Some called me crazy, some called me arrogant, and the hardcore ones even went about saying that a certain Leo Messi will probably destroy us.
In truth they probably should have. After all, Barcelona are one of the greatest teams in the world at the moment – powered by Messi who just can’t seem to stop scoring and augmented by the likes of several world class stars like Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas and the twinkle-toed Andres Iniesta.
On the hand, Chelsea are an ageing squad, do not have a permanent manager and were barely grinding out results – the 4-1 win over Napoli and 5-1 hammering of Spurs aside.
Cue Thursday morning and the result isn’t so funny anymore, especially to critics and doubters.
The 1-0 win over Barcelona was probably one of the Blues best performances for the whole season by far, even taking the shine off the FA Cup semi-final when we hit Spurs for five.
The whole team, inspired by Captain JT who’s playing with cracked ribs was disciplined in their defensive work throughout the 90 minutes and offered little Messi no quarters at all.
Gary Cahill, in particular, was immense in his biggest game of his career and it is probably fair to say that he had the Argentine maestro in his pocket for much of the match.
The man of the hour however was none other than Didier Drogba who proved time and again he’s a world class big game player.
Credits to Roberto Di Matteo, because once again he showed that he can actually be a shrewd tactician by getting the big game tactics spot on.
The whole idea was basically to soak up the pressure and play typical English football and hit a very laughable Barca defence on the fast break with high balls, which worked to perfection.
Sure some may slam us for the negative approach of parking the bus and playing defensive football.
But at the end of the day, for all of Barca’s 72% possession and 24 shots at goal, they leave Stamford Bridge with nothing to show while we have a precious goal to boot.
That was simply great tactics because there’s no point trying to play beautiful football and outpass Barca like what Man Utd and Arsenal attempted only to get slaughtered in the end.
We may have gotten lucky but the ultimate goal is to win, and we’re well on course for the final in Munich.
Sure its not over with an away leg to Spain next week and many are expecting Barca to wake up and hand us a thrashing worthy of a cricket score.
But in this Blues team I have faith and full confidence that Lady Luck is finally shinning on us and we will survive the Barca onslaught.
But it is back to EPL business with a crucial tie against Arsenal in the race for a top-four spot in the league. With the
Gunners and Spurs dropping points of late, it has given us a much needed lifeline.
Of course it will not be easy against a free-scoring Arsenal but given our confidence and form of late, it be a folly to write us off.
If our defence can keep their focus and discipline like they did against Barca, an Arsenal team who play a similar albeit vastly inferior style, would not be much of a trouble.
Keep The Blue Flag Flying High.
n Kng Zheng Guan believes the 1-0 win was karma on Barcelona’s part for all their cheating, diving and play acting over the past years. Drogba just gave them a taste of their own medicine.
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