When Chelsea play Barcelona, it is always more than a game. The history between the two clubs, not to mention between Barcelona and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho means that spice is a given when the sides meet.
This might be just a pre-season friendly, but it is the first time the sides have met since Chelsea knocked Barcelona out of Europe in their own back yard, with ten men, en-route to winning the Champions League for the first time in their history.
It is also 828 days since Mourinho last faced the club as Real Madrid manager, and the added excitement for what is a meaningless game is far greater than usual friendlies.
Lionel Messi has never found the back of the net against the Blues, but is still recovering from his Copa America exploits, while Petr Cech, the keeper who kept Messi out, has joined Arsenal – but the less said about that the better.
It won’t count towards progression in Europe, but both sets of players and fans will want to win – not to mention Chelsea boss Mourinho, so ahead of the game, here is a look at five of the best Chelsea goals from their clashes with the Catalan giants, and while it may be Barcelona who are known for their cracking style of play and goals galore, some of these efforts from the Premier League side aren’t too shabby.
John Terry, Chelsea v Barcelona 2004/05
Before John Terry disgraced himself against Barcelona and managed to miss the biggest final in Chelsea’s history, he had put in some pretty good performances against the Cules. For the highest goalscoring defender of all time in the Premier League, to say that his goal against Barcelona back in 2005 was his most important goal to date in a Chelsea shirt is really something.
Chelsea lost the first leg and were walking a tightrope, despite going three up against Barcelona in the second leg, with some world class skill from Ronaldinho making things look dicey for the Blues, but their Captain, Leader, Legend stepped up and headed the ball into the back of the net. Terry secured a 5-4 victory on aggregate for the Blues, in the game that really announced Jose Mourinho’s men on the world stage as serious contenders for the biggest prizes in football.
Fernando Torres, Barcelona v Chelsea 2011/12
It’s hard to say who became more famous after Fernando Torres’ goal at the Camp Nou to send Chelsea through to a date with destiny in Munich, the forward himself or Gary Neville for his orgasmic like reaction to the goal. Torres didn’t really come away from Chelsea with too much to show in terms of his contribution to the side, but this goal was certainly the highlight.
The Blues had spent the game with ten men after John Terry saw red for his knee to the back of Alexis Sanchez, and despite being two down, a Didier Drogba winner from the first leg, along with a Ramires goal just before half time saw the Blues hanging on for dear life, literally facing the Alamo, and even seeing Lionel Messi fail to convert a penalty. Barcelona were throwing the kitchen sink at Robbie Di Matteo’s men, but they held firm to break and see Torres score right at the death, to see them progress after two legs no one will forget in a hurry.
Didier Drogba, Chelsea v Barcelona 2006/07
In the space of a few games, Didier Drogba managed to score a cracking goal against Liverpool and embarrass Jamie Carragher, and do exactly the same against Barcelona. The Ivorian controlled the ball perfectly, turned Puyol and wacked it into the back of the net with gusto, leaving Victor Valdes with no chance at all. When you manage to do that against both Carragher and Carlos Puyol, who at the time were two of the best central defenders in the world, you are something special.
Drogba also netted against Barcelona in the first leg of their semi-final in 2011/12, to give the Blues a 1-0 victory and set them up for the away leg, but his 2006/07 goal was the best of the bunch – despite his goal in the 93rd minute at the Camp Nou bringing Jose Mourinho to his knees in the 2-2 draw, when the sides played in the group stages that season.
Goals aside, the forward is probably best known from the clashes for his breakdown after Chelsea were knocked out back in 2009 following the Scandal of Stamford Bridge, and infamously screamed it was ‘a f*cking disgrace’ into the camera, something that was promptly made into a rap and went viral.
Michael Essien, Chelsea v Barcelona 2008/09
Chelsea fans won’t want to remember this given the end result, but the goal was something very special indeed – and most people’s pick for the best goal during the whole of 2009. The second leg at Stamford Bridge was oh, so close to making history for Chelsea, and ended up doing so but for all the wrong reasons. Penalty claims were denied left, right and centre, and Essien’s cracker was usurped by Andres Iniesta, leaving Chelsea fans heartbroken.
Essien was no stranger to scoring screamers, netting a world class goal against Arsenal in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, that saved Mourinho’s unbeaten home record in the league as well, and while Chelsea fans look back on that goal with fondness, this one is firmly relegated to the ‘games to forget’ category, which is a crying shame, because it was world class.
Frank Lampard, Barcelona v Chelsea 2006/07
So well known for his trademark runs into the box and scoring goals from midfield, this utter peach from Lampard was something you might expect from the likes of Xavi or Messi. Lampard always seemed to step things up a gear against Barcelona, and scored his fair share against the club down the years, but there was no better goal than this one.
The skill and angle of the shot had fans wondering how on earth Lampard had managed to find the back of the net when a cross would have been the expected course of action, but the midfielder defied expectations with his shot and probably even surprised himself at the same time. He might be Chelsea’s all time leading goalscorer, but this one could well be the pick of the bunch.