Chelsea, Barcelona advance to Champions League semis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Chelsea and Barcelona advanced to the Champions League semifinals with separate draws on Tuesday and will face each other in the next round.

Updated: April 15, 2009 09:21 IST
  • Total Shares


Chelsea and Barcelona advanced to the Champions League semifinals with separate draws on Tuesday and will face each in the next round.

Chelsea held on to oust Liverpool 7-5 on aggregate after a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the quarterfinals, and two-time champion Barcelona advanced past Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in Germany.

The first leg of the semifinals will be at the Nou Camp on April 28. The second leg is set for May 6 in London.

Fabio Aurelio and Xabi Alonso scored in the first 28 minutes to give Liverpool hope of overturning the 3-1 loss at Anfield, but Frank Lampard ended up with two goals for Chelsea and Alex and Didier Drogba added the others. Liverpool's Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt also scored late.

Aurelio started things off for Liverpool by exploiting a gaping hole in the Chelsea defense to score in the 19th from a free kick on the right flank. Branislav Ivanovic, whose two goals in the first leg had put Chelsea in control, later hauled down Alonso with both hands as the ball was floated into the box and the Spaniard converted the resulting penalty.

"We had a bad start," Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink said. "It is possible to have one if you are playing against a team that is good tactically. But we knew we had to come back with a reaction in the second half and that is what we did."

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech nearly gifted Liverpool a third goal either side of halftime, but it was counterpart Pepe Reina who fumbled the ball into his own net in the 51st to give Chelsea its first goal of the match. Nicolas Anelka crossed low from the right flank and Drogba nudged it inside the near post under pressure from Martin Skrtel and, despite initially blocking it, Reina bumbled it over the line.

Chelsea soon made it 2-2 when Alex scored with a swerving free kick from a same central position.

In the 76th, Lampard controlled Alonso's weak clearance to release Drogba and the ball was returned to the England midfielder to make it 3-2.

The game looked over, but Liverpool came back with two goals in three minutes. Leiva made it 3-3 in the 81st with a long-range strike that was deflected into the opposite corner by Michael Essien, and Dirk Kuyt met Albert Riera's cross with a powerful header.

Lampard finished off the Reds in the 89th, however, sending Chelsea through.

"I think, clearly, when you lose you have to be disappointed but when you lose in this way you have to be proud and have your head up," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. "Thinking about the Premier League, maybe it's positive because if we can score four goals here at Stamford Bridge, we can do the same in any stadium. We can win a lot of games with this mentality."

Barcelona did just enough in Munich as Franck Ribery gave Bayern the lead in the 47th minute, taking a pass from Ze Roberto and beating Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes with a high shot to the far right side. Seydou Keita equalized for the Spanish league leaders in the 73rd after a pass from Xavi Hernandez.

"We reacted well to the defeat in Barcelona," Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann. "If we had scored early and if we had led 2-0, who knows what would have happened. Maybe they would have lost some confidence. We went out against the best team in the world at the moment."

Barcelona was coached by assistant Tito Vilanova because head coach Pep Guardiola was banned to the bench after his outburst in last week's first leg.

"We still have a lot of time before we have to think about Chelsea, but they are a great team," Vilanova said. "We have not reached our goals yet. ... We are still in three competitions and have a chance to win a lot but we have to see how the players respond to this pressure."

In front of a sold-out crowd of 66,000 at Munich's Allianz Arena, Bayern was more aggressive early. Luca Toni missed a chance in the sixth minute, and then had a goal called back for offside a minute later. Ribery then shot just over in the 14th.

Bayern did well to shut down winger Lionel Messi, who scored twice in the first leg. Striker Thierry Henry missed the return match with a cold.

On Wednesday, defending champion Manchester United plays at FC Porto after a 2-2 draw in the first leg, and Arsenal hosts Villarreal after their 1-1 draw last week.

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Football
  • Chelsea

Leave a comment