Miracle escape as 10-man Chelsea beat European champions

Barcelona 2 Chelsea 2 (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate)

Chelsea produced one of the greatest escapes in the history of European football tonight as they survived the sending off of John Terry to win an astonishing Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.

On a night of unparalleled drama at the Nou Camp, Terry looked to have pressed the self-destruct button on the Blues' hopes of glory on the continent when he saw red for kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind.

But the 10 men were simply magnificent for the rest of the second leg, fighting back from goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta with a stunning chip from Ramires before half-time.

And after surviving a Barca siege from start to finish that saw Lionel Messi miss a penalty, Fernando Torres came off the bench to score a stoppage-time breakaway goal as Chelsea avenged their 2009 defeat in the most dramatic manner possible.

Reaching their second final came at a huge cost, with Terry's red card and yellows for Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles ruling them out of the final.

But they will worry about that in the morning after celebrating arguably the greatest result in the club's history and one which may finally convince Roman Abramovich to make Roberto Di Matteo's appointment as manager permanent.

Disaster struck for Chelsea as early as the sixth minute, Gary Cahill eventually forced off after slipping and pulling his hamstring, with Jose Bosingwa coming on and Ivanovic forced to move to centre-back.

It was soon 1-1 on the injury front, Gerard Pique lasting just 26 minutes of his recall after failing to recover from a sickening collision with the backside of Victor Valdes that appeared to leave him briefly unconscious.

That failed to alter the pattern of a game which was a carbon copy of the first leg as Chelsea parked the bus once more.

Messi rippled the side-netting inside three minutes and, after both sides' injury woes, he should have opening the scoring in the 20th minute, firing a one-two with Cesc Fabregas against Petr Cech's leg.

Fabregas also volleyed into the sidenetting and Cech tipped over Javier Mascherano's drive but there was hope for Chelsea before Pique's departure when Didier Drogba shrugged him off but could himself only find the side-netting from the tightest of angles.

The first sign of Chelsea's discipline wavering came when John Obi Mikel was booked for chopping down Alexis Sanchez in the 32nd minute.

And when they went to sleep three minutes later, they were behind, their failure to close down allowing Isaac Cuenca to square for Busquets to tap into a virtually unguarded net.

The build-up to this tie was dominated by talk of refereeing meltdowns in previous clashes but Terry simply gave Cuneyt Cakir no choice but to dismiss him less than two minutes later.

Sanchez over-reacted to the swipe, bringing back memories of David Beckham's 1998 World Cup sending-off, and Terry initially refused to walk.

But Cech made him listen to reason before picking the ball out of his own net again two minutes before half time, Chelsea carved apart as Messi teed up Iniesta to stroke the ball home.

Chelsea looked dead and buried but, as at Stamford Bridge, they struck a dagger blow with their first shot on target in first-half stoppage-time.

Frank Lampard was again the creator as Ramires burst through and floated a glorious finish over Valdes - moments after picking up a booking that would rule him out of the final.

The cascade of noise that had filled the Nou Camp turned to silence at half-time but they were soon cheering again after the restart when Drogba conceded a penalty.

Cakir adjudged the striker had tripped Fabregas and pointed to the spot, with Ivanovic cautioned for his protest.

It looked certain Messi would end his Chelsea hoodoo but, incredibly, he smashed his effort against the crossbar.

Lampard was fortunate to escape punishment for a flare-up with Fabregas, Sanchez nodded substitute Daniel Alves' cross wide, and Cech was booked for timewasting having already been warned before saving well again from Cuenca.

Ivanovic almost capitalised after Drogba helped Chelsea win a rare corner but he was warned himself after going down theatrically, while Lampard was lucky to only see yellow for cutting down Fabregas after Messi was booked for tugging him back.

The visitors were hanging on and were given two lifelines in 60 seconds in the final 10 minutes when Sanchez had a goal ruled out for offside and Messi hit the post from 20 yards.

With time running out, Meireles was ruled out of the final after being booked for fouling Mascherano, who Cech saved from again in the final minute.

And then, in stoppage-time, a long clearance found substitute Torres with 50 yards of space in which to run.

Unlike most of his Chelsea career, he made no mistake, rounding Valdes and slotting home to jubilant scenes.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past