Drogba goal gives Chelsea win
Didier Drogba’s first-half goal was enough to secure a victory over Barcelona at Stamford Bridge and give Chelsea real hope going into the Champions League semi-final second leg.
Barcelona were expected to dominate the game, and enjoyed long spells of possession, hitting the woodwork twice. Chelsea defended with spirit and commitment though, in one of their finest European performances.
It was Chelsea’s experienced players, Drogba, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard who epitomised the club spirit that has been restored under temporary manager Roberto Di Matteo.
"A lot of the public opinion has been that these boys are over the line, too old to play two games and to play at this level," Di Matteo said. "It wasn't just Didier. There were other players on the pitch that people have regarded as 'the old guard' who can't play two games in such a short period of time. They gave an answer on the pitch tonight. We have a team with a good team spirit, a good team ethic. Young and old stay together in this team and fight for the same target."
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola wasn’t making any rash predictions about winning in the Nou Camp. "It won't be simple in the second game," he said. "They'll have 10 men behind the ball and will defend: they're stronger than us; they run, run, run; they jump more than us."
Di Matteo said before the game that Chelsea would need two "perfect games" to progress to the final in Munich. One down, one to go.