Chelsea relishing 'unfinished business' with Barcelona after reaching Champions League semi-finals
Nervy win over 10-man Benfica sets up chance of revenge – but Mourinho adds to intrigue
Frank Lampard said last night Chelsea want to settle their “unfinished business” with their old foes Barcelona, whom they will meet in this month's Champions League semi-finals after beating Benfica 2-1 last night.
The victory set up a rematch of 2009's controversial tie at the same stage with Barcelona, in which Chelsea felt cheated by some of the decisions from Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo. Last night the Real Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho, whose side face Bayern Munich in the other semi-final, added to the intrigue when he hinted that referees are afraid not to give Barcelona favourable treatment.
There was further drama last night when it emerged that John Terry has aggravated two suspected fractured ribs and will go for a scan today on the injury. The Chelsea captain came off after 59 minutes and is one of the individuals Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo can scarcely do without in a heavy forthcoming fixture list.
Lampard's penalty gave Chelsea a first-half lead last night, and Benfica's Maxi Pereira was sent off soon after. Javi Garcia pulled one back with a header but Raul Meireles guaranteed Chelsea's progress with a stoppage-time goal.
"Everyone's got unfinished business with them," Lampard said of Barcelona last night. "They're the greatest team in the world. They have been and still are."
"That game is still in our minds but this is a different year and we have to try to beat them but we can believe we can do it."
Lampard was referring to the 2009 semi-final, when Andres Iniesta's stoppage-time strike sent Barcelona through on away goals, but Chelsea left infuriated after being denied four strong penalty appeals by Ovrebo.
Meanwhile, Mourinho hinted last night that dark forces would prevent a meeting in the final between his current and former clubs. He has long suggested that Barcelona receive preferential decisions.
"Let me be honest," the Portuguese said, "I don't think the final will be a Real Madrid-Chelsea final. I prefer to say only this: I don't think it will be Real v Chelsea. It could be Bayern or Barcelona, I just don't think it will be Real Madrid v Chelsea and we know why."
The Benfica coach, Jorge Jesus, is not confident about Chelsea's chances in the semis. "Over the two games we proved we were much the better team," he said. "What hurts me is that we've knocked out better teams than this Chelsea. I may be wrong but I believe Chelsea have no chance against Barcelona."
Di Matteo said that he was "excited" about the prospect of facing the European champions. "We will find a strategy that will suit our players and our team to face Barcelona," he added. "We've faced them a lot of times over the years and a lot of our players have some history against Barcelona. Certainly they felt a bit hard done by when we played them the last time, three years ago."
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.