Work still to be done in La Liga

The 7 points which separate Bara from the leaders with four games left to play might seem a lot, but the players wont be letting that stop them from giving their all right to the end with a number of team and individual objectives on the agenda.

– Beat the 105 goals scored in the 2008/09 season. At the moment, the team have got 97 goals, which is already the fourth best total for the Club in a league season and with an average of two goals a game over the four remaining matches, they could match the 2009 all time record.

The team have already established a new scoring record in all competitions this season, with 170 so far and with the four league games and the Cup Final to come, theyll be looking to improve even further on that total.

Despiter the defeat to Madrid, Bara still have the best home record in the league, with 15 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat, having taken 2 more points than Madrid have at the Bernabeu. Bara also have the best scoring stats, with 65 goals and just 10 conceded.

Pitxitxi, Golden Boot and world record for Messi: Leo has scored 41 league goals so far just 1 behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the fight for the Pitxitxi. The Argentinean superstar is also chasing his second Golden Boot award and with 63 goals so far this season he is closing on on Gerd Mullers record 67 from the 1972/73 season.

Valdes fifth Zamora as the best keeper in the league. Valdes is closing in on his fifth Zamora title as the keeper to concede the fewest goals in a league season, with just 26 goals in 34 games, four ahead of his closest rival Casillas with 30 from the same number of games. If Valdes wins the trophy he will equal the legendary Antoni Ramallets who also won a record five.

Barça dominated against Chelsea over both legs of the semi- final: shots, passes completed, possession, corners… except

Its sure to be a long time before theres another tie like the one Bara ended up losing against the Londoners. The stats from the two legs show an enormous difference between the two teams – with the only stat that really counts of course the goals favouring Chelsea. Di Matteos team scored three times from four chances over the 180 minutes, whilst Bara scored twice from 11 chances on target. The total number of shots made by both teams was 46 from Bara (24 in London and 22 in the second leg) and just 12 from Chelsea (5 and 7).

73% possession over both games

The possession stats tell a similar story, with Bara enjoying 73% over both matches, completing 1,537 passes (782 in the first leg and 755 in the second), which was nearly five times more than Chelseas 329 (194 and135). In the end though, that just wasnt enough and neither was the corner count: 18 against 2 over the whole tie.

Passes: Xavi matches the whole Chelsea team

Theres no better example of Baras impotence than the number of passes Xavi managed to complete – a total of 295 – just 34 less than the whole Chelsea team even though he sat out the last few minutes at Stamford Bridge when the team were laying siege to the Chelsea goal. On Tuesday, Xavi completed 168 passes, against the 135 that Chelsea made.

One more astonishing stat that shows just what an amazing tie this was: Chelseas three goals all came in injury time in the first half at Stamford Bridge and in both halves at the Camp Nou.

Iniesta: “We’ll be back”

Hopes Guardiola will stay for a long time

With Pep Guardiola announcing that he will be meeting President Sandro Rosell to discuss his future, Iniesta made his position clear: its a decision between him and the Club. He knows what we all want and lets hope he stays here for a long time. Pep knows that, not just for tonight, but always.

Andrs Iniesta visited the Bara TV studios after Tuesday nights game to speak on the El Mirador programme and he explained it hurts us as players for all the people who are suffering for the defeat all the people that are behind us. Still feeling the fans are with you, even though we have missed out on the Champions League final, is great. All we can say right now is that we will be back and be fighting for every title again – we just fell a bit short tonight.

Football wasnt fair to us

The first thing that Iniesta did was to congratulate Chelsea on their qualification, whilst lamenting the defeat and pointing out some of the reasons behind it: football wasnt fair to us we had so many chances that didnt go in and Chelsea had three over both legs and scored three times. As to Tuesdays game, Iniesta revealed: we tried everything, but even when they were down to 10 men they defended en masse.

Cup Final on the horizon

After the disappointment of the league and Champions League, Iniesta admitted: we have been up there in both competitions, but we just fell short of the line. With the Spanish Cup final and the last few league games to come, Iniesta assured the fans: we are Bara and we know what that represents, so we will be going out to win all our remaining league games- thats the best way to prepare for the Cup Final.

El Barça cau eliminat a la semifinal de Champions després d’empatar 2-2 davant un Chelsea que ha igualat el 2-0 inicial

Tonights game showed just how cruel football can be sometimes. FC Barcelona, who shot no fewer than 23 times, twice onto the post, as also happened in the first leg, have been knocked out of the Champions League. But they go out with their heads held high, having remained faithful to their brave, attacking style, and almost incomprehensively being unrewarded for their efforts. There was nothing to criticise about Bara tonight, but luck simply was not on their side.

And that was despite things getting off to a far better start than anybody could have wished for. Busquets and Iniesta scored and Terry was sent off. It had taken just 43 minutes for Bara to turn the tie back into their favour. But a shock goal from Ramires meant that Bara still had some work to do in the second half. Messi hit the post twice, once from the penalty spot, and the last 45 minutes were a monologue as FCB tried and tried, and tried again, to find their way through the ten remaining men that Chelsea had camped deep in their own half. The goal just didnt want to come, and then, inexplicably, Fernando Torres ran half the length of the pitch on his own before rounding Valds to slot home the goal that sentenced the tie. Di Matteos side barely had any chances in the entire game, but made the very most of the few they did.

