When Torres’ goal hit the back of the net, I literally held my head in my hands in stunned and silent disbelief before going absolutely mental – joyous screaming and punching the air with utter, uncontrollable abandonment; as I was in amongst the Barca fans one would say that this was not too wise, but this was an achievement of monumental proportions, and logic and wisdom often take a back seat in scenarios such as these.
The Catalans, used as they are, to watching bewitching football, can rarely have witnessed such high drama.
There had been much talk prior to the game from the locals of them being worried about Chelsea, yet as I took my seat amongst them they all seemed comfortably confident.
But I too had felt an inexplicable confidence which I kept to myself as I felt that should I speak of it out loud, the spell would be broken.
My resolve and nerve held when Cahill came off injured, and even when they took the lead. And extraordinarily, a kind of calm befell me when Terry saw red as I realised then that this game had a predestined path to follow – that, just somehow made the belief stronger.
But their second goal broke my spell – I simply could not believe it – I had thought that Munich was our destiny – this was not the way that this was meant to go…..
And then Ramires scored.
This was the point where I abandoned all pretence of being a neutral – as that sublime chip stunned the crowd into silence the many Chelsea fans concealed around the home support, revealed themselves – belief marched by our side once again.
The Messi miss just confirmed what I knew – that this was OUR night – that this was somehow just meant to be. The Chelsea team, sporting “Real Madrid white”, fought with an iron-will that screamed `we will not be beaten` – again and again they blocked everything thrown at them. The onslaught was relentless, yet they continued to block and absorb – they made no apology for their tactics and nor should they as this was a match played as much in the mind as on the pitch.
These Chelsea players were heroes – each and every one of them as this was a test of the strength of character of the team – individuals may make mistakes but the team would compensate and so it played out.
As the minutes counted down I was literally shaking – terrified and exhilirated at the same time.
When Torres broke free my whole world went into slow motion – and everything around me blurred until all I could see was the Spaniard marauding up the pitch and all I could hear was a rushing in my ears. As he rounded the keeper, my breath caught in my throat just for a second and then….. utter pandemonium.
When the final whistle went, I realised that there were tears rolling down my face – relief, joy, raw emotion – all of those things – we had defied the odds – we had put the mighty Barcelona to the sword. The history books will show that over two legs we beat the team credited to being the best in the world – not possession, or chances or fouls or any other irrelevant stat.
The 5,000 Chelsea fans priviliged to have witnessed the miracle at the Nou Camp will remember it for the rest of their lives – these games come few and far between & pass almost into folk-lore. This was about confounding the critics – actually sticking two fingers up to them and laying a few myths to bed at the same time.
This was a tale of the determination of the human spirit – a demonstration that anything is possible if the mind-set is right no matter what obstacles are thrown in your way. I said last week that we could be heroes – all that is needed now is that one step beyond…..to Munich!
Posted by Trizia