Barcelona to face Chelsea in Champions League semis

April 15th, 2009 - 2:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Chelsea Munich, April 15 (DPA) Barcelona have booked their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League with a creditable 1-1 draw away to Bayern Munich.
Barca go into the semis Tuesday on an impressive 5-1 aggregate, because they thrashed Bayern 4-0 in the Camp Nou last Wednesday.

In the semi-finals Barca will meet old enemies Chelsea, who dramatically edged out Liverpool in Tuesday’s other quarter-final second leg 7-5 on aggregate after the tie finished at 4-4 on the night.

The first leg will be played at the Camp Nou April 28, the second leg in Stamford Bridge on May 6.

Franck Ribery - allegedly keen to sign for Barca in summer - gave Bayern brief hope by making it 1-0, Seydou Keita levelled for the visitors 17 minutes from time.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said that “it is a great joy to overcome such a good team” and dedicated the result to the club’s travelling fans.

He predicted “a great semi-final” against Chelsea, and expressed the hope that “the team continues to play in this way”.

Little Andres Iniesta, arguably man of the match, said that “we continue to progress down the right line…and are now a step closer to our objective”.

Right-back Dani Alves, for his part, claimed that Barca had played with “maximum seriousness and intelligence”.

Bayern needed a miracle to turn the tie around and never seemed capable of achieving it. Their football was direct and somewhat primitive, constantly looking for targetman Luca Toni as quickly as possible.

Toni missed a good early chance with his head, but Barca soon took control in midfield, enjoying 56 percent possession.

Two minutes into the second half Bayern’s Brazilian veteran Ze Roberto elegantly played Ribery through. The French winger skipped around hesitant Barca keeper Victor Valdes and scored with a right-foot drive.

The Bayern goal provoked Barca into stepping up their rhythm. In the 73rd minute a flowing move between Samuel Eto’o and Iniesta led to Xavi setting up Keydou, who made it 1-1 with an unstoppable left-foot blast.

Seydou’s goal knocked the stuffing out of Bayern and was heartily celebrated by Barca coach Josep Guardiola, confined to the stands after being sent off in the first leg.

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