The upshot of it all is that the defending champions are out of the competition despite demonstrating that they are a far superior side to Chelsea. But if you dont take your chances, you pay the price, and it is for that reason alone that Barcelona will not be going to Munich.

Stop-start beginning

Guardiola made as many as four changes to the side that started the clsico. He opted for a three-man defence of Mascherano, Piqu and Puyol, without out-and-out full backs. And it was the respective teams centre backs that were the protagonists of the first few minutes of football. For Chelsea, Cahill was substituted by Bosingwa after just 11 minutes of play. A quarter of an hour later Piqu was replaced, by Alves, in the same position for FCB, after a brutal aerial clash involving himself, Valds and Drogba left him momentarily stunned on the floor. So many interruptions were doing nothing to benefit Barcelonas plans.

Busquets pulls the tie level

Whenever the ball was in play, events panned out almost identically to the way they did at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea, with only Drogba in an advanced position, had little intention of doing anything other than defend, and left it to Bara to take the initiative, with Alexis the most active, especially when supplied by an energetic Cuenca on the right. And it was the latter who created the first goal of the night, following a corner kick, with an exquisite pass to Busquets. Everything was back level, and the Camp Nou started roaring.

Terry off

Shortly after his side went a goal down, Terry, in an off the ball incident, kneed Alexis in the back. It was a shockingly foolish action for a man of his experience, and cost him a red card and ultimately a place in the Munich final. With Cahill injured, Terry sent off and David Luiz already sidelined through injury, Chelsea were left without any natural centre backs. Their intention had clearly been to come to Barcelona and defend, and they were now condemned to doing so with a makeshift back four of Ramires, Ivanovic, Bosingwa and Cole. Five minutes later, Bara made them pay the price with a rapid counter attack that ended with Messi supplying an assist for Iniesta to make it 2-0. At that point, it looked like Bara would end up romping home. Munich was in sight.

But just like on Saturday against Madrid, when Cristiano Ronaldo responded almost immediately to Alexis goal, FC Barcelona were hit within in seconds of scoring themselves. Ramires managed to lose his marker and sent home a long-range chip to make it 2-1, and the away goal meant that Chelsea were, as things stood, heading for Munich again.

Messi misses penalty

The manic end to the first half carried over into the second. Within seconds, the referee was pointing to the penalty spot after Drogba brought down Cesc in the area. But Messi struck his spot-kick straight against the Chelsea bar. Moments later, an Alexis header skimmed wide of the post, and then a Cuenca effort was turned away by Chelsea keeper Cech. The onslaught on the Chelsea goal was constant, and Chelsea had withdrawn so intensely into their own area that even Drogba did his bit by playing at left back.

Everything was heading in one direction that of Cech, who was simply outstanding this evening. But he was beaten by Alexis, who was caught offside by the very narrowest of margins, and shortly after Messi hit the post for the second time of the night. The ball just did not want to go in.

Torres, and game over

And incredible as it might seem, with Bara now sending everything they had forward in search of the elusive third goal, the ball somehow ended up in the path of late substitute Torres. The Spaniard ran solo across half the length of the pitch, dribbled the ball around Valds, and scored the goal that ended any hope Bara had of appearing in the Munich final. Football can be so unfair sometimes.

Guardiola: “This year it wasn’t to be”

Meeting with Rosell

When asked if he will continue to manage the team next season, Guardiola said: Ill meet with President Sandro Rosell in the coming days and well decide in whats best. Obviously, its time to talk about it.

It wasnt meant to be this year. The first thing that goes through my head is immense sorrow. Forgive me if Im not clairvoyant, but I have the perception that with time Ill say: we played an excellent tie. Josep Guardiola analyzed the two-leg tie against Chelsea with his heart and and head: we played exceptionally well for 180 minutes, we did everything we could to be in the final. Weve never worked this hard to be in a final.

He added: we have to know what we did incorrectly and correct it. The Bara manager analyzed the moments after his team took a two-goal lead: with the 2-0 we didnt stop, we kept on attacking. No one can have everything. It can be a lesson that you learn with time.

The story repeats itself

Guardiola, who congratulated Chelsea for their defensive work and for their spot in the final, was clear and honest: we failed because we didnt score [more goals]. However, we worked very hard to be here. According to the manager, the important thing is that we made it here and we were once again very, very close.

He also highlighted a couple of key aspects of tonights match: the 2-1 wasnt good for us psychologically. We went out in the second half, we had a penalty, and they were reinforced. He added with resignation: we saw a repeat of the same story in Lodon, they scored in the 45+1 minute.

Praise for the fans and for Messi

Guardiola especially wanted to thank the fans for their support. The fans, simply spectacular. They carried us and Im very thankful to them. They also saw that we gave it our all. Perhaps we have changed their mentality but we have to win once again, said the manager while trying to hide his disappointment with a smile. Guardiola also acknowledged Leo Messi in a very public way: I want to thank him for everything hes done, my admiration for him is insurmountable. Hes an example to us all on how to be better each day.

Bara now have four games left in La Liga and the final of the Cup. Pep Guardiola explained how he plans to keep his men motivated: we have to value the emotional aspect of the players and see how we can recover them.