Chelsea vs Barcelona: Five best goals in Champions League

Ahead of Tuesday’s much-hyped tie between the Premier League title defending champion and La Liga leader, here’s a look at the top-five goals scored in their previous games.

The Blues went ahead on the night from a spectacular long-range volley from Michael Essien and it seemed like Chelsea had sealed its spot in the final in Rome but Iniesta had other plans.   -  AFP

Champions League clashes between Chelsea and Barcelona have produced some of the most memorable matches of all-time. The two sides have played out some epic matches in their 12 previous meetings and Chelsea leads the head-to-head with four wins.

Ahead of Tuesday’s much-hyped tie between the Premier League title defending champion and La Liga leader, here’s a look at the top-five goals scored in their previous games.

Andres Iniesta’s screamer in 2009

The wily playmaker may have scored many goals in his career but few will remain as special as this one. A 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in the first leg meant both teams had to give it their all at the return fixture at Stamford Bridge and a tense tie ensued. Marred by some questionable refereeing, the match remains etched in the hearts of Chelsea fans as one of the most controversial matches ever.

 

The Blues went ahead on the night from a spectacular long-range volley from Michael Essien and it seemed like Chelsea had sealed its spot in the final in Rome but Iniesta had other plans.

Deep into stoppage time, Lionel Messi found himself with the ball just inside the D and unable to find room to take a shot, the Argentinean teed it to a waiting Iniesta, who simply, in one swift motion, rattled the ball into the right top corner to seal a spectacular win for Barcelona and book a place in the final.

Ronaldinho’s outrageous toe-poke in 2005

This game is widely remembered for Ronaldinho’s outrageous toe-poke that had Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech completely bamboozled.  Barca came into the tie boasting a 2-1 lead but it the home side took a quick 3-0 lead inside 19 minutes courtesy of goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard, and Damien Duff.

 

It was then time for a Ronaldinho master class. The Brazilian scored from the spot in the 27th minute to give his side hope and soon followed it up with an ingenious toe-poke in the 38th. Ronaldinho found his way to the edge of the box after weaving past three defenders but was surrounded by a sea of blue and seemed to have no sight on goal, but that’s where he marvelled. With absolutely no back-lift, he stabbed the ball into the left bottom corner to level the scores on aggregate.

While John Terry rescued his side with a 76th-minute winner, it was a game that had Ronaldinho written all over it.

Fernando Torres’ dash to goal in 2012

After a 1-0 win at home, Chelsea had endured a terrible outing in this second-leg fixture that saw captain John Terry pick up a red and Gary Cahill limp off the field owing to injury. Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta struck on the night to give Barca a 2-1 lead, while  Ramires pulled one back to make it 2-2 and put his side in the lead on away goals, but the game was far from settled.

 

Messi had a chance to seal the deal in the 49th minute from the penalty spot but he found the crossbar and the tie hung in the balance. It was in stoppage time that Fernando Torres, who had been relatively quiet on the evening, leaped into the limelight.

Collecting a loose ball inside his half, the striker sprinted towards the Barcelona goal and rounded an unsuspecting Victor Valdes to slot in the winner and set up a final clash against Bayern Munich, which Chelsea went on to win.

Frank Lampard’s incredible curler in 2006

Much like most of their encounters, this group-stage clash also went right down to the wire, but it was Frank Lampard’s moment of brilliance that stole the limelight. Barcelona took an early lead through Deco and the scoreline read 1-0 at the interval.

 

The iconic goal came seven minutes after the restart when Lampard was played into the box by a Claude Makelele lob. Lampard’s first touch forced him wide of the goal and while many expected him to cross, he sneaked the ball into the net from the tightest of angles to put his side back on level terms. The lob was timed to such perfection that a fully stretched out Valdes could not even get a finger on it.

Gudjohnsen put Barca in the lead again but Didier Drogba scored an added-time equaliser to scour a point for the Blues.

Michael Essien’s 25-yard-volley in 2009

 

While Essien’s spectacular effort went in vain, it will be remembered as one of the best goals in the Champions League. Lampard’s shot on goal was deflected and sensing the opportunity, Essien charged towards the rebound and unleashed a massive volley into the left top-corner to put his side ahead. However, an Iniesta screamer in the dying stages of the match stole the game away from Chelsea.

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