Gudjohnsen breaks the ice

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The Independent Football

Cometh the hour, and the Iceman cometh. Eidur Gudjohnsen's early goal broke the ice, after just eight minutes, coolly slamming in Mateja Kezman's clever cross, and appeared to break Barcelona's resolve as well.

Cometh the hour, and the Iceman cometh. Eidur Gudjohnsen's early goal broke the ice, after just eight minutes, coolly slamming in Mateja Kezman's clever cross, and appeared to break Barcelona's resolve as well.

The goals came like a torrent and Gudjohnsen - who was once regarded as such a bit-part player in the Roman Abramovich revolution that the joke went that there was only one "good Johnson" at Chelsea - was at the centre of them.

That other Johnson, Glen, who cost £6m in the first flush of Abramovich's cash, sat on the bench as Eidur orchestrated his side's attacking verve.

Again, the 26-year-old Icelander showed his adaptability, his intelligence. Expected to play at the point of the attack, he was deployed behind it, more in midfield than up front. But the man who had seen off the challenges of Hernan Crespo, Adrian Mutu and his old strike partner Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, was up for the part.

His role was to collect Barcelona's hurried clearances and reset the attacks. His accurate passing, neatness in possession and physical presence imposed themselves. He was that "third captain" that Jose Mourinho had hailed in Chelsea's team, behind John Terry and Frank Lampard. But suddenly, with Barcelona's revival, he was bypassed. His team was outnumbered and he was outmanoeuvred. His challenges became more robust, a booking followed, worse could have done, and Gudjohnsen started to look what he was.

For all that wealth, that potential resource at his club's disposal it was a "make do and mend" option. But, somehow, he and Chelsea rallied. A blocked shot gave hope and then came Terry's goal. Gudjohnsen was immediately withdrawn. Exhausted, he had, with incredible determination and desire, done his job. He had taken the fight. It was now for others to hold on to it.

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