A Humble Running Diary of Barcelona-Chelsea

7”–Phew. Finally got my (not illegal) stream to work. I see there have been no goals so far. Twitter tells me Messi dragged one close, but that’s it.

9”–I can’t keep up with my Twitter feed. Something about Gary Cahill faking an injury or something. Oh wait, I have a real video stream.

10”–Wait. I just processed the fact that Aston Villa’s own GARY CAHILL is playing in this match. What a freaking achievement for a team that is definitely getting relegated this season. Still, though, you have GOT to love it for the lad. What a watershed moment for his career.

12”–Gary Cahill substituted for Jose Bosingwa.

14”–I was struck with the perfect solution for Barcelona to rid themselves of the congestion in Chelsea’s box: Drano.

16”–Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Goose! … Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Goose!

18”–There’s no way that Chelsea’s long ball strategy could have involved Pique getting knocked unconscious… Could it? … COULD IT?!?!

20”–Ooooh. Very pretty from Barca there, but Messi, comme normale, scuffs the shot. Kidding. But really, what is he doing out there? Messi? Nerves? Impossible.

25”–COULD ITTTTT?!?!?! Barca will surely be ever so much weaker without Pique.

28”–I wonder if Barcelona’s shot-to-possession ratio is the same as Chelsea’s. They dribble around the box, dribble around the box, dribble around the box, try a through ball, and then someone steps in the way. Repeat to infinity.

32”–Honestly, if Barcelona’s tiki-taka wasn’t so mesmerizing, I’d be bored with this game. And yet, they always seem like they’re about to score, so I can’t look away.

36”–BUSQUETS GOAL, Barcelona 1-0 Chelsea. Well, we can finally give Busquets his reputation as a goal-scorer back after that awful, awful miss last leg. That’s all Barcelona need to see this game to penalties, where they will inevitably win on a John Terry miss.

38”–JOHN TERRY RED CARD. Guess the only thing old Johnny will be missing is the rest of this match and the next one. In other news, so long to Chelsea’s chances.

42”–This already drastically one-sided match is now ridiculously so.

44”–INIESTA GOAL, Barcelona 2-0 Chelsea. As my good friend Ray used to say, this one might as well be signed, sealed, and delivered.

45 + 1”–RAMIRES GOAL, Barcelona 2-1 Chelsea. OH MYLANTA what a goal from Ramires. In additional to the general cheekiness, he has made me look AWFUL on Twitter. And here for that matter. Chelsea are right back in it, and Barca need another goal now. Soccer’s a funny sport.

Half Time–The Ramires goal has drastically changed the tenor of the game. Now, we’re back to the Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan drill as Barcelona will try and find their way through the murky lagoon that will be Chelsea’s box.

46”–After changing my underwear in preparation for the second half, I’m back in the saddle, ready to dominate (like Barcelona surely will).

47”–PENALTY TO BARCELONA. And there it is already. Leave it to the guy supposedly without defensive responsibilities (Drogba) to bring down Fabregas in the box.

48”–PENALTY MISS! BY LIONEL MESSI. Well, just when you thought you’d seen everything, the best player in the world, maybe the best ever, misses from the spot. Lord, you’d think he could have scored that one with his eyes closed. Probably has! Game on, yet again.

52”–KERFUFFLE INVOLVING LAMPARD AND FABREGAS! That’s about all it was, but Messi got involved, which means that Lamps must have said something truly nasty to Fab.

54”–Pass. Pass. Pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass! pass! pass!!!! Lose the ball…

56”–Drogba tries an audacious shot from just inside his own half, and that’s about the best Chelsea can do at this point. Valdes saves, making it look much harder than it was.

65”–I’ve been sitting here for almost 10 minutes waiting for Barca to do something interesting, but the tiki taka is finding it difficult to operate against the clogga toileta defensa.

69”–Drogba, conspicuous by the absence of him rolling around on the pitch in the first half, asserts himself, by causing his leg to cramp.

70”–Attempting to save a ball going out of bounds, Iniesta is moving so fast, and the camera is so oddly positioned, that it seems as if he has crashed through a wall.

73”–Keita replaces Fabregas, in order to… not add a dose of energy to the side… not increase Barca’s passing intricacy… add some age and experience? Yeah, we don’t know on that one Pep.

77”–Busquets fluffs yet another inside-the-box open shot, proving that, other than scoring on a tap in today, he really should ever be shooting inside the box.

80”–Had to look up Fernando Torres (subbing in) on Wikipedia because I forgot who he was.

81”–I have to look for a new lamp after I through one at the wall in my excitement because Barcelona scored. I wouldn’t feel the need to replace, but the goal was ruled offsides.

83”–Busquets collides with Torres, clutches his knee in agony, and then immediately stands up and argues when he sees that the penalty is on him.

86”–Barca are playing like they are feeling the noose tighten. Flailing and kicking everywhere.

87”–Pep on the sidelines looks like he’s composing what he’s gonna say to the media in the event of a loss.

90”–I would say beating Barca with 10-men is unthinkable, but Arrigo Sacchi and Jonathan Wilson have proven that it’s at least thinkable. Still, this is rather amazing.

91”–TORRES GOAL, Chelsea 2-2 Barcelona. Phew. I remember Torres now. He’s the guy that only scores garbage goals.

92”–Sad to see Barca lose, but Madrid-Chelsea will be a fascinating final (can we call this “Mourinho’s War of Attrition” yet?). Soccer’s a funny sport. Chelsea is in danger of not making the Champions League next year, and still manages the UCL final. It’s not unprecedented, but you have to think the better team lost here.

Full Time. Barca are bounced in a similar fashion to how they were bounced by Inter back in 2010, just sort of opposite. Just goes to show, there’s no such thing as a juggernaut in contemporary sports. Barcelona are the closest thing you’ll get to the Real Madrid team that won five straight in the 1960s, or the UCLA team that won 10 out of 12 NCAA championships. They deserved to be applauded, but Chelsea moreso for figuring out the formula and executing it to extent they did.

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