There was no shortage of drama at the Nou Camp on Tuesday... and that could be an understatement.In a game that saw Lionel Messi miss a penalty and Fernando Torres score a goal, little was predictable from kick-off to final whistle.
Despite going down to 10 men early on, Chelsea secured a place in the Champions League final with a 2-2 draw against Barcelona in the second leg, winning 3-2 on aggregate.
"We've done it. We scored an away goal and I think that was the key," goalkeeper Petr Cech told Sky Sports.
"What can I say. We scored goals and fought for 90 minutes. We were down to 10 men and down 2-1, but I think it's fantastic what we've done."
It was a great night but not easy for Chelsea who defended for their lives for much of the game.
As expected Barcelona came out of the blocks firing and were a goal ahead after 35 minutes when Isaac Cuenca played in Sergio Busquets.
What wasn't expected were the foolish antics of Chelsea's experienced captain John Terry a minute later.
Chelsea went down to 10 men after Terry was dismissed for kneeing Alexis Sanchez off the ball. It was an incident missed by many in the stadium including the referee but caught by one of the officials.
Struggling with a man down, things went from bad to worse for Chelsea when Barca ripped through the Blues defence. Lionel Messi set up Andres Iniesta to slip his shot past the hopelessly exposed Petr Cech.
But Ramires surprised the fans inside the Nou Camp when he conjured up a goal for the Blues out of nothing shortly afterwards.
The Brazilian put his side back in the tie when he ran on to a Frank Lampard pass before deftly lifting the ball over Victor Valdes.
A dramatic first half was followed by an equally surprising second one.
Without their most experienced defender, Chelsea fought bravely for 45 minutes against the reigning champions.
They also survived a Barcelona penalty. And not many people would have expected the world's greatest footballer to miss.
After Didier Drogba lunged at Cesc Fabregas inside the box, Lionel Messi smashed the crossbar from the spot handing the initiative back to the visitors.
A night when Messi misses a penalty was surely a night when anything could happen.
And so it proved when the ball was delivered to the feet of Fernando Torres.
The player - who has struggled to find his form in a Chelsea shirt - rounded the keeper to round off a remarkable evening for his team.
An unpredictable night left Chelsea victorious and Barcelona stunned after their third consecutive defeat.
Roberto Di Matteo's men will now face either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final.
However, it will be a tough ask for Chelsea to repeat such heroics as they will be missing Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires through suspension.
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|Denis G. Rancourt|