again said Barca will defeat Chelsea at Camp Nou. Chelsea used the same strategy which helped them win the first leg effectively. Even though they were down to 10 men, Barca just couldn’t score more than 2 goals. Chelsea could have just parked the bus and let Barca roll over them, but that wasnt to be me. After the 2nd goal, they counter attacked and found the net in the 1st half. The 2nd half was more or less the same, with Messi missing a penalty. I am not sure if Messi has ever scored against Chelsea in all the encounters they have had so far. He certainly gets some blues when he plays the Blues. The more Barca attacked, Chelsea dug in ever deeper and then finally in the extra time scored through Fernando Torres.
Chelsea lost their four front line players in the semi final which meant they would not be playing the finals – the biggest game of their careers. Again people said the same things – Bayern is playing at home, Chelsea wont be able to win, they don’t have players etc. However, in the finals it was Chelsea who won. Bayern attacked – wave after wave and each time they crashed against a rock solid defense, though, there were a few cracks but still they held on. The more they held on, more frustrated Bayern became. When the 90 mins ended, we could see Bayern players tired and resting on the ground, while on the Chelsea side you could the team members raring to go. Finally when no result was achieved in the extra time, it was time for the penalties and rest is history as we know it.
The above purely demonstrates the team spirit, the determination to succeed of a team which had faced a lot this season. This is the stuff legends are made up of. They could well make a Hollywood movie out of this one. For all the people who say Chelsea play ugly football, to them I would say winning is all it matters as long as no cheating is involved. It does not matter how much time you hold the possession or how many corner kicks you take; it is end result – the ball crossing the goal line – is what counts and unfortunately Barca and Bayern couldn’t do it when it mattered the most.