At least, that’s how one of the losing team’s players described it afterwards. There’s no denying that the referee played a major role in this classic game between Hiddink’s robust Chelsea and Guardiola’s tiki-taka Barcelona.
The diffence between the two teams couldn’t have been clearer than in the first leg played in the Camp Nou. To deal with Barcelona’s inevitable dominance of the ball, Hiddink decided to leave the ball completely to Pep’s team, and instead focus on controlling space. Or ‘parking the bus’ to use a less friendly term. Not a bad choice given that Chelsea’s squad is packed with tall, heavy and strong players. Hiddink’s strategy proved successful in the Camp Nou, where Barca failed to break Chelsea’s wall: 0-0.
But to progress to the final, the English needed a win at Stamford Bridge. The confrontation that ensued is a modern day classic that still has consequences for how the two teams are perceived today. The scenes that occured after the 90 minute mark are an absolute highlight in Champions League history.
Cech – Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Cole – Essien, Ballack, Malouda, Lampard – Anelka, Drogba.
Coach: Guus Hiddink
Valdes – Dani Alves, Pique, Toure, Abidal – Busquets, Xavi, Keita – Iniesta, Eto’o, Messi
Coach: Pep Guardiola