An epic so exciting, you could choke on the popcorn. This was soccer as riveting drama. Picture board this.
Chelsea under siege. An onslaught of Barcelona attacks, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, shelling them incessantly. Chelsea's leader, captain John Terry, commits soccer suicide and is sent off for violent play. His central defense partner also leaves the field wounded. The Londoners throw up a makeshift barricade and endure. Battered, and battered again, and you could hear Winston Churchill's speech: "Never, never give up." Less proved to be more and roll the daft cinema analogies: Stalingrad, 300, The Battle of Britain. Barcelona Will Not Pass (unless it is between themselves a million times.) Barca's empire was defeated. 3-2 on aggregate. Chelsea heads to the Champions League Final. Keep calm and carry on.
Chelsea had one weapon left to throw at Barca: Fernando Torres, their $80 million flop, until he repaid every penny with a historic goal in the final seconds of the game. Catalonia was stunned -- and knifed by a Madrileno. The horror! The anguish was palpable. Barca's Lionel Messi put his head inside his shirt. Pre-game reports had the world's greatest player suffering from the runs (not the kind we normally associate with him.) He seemed a little flushed. He missed a penalty. And he played rubbish. He was even sicker now.
Blue is the color -- for Chelsea is our name. Chelsea head to the European Cup Final in Munich on May 19. There, they will face either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. Buy more popcorn.
And here is Chelsea's victory song.
Alan Black is the soccer columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Kick him on Twitter.
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