Bridge Banter: Chelsea triumph will leave Blues stretched

First published in Chelsea Kingston Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

Well would you Adam and Eve it?

Chelsea reach the Champions League final after holding on for a draw at the Nou Camp, despite being down to 10 men for the best part of an hour.

The Blues’ three previous visits to Barcelona had also ended in draws, but this one took the chocolate chip cookie.

When QPR fans visit Stamford Bridge this weekend, as life returns briefly to the little matter of the Premier League, they will no doubt chant ‘What a waste of money’ when Fernando Torres is on the ball.

But the £50million man came good at the end of a mesmerising display of last-gasp defending, rounding Victor Valdes in the Barca goal in stoppage time to score a morale-boosting goal and ending up being mobbed by a mound of ecstatic team-mates.

The 2-2 scoreline on the night, 3-2 on aggregate to the Blues, was made all the more remarkable by the fact that football god Lionel Messi missed a penalty and that John Terry, the captain supposedly leading by example, let Chelsea down by deliberately marching up to Alexis Sanchez and attempting to give him a dead leg by kneeing him hard in the back of the thigh.

It was off the ball, it was cynical, it was done while the referee wasn’t looking, and it was followed by hammed-up protestations of innocence to the referee.

Quite properly it earned a red card. Maybe he is being advised by a myopic dodo, but rushing out a statement that the kneeing had been ‘accidental’ was as laughable as the incident was lamentable.

Hours later, with replays debunking the excuse, Terry belatedly retracted and apologised.

Thank goodness the Blues’ youth team beat Blackburn Rovers 4-0 in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup.

With JT, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles suspended, and Gary Cahill injured, a few of them might be needed for the final.

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