Despite my considerable hatred toward The Blues, I genuinely celebrated their amazing triumph over the mighty Barcelona. Here’s why:
1. It’s about time to dispel the notion that ball possession is a key element to win a football match.
Barcelona had 82% of the possession that night. While luck played its part, most neutrals would agree that Chelsea deserved to win the tie. Just like Real Madrid two days earlier, Chelsea managed to hit Barcelona on the break and made them pay for their lack of defensive cover. The amount of possession in a game is irrelevant, it’s what you do with it that counts.
2. Defending is an art, not just plain negativity.
A lot of people take defensive teams for granted, blaming their negative approach to the game. Defense is a lot more than just putting 10 players behind the ball (football term: park the bus). It takes tremendous amount of organization, discipline, and concentration to defend well as a team. You can field 10 good defensive players in a team and still concede a few without the three aspects above. Roberto di Matteo’s Chelsea really demonstrated the art of defending, especially during the 2nd half where they had to defend ultra-deep with only 9 outfielders against the world’s best attacking team.
3. Chelsea is due for some luck in this competition.
They lost to Liverpool in 2005 courtesy of Luis Garcia’s Shadow Goal, then lost another semifinal against the same opponent to a penalty shootout in 2007. In 2008 CL Final, Manchester United beat them, (yup, you’ve guessed it), on penalties. They say if you keep trying, all your past misfortunes will even out eventually. And eventually, yesterday was the day.
4. Really, you don’t want yet another El Clasico this season.
First of all, Real Madrid will have to beat Bayern Munich at the Barnabeu (not exactly a straightforward task against the mighty Bayern), so even a Barca win wouldn’t guarantee an El Clasico final. However, you can’t help but thinking the possibility of yet another El Clasico. True, the magnitude and importance of a CL Final will be different, but after 6 (SIX) meetings this season alone, it’s safe to say that a final other than Madrid vs Barca final would be much welcomed.
5. Real Madrid vs Chelsea final would be emotional. Yet another priceless Jose Mourinho moment to savor.
Again, forgive me for my premeditated assumption on Madrid winning the tie vs Bayern Munich. A Real Madrid vs Chelsea final would be a dream for neutrals. The match would contain all the aspects that makes football such a wonderful game. It’s David vs Goliath, the Rookie vs the Grandmaster. Above all, it’s going to be Jose Mourinho’s final. Winning or losing, it would be very emotional for Jose Mourinho to face the team that he absolutely love. A number of his old personnel are still there. Chelsea fans still adore Mourinho like no other. I do hope for a Madrid win tonight, for the sake of an unforgettable Final come May 19th.