Date: 18th February 2018 at 10:02pm
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Games don`t reach much higher than when they`re in the last sixteen of the Champions League. Add in the name Barcelona and they go stratospheric. This coming Tuesday the Catalans head into Stamford Bridge as favourites with Betfair intent on making it to the last eight of the world`s biggest club competition.

Since the year 2000, the two teams have faced each other on twelve occasions. Prior to the next gripping installment we`re taking a look at those previous encounters ahead of this game and the subsequent second leg.

Think back to the arrival of that new millenium, I`m sure you remember where you were. It may not seem it, but, stating the obvious, it was eighteen years ago. Coincidentally, for me, my first child, a son, was born in the last knockings of the 1999, how time flies. His first eighteen years of supporting Chelsea have been somewhat different to mine. He`s only know a successful club. But, enough of that, back to the matter in hand.

Dateline: 5th April 2000
Place: Stamford Bridge, London

De Goey, Ferrer, Desailly, Thome, Babayaro, Petrescu, Wise, Deschamps, Morris, Flo, Zola. Subs: Cudicini, Huth, Poyet, Sutton, Di Matteo, Lambourde, Harley.

Barcelona: Hesp, Puyol, Abelardo, F. De Boer, Bogarde, Gabri, Xavi, Cocu, Figo, Kluivert, Rivaldo. Subs: Arnau, Reiziger, Dehu, Guardiola, Litmanen, Dani, Simao.

Referee: Markus Merk (Germany)

That first game, at the quarter-final stage, in April 2000 was memorable for the fact that Chelsea, under the management of Gianluca Vialli, wasted no time in taking Barca by surprise scoring three goals in eight memorable minutes. A Gianfranco Zola free-kick followed by two Tore Andre Flo goals piled pressure on the Spanish giants, that they were clearly not expecting. Crucially though, Luis Figo grabbed a second half away goal.

Scoreline: Chelsea 3-1 Barcelona
Scorers: Chelsea: Zola, Flo (2); Barcelona: Figo

Dateline: 18th April 2000
Place: Nou Camp, Barcelona

Hesp, Zenden, F. de Boer, Reiziger, Puyol, Cocu, Guardiola, Gabri, Rivaldo, Kluivert, Figo. Subs: Arnau, Abelardo, Litmanen, Sergi, Dani, Simao, Xavi.

Chelsea: De Goey, Babayaro, Desailly, Leboeuf, Ferrer, Morris, Wise, Deschamps, Di Matteo, Zola, Flo. Subs: Cudicini, Petrescu, Poyet, Sutton, Ambrosetti, Lambourde, Thome.

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

The return leg was no less memorable. Barca led the game 2-0 before another Flo goal midway through the second half put Chelsea back in control, at least on the away goals rule. With just seven minutes remaining Chelsea were going through. That was until Dani scored the goal that would take the game to extra-time. Before that though, Patrick Kluivert bundled the ball into the net for what would have been the winning goal, were it not for the fact that referee Anders Frisk, remember that name, had already blown for a penalty kick.

It was a lifeline for Chelsea, and the great Rivaldo missed the resulting penalty. No matter for the Brazilian though, another spot-kick in the first period of ET, saw him step up and comfortably fire home past Ed de Goey in the Chelsea goal. In what would become a repeating pattern in future encounters, Celestine Babayaro was sent off, and as Chelsea chased the game Kluivert wrapped things up for Barca winning the tie 6-4 on aggregate.

Scoreline: Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (Agg: 6-4)
Scorers:Barcelona: Rivaldo, Figo, Dani, Rivaldo(pen), Kluivert; Chelsea: Flo

Dateline: 23rd February 2005
Place: Nou Camp, Barcelona

Valdes, Belletti, Puyol, Marquez, van Bronckhorst, Xavi, Albertini, Deco, Ludovic Giuly, Ronaldinho, Eto’o. Subs: Jorquera, Maxi Lopez, Gerard, Sylvinho, Fernando, Iniesta, Abella Perez.

Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Tiago, Makelele, Lampard, Cole, Duff, Drogba. Subs: Cudicini, Johnson, Smertin, Kezman, Geremi, Gudjohnsen, Nuno Morais.

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

Fast forward nearly five years and the two met once again in the round of sixteen, as they do this week. Installed as Chelsea boss was the young Jose Mourinho. This time round the advantage was Chelsea`s, with the first leg being played at the Nou Camp.

Like Chelsea`s previous appearance there the referee was the Swede Anders Frisk. A Juliano Belletti own-goal had given Chelsea a first half lead. The game turned somewhat controversially when Frisk sent Didier Drogba off for a second bookable offence.

A chested back pass by Belletti to Victor Valdes in the Barca goal gave Drogba the sniff of a chance. Racing in, he very slightly caught Valdes in a legitimate attempt at getting the ball. Valdes reaction saw the referee produce another yellow card followed by a red. Maxi Lopez and Samuel Eto`o went onto win the tie for Barca. They had won the battle, but not the war.

Scoreline: Barcelona 2-1 Chelsea
Scorers: Barcelona: Maxi Lopez, Eto`o; Chelsea: Belletti (og)

Dateline: 8th March 2005
Place: Stamford Bridge, London

Cech, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Gallas; Makelele, Lampard, Cole, Duff, Gudjohnsen, Kezman. Subs: Cudicini, Johnson, Smertin, Geremi, Parker, Huth, Tiago.

Barcelona: Valdes, Belletti, Puyol, Oleguer, van Bronckhorst, Xavi, Gerard, Deco, Iniesta, Ronaldinho, Eto’o. Subs: Jorquera, Giuly, Maxi Lopez, Sylvinho, Fernando, Albertini, Damia.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy)

The second leg at Stamford Bridge saw the games toughest of referees drafted in to oversee proceedings, Pierluigi Collina. Like that first fixture back in 2000, Chelsea hit Barcelona hard. Goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff saw Chelsea lead 3-0 with just 20 minutes gone.

A Paulo Ferreira handball five minutes later gave Ronaldinho the chance grab a goal back, which he duly took. Chelsea lead the tie 4-3 on aggregate. Just before the break the tricky Brazilian tied the game up at 4-4 with the famous ‘no backlift, toe-poke` from the edge of the box. That gave Barcelona the advantage of of two away goals, but it would mean nothing if Chelsea could find another.

With 15 minutes left a Damien Duff corner saw John Terry rise magnificently at the far post to head the ball home. Any ignored protestations that the Barca players had regarding Ricardo Carvalho`s holding of Valdes were karma for Drogba`s sending off in the previous game. Chelsea held out for a famous victory that saw them into the quarter-finals at the Catalans expense.

Scoreline: Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona (Agg: 5-4)
Scorers:Chelsea: Gudjohnsen, Lampard, Duff, Terry; Barcelona: Ronaldinho (2)(1 Pen)

Head to head victories over two legs to this point, Chelsea 1, Barcelona 1
Sending offs to this point, Chelsea 2, Barcelona 0

In both home legs of these ties, Chelsea came away with victories, scoring three first half goals, whether or not they ultimately won the tie. That’s something we’d all appreciate on Tuesday night.

Tomorrow, we`ll take a look at two ties that took place in 2006


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