Remembering Chelsea vs. Barcelona in 2005

You may remember the match for that goal from Ronaldinho but there was so much more to the second-round Champions League fixture between Chelsea and Barcelona. Aaron Attwood wrote a great piece on the match for These Football Times:

When the two teams were drawn against each other in the first knockout round, a fascinating clash of styles lay in prospect. The prevailing perception was that this would be a story of Barcelona’s devastating attacking talents attempting to break down the stubborn and disciplined Chelsea backline. However, it would be simplistic to label the tie as merely a duel between attack versus defence.

Barcelona’s back line was constructed of players of the calibre of Rafael Márquez and Carles Puyol, while Chelsea were capable of producing outstanding attacking performances with Frank Lampard’s bursting runs into the box and Robben’s trickery on the wing supporting the imposing presence of Drogba. 

The first leg would take place in Barcelona, and Mourinho wasted little time in instigating the pre-match psychological battle. The former Benfica boss, never shy in airing his criticisms of fellow managers, praised Rijkaard’s great playing career while simultaneously downplaying the Dutchman’s managerial achievements, reminding everyone of the fact that he had  “won lots of trophies while Rijkaard had won zero”.  

José Mourinho? Mind games? Surely not?! Even with the psychological warfare, goals, and death threats, this wasn’t even the most controversial meeting between the teams (remember Drogba’s camera moment?)

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