VIDEO Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea (Agg 2-3) Highlights: Guardiola Gets It Wrong As Ramires Wonder-Strike Sends Chelsea To Champions League Final

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Watch highlights of Chelsea's stunning Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona.
Lionel Messi's missed penalty proved crucial as Barcelona relinquished their grip on the Champions League.

In one of the Champions League's most memorable nights, 10-man Chelsea upset the odds to knock out favorites Barcelona and reach their second-ever final in the competition.

It was a match packed with incident that just before half-time seemed certain to be heading Barcelona's way before two dramatic twists either side of the break turned the tie back in Chelsea's favor.

Barcelona began the match as they left off at Stamford Bridge, time and time again knocking on the well-reinforced Chelsea defensive door on the edge of box. The first time it was breached coming when Lionel Messi played a lovely one-two with Cesc Fabregas to get the Argentinian star in-behind and Petr Cech did well to save with his legs.

And then finally, after 125, minutes the breakthrough. Chelsea were caught out for one of the few times on the night after a half-cleared corner and Isaac Cuenca, in space down the left of the box, laid it square for Sergio Busquets to tap-in to a virtually empty net.

With the tie now having swung toward Barca, Chelsea's captain John Terry committed an inexcusably stupid act by kneeing Alexis Sanchez in the back and earning himself a red card.

As Chelsea tried to reshuffle their defensive shape, Messi slid a ball through to Andres Iniesta who slotted past Cech. 2-0 on the night, 2-1 on aggregate and surely game over.

But, inexplicably, in first-half injury time Barcelona repeated the kind of defensive lapse that cost them dearly in the first-leg. As then, Frank Lampard played in Ramires, with no-one picking up his run, and this time the Brazilian produced the most sumptuous of chips to stun the Camp Nou.

Game firmly back on and surely a second-half Barcelona onslaught 15 minutes away from ensuing.

So it seemed when Didier Drogba brought down Cesc Fabregas for a clear penalty just two minutes after the restart. But in a tie of missed Barca chances, Lionel Messi became the latest and largest culprit as his penalty crashed back off the sturdy Chelsea woodwork.

And then, well actually then very little from Barcelona. Pep Guardiola's version of a 3-4-3 patently did not work on this occasion. Cesc Fabregas, for all his qualities, was more of a hindrance in both legs. The former Arsenal man continually clogged up the middle of the pitch, helping Chelsea to crowd out Lionel Messi. The selection of Isaac Cuenca to widen the field up top also failed. Both Cuenca and Cristian Tello, when he came on in the second-half, arbitrarily widened the line of Barcelona's attack, but did not play a cohesive role in aiding the side's attacking strategy.

Both talented youngsters struggled to ever reach the byline, instead simply playing the ball back inside on numerous occasions. When Barcelona is at their best their width comes from the full-backs, most notably Dani Alves. The Brazilian adds so much because he arrives late and from deep taking advantage of and opening gaps in the defense. Cuenca and Tello received the ball in stationary positions and were immediately locked-up by a Chelsea defender.

The final deep chuckle from the Gods signifying that this was not to be Barcelona's tie, not to be Barcelona's year, came when Messi's long-range hit was tipped onto the post by the excellent Cech. Incredibly, the Catalans had hit the woodwork four times in the two legs, including a missed penalty.

For all Barcelona's failures, for all Chelsea's resilient defending, on the balance of the two matches and in chances created, it was still stunning that it had been the Premier League side to progress.

To provide further material to the belief that this one was written in the stars, the much-maligned Spaniard on Chelsea's books, Fernando Torres, raced clear to round Valdes and slot home to put the final nail in Barcelona's hopes of becoming the first side in the Champions League era.

Is this the end of an era of Barcelona's era? Certainly not. Was all the talk of Chelsea needing reinventing just Andre Villas-Boas' warped creation? Not at all. This was just one, sorry two, of those nights that make soccer the unpredictable game people the world over love.

FC Barcelona - Chelsea Londyn 2:2 24//04//2012 -... by kabum235

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