Barcelona has all the possessions. Seventy-five percent of the play, hundreds of passes, gold ingots embossed with Messi and his ilk. All that treasure waiting to be robbed. It's a perfect plot for some good old London gangsters to exploit. On Wednesday, Chelsea burgled the Catalans, stealing the goal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in England's capital. As the cockney villains said in the classic London gangster flick, Sexy Beast, "Where there's a will... and there is a fu***** will... there's a way."
Didier Drogba, the great cat burglar of English football, bagged the prize goal and bolted. Barcelona vainly chased -- stop thief! But Chelsea secured their bounty behind a defensive wall. Barca at a loss -- who cares about their dominant passing game? Goals are the only coin that matters.
The old English rhyme, Rain, Rain Go to Spain. Chelsea hope the downpour during the game will flood to good fortune in the second leg of the tie in Barcelona. The Blaugrana tidal wave will be coming at them. And Barca shows no mercy. Chelsea may be burglars. Barca are killers. They throttle the opponent's neck with an asphyxiating grip. Expect Chelsea to fight to the last breath. And beware, Barca! Give Chelsea an inch -- and methinks, me old son -- they may take you for a mile. The spoils will be settled next Tuesday on the field of Nou Camp in restive Catalonia.
Alan Black is the soccer columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the author of the memoir, Kick the Balls - An Offensive Suburban Odyssey.
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