May 06, 2009

Extra-Time Goal Puts Outmanned FC Barcelona into Champions League Final: Andres Iniesta's spectacular goal two minutes into stoppage time tied FC Barcelona 1-1 with Chelsea, sending the Spanish side to the Champions League Final against Manchester United in three weeks because they scored more away goals. Barcelona played a man down after defender Eric Abidal was given a red card in the 66th minute in a controversial call by referee Tom Ovrebo.

posted by rcade to soccer at 05:41 PM - 12 comments

Quite a bit of questionable refereeing in both of the two semi-finals, the other being Manchester United's 3-1 victory over Arsenal. Alves and Abidal may be sorely missed in the final for Bara, but Darren Fletcher will be missing on the United side as well.

That being said, both of the goals in this match were lovely pieces of work. Essien's hit in the 9th was a thing of beauty, and Iniesta's winner was also a great shot. My favorite goal of the semis, however, was United's third goal yesterday, a beautiful sequences of passes leading to a smooth Ronaldo finish. I'm looking forward to the final in a few weeks, it should be a great match.

posted by boredom_08 at 07:06 PM on May 06, 2009

Both goals were incredible. Essian could attempt that shot 100 times and I'd be surprised if he made it more than once. Iniesta's was not as unbelievable, but still a terrific all-but-unstoppable shot.

Knowing little about FC Barcelona, I was surprised they posed so little offensive threat in spite of controlling the ball more than 60 percent of the match.

The ref was pretty bad, but I'm surprised that he put up with players getting their paws on him. In baseball, woe be unto the player who does that.

posted by rcade at 07:32 PM on May 06, 2009

Chelsea has a right to gripe about penalty non-calls, but I'm delighted that Barca got through. I think the Catalans were the better team over the two legs, and the Champions League definitely doesn't need the exact same teams as last year in the final.

posted by sbacharach at 07:34 PM on May 06, 2009

For those who want to see the goals (they're both pretty sick): Essian Iniesta

posted by DudeDykstra at 08:08 PM on May 06, 2009

And here are the goals from the Man U-Arsenal game. The one I especially appreciated has a good view starting at 0:55.

posted by boredom_08 at 09:43 PM on May 06, 2009

ESPN managed to mute out Drogba's outburst after the final whistle; the British broadcasters weren't so fast on the button, and had to issue an apology.

Shocking referee (who was probably feeling the aftershocks of Sir RedNose), staggering goal from Essien, but oh how I laughed at the Chelsea scum reverting to type.

posted by etagloh at 09:49 PM on May 06, 2009

What, the late "hand ball?" The defender had turned his back and the ball mostly hit is back below the shoulder! The reaction, with I believe Ballack chasing the referee -- I'm surprised he only got a yellow card! He should have been tossed, except for the fact that Chelsea fans would have trashed the stadium!

Let's face it ... the two best clubs in Europe, maybe the world, will face one another in the final.

posted by jjzucal at 11:14 PM on May 06, 2009

What did Ballack say to the ref? "I'll be in the Champions League next year, but you''ll be at a second division game in Trondheim."

As a ref, he got too much wrong on the night - the red card made up for the one he missed in the first half, but two wrongs don't and all that. In terms of the penalties, the only one that should have been was the earlier hand ball when Anelka was through.

Cracking game, though.

Darren Fletcher will be missing on the United side as well.

No he won't.

posted by owlhouse at 11:46 PM on May 06, 2009

Ballack should have been watching the game from the sideline for the red card he got in the first leg. I can't remember who he tackled but he was lucky to have escaped the second yellow.

The Pique handball and the red card stood out to me as the largest refereeing errors.

Stunning response by Chelsea's players. There is no way someone shouldn't have been red carded at the end of that match. Either Ballack for his reaction to the penalty no call or Drogba even after the match was over.

posted by Ricardo at 04:13 AM on May 07, 2009

Fletcher will be missing but not missed... is that what you were after?

posted by trox at 09:37 AM on May 07, 2009

There Is No Barcelona-Chelsea Conspiracy is a decent look at the refereeing. Concludes that over two legs the bad calls were a reasonable wash.

Frankly I could not believe Ovrebo didn't red card Ballack for the in your face hectoring after the Eto'o non-call and Drogba for racing onto the pitch. Hard to believe UEFA won't have a closer look.

But Ovrebo will be lucky to get any European games for the next year or two.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:33 AM on May 07, 2009

Fletcher will be missing but not missed... is that what you were after?

Pretty much. I'm glad someone's on the ball.

Conspiracy? Meh. In the most watched football game across the world this week? It's a bit hard to see how the ref could have rigged anything, let alone help organise an injury time equaliser in those circumstances.

He just wasn't up to standard. Andy Gray didn't blame the ref as an individual, but blamed UEFA for selecting someone with too little big match experience.

posted by owlhouse at 05:21 PM on May 07, 2009

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