Would it be such a surprise if Chelsea overcame Barca?

When Barcelona came to Stamford Bridge the general consensus from most neutrals seemed to be that the best team in the world had come to town and Chelsea stood no chance.

But was that ever true? Chelsea had beaten Barcelona three times since 2000 and while the Catalans sweep most teams aside – including Manchester United in two of the last three Champions League finals – they have always found it a bit tougher against us.

Well, it’s now four wins against them and Chelsea go to the Nou Camp with a lead and no away goals conceded.

Can we finish the job? Nobody would claim it’s going to be easy and even many Blues fans probably secretly think Barcelona will emerge victorious.

But if Chelsea can defend like we did in the first leg – and indeed in the game against Arsenal – Messi and Co will have to be on the top of their game to score the two goals they need.

Chelsea’s entire team defended brilliantly against Barcelona, with Gary Cahill’s performance a highlight for me.

He’s an experienced player and an England international, but he’d never played in the Champions League until two months ago and yet he looked totally at home up against Messi – the man some people call the best player ever.

Of course, as so often, Messi was involved in the goal. It’s just that this time it was by being dispossessed by Frank Lampard for the start of the move that led to the goal by Drogba.

For all the talk of Barcelona’s pressure and possession, and Chelsea’s heroic defending, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the best move of the night was the one which led to our goal.

Lampard’s pass to Ramires was better than any played by any Barcelona player all night. Ramires’s cross to Drogba was hit while he was running at full pelt and yet he threaded it inch perfectly through four defenders and Drogba’s finish, with the ball behind him, was brilliant.

He made it look easy, like he’s done in so many big games before.

So is it a foregone conclusion that Barcelona will come back from the first leg deficit? Not necessarily.

I’m sure Pep Guardiola was playing “mind games” when he said Chelsea were now favourites. But he might have had a point.



James Clarke is the author of Moody Blues: Following the second-best team in Europe

Follow James on Twitter