Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Going opposite directions

Bayern edged Real thanks to a last-minute goal, voiding the +1.0 Real selection. Here's my take on tonight's Chelsea vs Barcelona game semi-final match-up.

One of the very few times that I have seen Guardiola's Barcelona team being rocked, has been their visit to Chelsea a few years back in the UCL. Obviously, everyone remembers this game as the one that Barcelona massively got away with, following a last-gap 93rd minute equalizer from Iniesta, and surviving at least 3 good penalty shouts. Chelsea should have qualified on the night. They were then guided by top coach Guus Hiddink.

Fast forward 3 years, and this is the night that Chelsea will be clinging to as a rallying cry, when they host the Catalans again. Barcelona has become better in every aspect; Guardiola's team is now at its zenith. Chelsea has become inferior in every aspect, Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Essien are no longer the force they once were. So when Chelsea are looking for positives such as the impact of Di Matteo as a manager, their current good form, the fact they have never conceded a goal to Messi, the reality is that deep down, they fear the formidable force of the Catalans, just like any other team.

The Chelsea of a few years back would have had a chance. Their current crop doesn't. Barcelona will go through over 2 legs. In tonight's match, the Spaniards look good value as draw-no-bet as well.

To qualify: Barcelona
Draw-no-bet: Barcelona

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