Captain Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano have countless skills but, unfortunately for us, they suffer when facing tall strikers such as Drogba, Ibrahimovic or Llorente. In that respect, it's clear FC Barcelona missed Gerard Piqué dearly - Despite not having his best season so far, the Catalan Giant would have given Drogba a much harder time in the air.
That being said, Barça controlled the match from beginning to end, with a massive 74% possession, 23 shots, 8 corners. Unfortunately, we also hit the post twice and missed two clear chances.
Still, no big deal.
Why I'm Still Feeling Positive
Most football fans out there would be devastated after losing a match their team dominated so clearly.
In fact, yesterday's match has confirmed what I knew all along: Barça are the better team and we look forward to the chance of talking on the pitch next Tuesday.
Lionel Messi can simply not go through 180 minutes of football without scoring, La Pulga is known for always stepping up when FC Barcelona need him the most, always eager to take centre-stage when it comes to big matches. Considering we should also have a fit Xavi Hernandez and the genius Andres Iniesta at our disposal, I am convinced the Chelsea defence will face a much tougher challenge next week.
Since Pep Guardiola took over back in July 2008, The Blaugranas have won 27 out of 29 ties over two legs, an impressive 93%. If there is a coach who can find a way to unlock a tight defence, that's The Catalan Master. As long as Pique recovers and we don't lose any players to injury, Pep Guardiola would be right to stick to the same game plan at our home pitch.
The Camp Nou fans won't necessarily receive Chelsea with open arms. Culés are eagerly awaiting the most important week of the season, when titles are decided. While winning the La Liga Clasico against Real Madrid on Saturday would be fantastic, knocking Chelsea out of Europe so shortly after would be the icing on the cake.
Barcelona fans have many reasons to believe in our team.
The Tie Is Far From Over
While all types of football are to be respected, I simply would not accept my own team playing like Chelsea did last night. For us Catalans, football is a game where attack beats defence while crafty combinations and incisive dribbling combine to achieve glory.
It looks like Chelsea fans are incredibly pleased with their 1-0 win. All I can say is: Enjoy it while you can, you may not have your happy ending next Tuesday.
As long as FC Barcelona can combine quicker upfront, free up space and convert our chances, we will be in this year's Champions League final.
I stand by my word before the semi-finals started: It's Chelsea, not Barça, who should be worried.
FC Barcelona: Only one step away from achieving European glory once again!!!
Have Your Say
What did you think of this article?
Am I being too critical of Chelsea's performance or perhaps too optimistic about FC Barcelona's chances?
Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?
I welcome and appreciate all feedback.
Posted by: Francesc Tomàs
Founder and Columnist at www.barcablog.com
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