Needing to find the back of the net more than once to secure a spot in the Champions League final, Barcelona has every reason to come out at the Camp Nou against Chelsea in full attack. In other words, fans and Petr Cech should hold onto their hats as these 90+ minutes should be thrilling.
Thanks to a counterattack goal by Didier Droga in the first leg of this Champions League semi pairing, Chelsea holds and unexpected -- and some might contend undeserved -- lead entering the return match in Barcelona. But if the Blues can stifle Messi, Iniesta and the rest of the Barcelona attackers for another day then there will be little doubt who has earned the right to vie for the championship of Europe.
Coming off a dispiriting loss to rival Real Madrid at the weekend, Pep Guardiola's side finds itself in a tight spot. If they go without a win today then the Copa Del Rey remains the only chance at silverware to close the campaign. For his part, Pep remains confident that his team will advance, telling reporters that he has "no doubt" that his club will be in Munich for the final. Will they be on the pitch to play the Madrid-Munich winner? Or will Guardiola be forced to shell out for tickets to make good on his claim?
Can the Blues once again hold off the relentless Blaugrana attack? Can Drogba pose enough of a threat by himself to keep the Barcelona defense from seeping forward into attack?
STAY HERE FOR LIVE UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE MATCH:
Fernando Torres Goal (90th Minute)
Messi Penalty Miss (49th Minute)
Ramires Goal (45th Minute)
Iniesta Goal (43rd Minute)
John Terry Red Card (37th Minute)
Busquets Goal (35th Minute)
Chelsea defeats Barcelona.. playing with 10 men for the majority of the match.. and Fernando Torres scores the goal that seals it. Would anyone have believed it?
A historic triumph over the Barcelona!
What a way a to do it! An unbelievable score.. he gets loose on the counter and rounds Valdez. GOAL!!!!!
The 90 is through and Chelsea has three extra minutes to hold off Barcelona.
Mascherano fires low and Cech dives low to his near post and pushes it wide. Corner coming... and out off Puyol.
Mascherano fields the clearance deep and puts it back in for Barcelona, resulting in another last pass that goes wanting. The pressure on the Chelsea defense is enormous but it seems that Barcelona offense is feeling a pressure of their own.
Another Messi moment doesn't come off as Cole nips it away. He looks exhausted. Meanwhile, Torres not looking up to the pace, which is problem as everyone else is totally spent.
Messi hits the post and he had Cech beaten near side. Fox Soccer announcers talking about destiny..
Barcelona looked to have unlocked the defense but Alves was offside before he crossed back to Sanchez.
And Torres is on. Can Chelsea's Spanish misfit come up big against his countrymen? More pressingly, did Chelsea just lose its top on-the-ball defender?
Alves gets the ball out wide from Xavi. Again, he refuse to charge down for the endline, cutting it back high.
But he never gets shoulders over the strike and it's rising high over the net.
Chelsea defenders playing a 3-6 defensive formation with discipline. Every window has a white shirt in it.
Puyol plays it back to Valdez and home side resets.
Fabregas is off and Keita is on. Minutes earlier, Tello came on for Cuenca. Can he make up for dismal showing against Madrid?
He pulls down Lampard, clearly. Caution to Messi. Moments later Lampard sees yellow for scything down Fabregas. We're under 20 minutes and the game is increasingly fractured. Seems a positive for Chelsea as they look to stifle Barcelona attack.
That's the restart method. Cole hoofs it clear. Barcelona quickly have it back. We're approaching 20 minutes to play.
Barcelona not putting the ball out of play... continuing to attack. Eventually Chelsea wins and clears out.
A pass finds Kalou making the right run but he can't seem to take the right angle to the free ball amidst the defenders. Terrific ball from Lampard and another dangerous moment.
This time he takes it off Alves. Yes, he conceded the penalty, but he's doing everything asked of him. He's made a few nice tackles in one-on-one situations.
Looking for Cesc but Ramires clears out for corner. Barcelona plays small and it's quickly cleared back out to the half line. Tick tock.. not ticka tacka..
That Ivanovic header shows how close Chelsea is to striking a decisive blow. Another away goal would be momentous.
Drogba wins a corner as he is the lone attacker. White shirts taking their time to fill area. Lampard sends it in.. Ivanovic gets to it.. but it's wide. That was close. He won that ball. Missed chance...
On the next surge, Cuenca gets the ball at a tight angle near the post but Cech sees him and comes out to block his one-time effort. Nice keeping.
Messi sends a high, hard pass to Cuenca at the edge of the attack. He can't control. Throw to Chelsea. Barcelona quickly have it back and Alves looking to Fabregas...
Yes, he's been delaying as much as possible before goal kicks but this time he hardly seemed to have been wasting time.
Taking his time getting to the sideline and the speedy Kalou is on. Definitely a strategic move given the nature of the likeliest means of Chelsea attack... sudden and urgent runs forward. They have a need for speed.