I have celebrated some goals in my time either in the stands or on TV but I will tell you this, as Fernando Torres rounded Victor Valdes and stroked the ball into the empty net at the Nou Camp, I celebrated the goal like never ever before!
I have been following Chelsea for well over thirty years now and have seen us score plenty of goals over time both in the ground or at home but this goal was different because it means so much, it has given us the second chance we always wanted.
After Moscow and what happened there, all we wanted was another crack in another final and being honest over the last two years we haven’t looked like making it have we? It seemed as though our time had come and gone in an instant and I will never forget the feeling I went to bed with that night. I remember waking up the next morning and for an instant wondered if it was all just a dream. Within seconds it had hit home, we had lost on penalties to United.
During the last couple of seasons you couldn’t help but wonder if this group of players would be able to take us there and like I said, it had become something that seemed to be moving further and further away from our grasp.
As players they must have thought the same thing. Whether they would like to admit it or not is another thing, we always had that night in Moscow in the back of our minds. What we would give to have just one more crack at winning it!
The two performances against Barcelona mean so much to everyone connected with the club, the manager, the players and the supporters and I am still sitting here buzzing from the fact that we have beaten arguably the best club side the world as ever seen. The non Chelsea fans I come into contact with are sick of me going on about it but for once, I don’t care.
We all know the success we have had at this club in the last eight seasons but, the general opinion in football is that you can only be called a top, top European side and one of the elite when you have won the Champions League. It has become the biggest prize in club football.
We were written off before a ball was even kicked and no one gave us a chance, especially over two games against them. I kept hearing things like “You might get a good result at Stamford Bridge but over there will be a different story”. I will be honest, before both games I knew it would be a big ask but look what has happened.
In two games we have seen this group of players go above and beyond the levels of expectation from us all. We have seen everyone dig in, fight for the shirt, for the club, the manager, each other and for the supporters. We have seen players play in positions and roles that they will never be asked to again and they have done it. We have seen players literally form a defensive wall as one for almost three hours of football to hold out and to be given that second chance they always wanted.
The so called Chelsea “Old guard” have been written off during the course of the season and for one reason or another but it’s these players that have pulled us through. They knew what it would take to get us there, passed that knowledge and experience onto the players who have been added to the squad since Moscow and this group of players has taken us to the final.
The thing is, no matter who you are and where you watched the game last Tuesday at the Nou Camp, whether you believed in Chelsea or if you expected Barcelona to win. You have been left with little doubt about this Chelsea team. You have seen the hunger, the desire and the determination that our recent success has been built on rise up to the surface again.
Backs to the wall, written off and finding ourselves in the worst possible situation after 40 minutes of the first half gone, I think we all feared the worst or thought it was game over. Yet again, this team never gave up, pulled themselves together and kept on going, kept on fighting and delivered a performance that will go down in European history.
All these players wanted was a second chance and on Saturday May 19th in Munich they have what they wanted and will give everything to win it.
Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club