London, April 19 (IANS) A resilient Chelsea overcame defending champions Barcelona 1-0 in the semi-final first leg of the UEFA Champions League football at the Stamford Bridge here.
The London club were battered for most part of the game Wednesday with Barcelona having 79 percent possession in the game. But the Chelsea defenders put in a remarkable defensive performance to take away a crucial one goal lead to the second leg to be played in Nou Camp, April 24.
Ivorian striker Didier Drogba gave the Blues the lead in 45th minute against the run of play in what turned to be Chelsea's only shot on target for the entire game. Veteran midfielder Frank Lampard gave a beautiful diagonal ball to the marauding Ramires, who took it well in his stride and his grounded cross managed to evade three Barca defenders.
Drogba's left-footed shot creeped into the back of the net much to the shock of the visitors.
The Catalans wasted some glorious chances in front of the goal. Diminutive Chilean, Alex Sanchez's glorious chip beat Chelsea custodian Petr Cech but struck the crossbar to deny Barca a much deserved goal.
Barca pushed men forward in the second half but were unable to find the equalizer. A hapless Lionel Messi tried his best to find a crucial goal but was thwarted by some spirited defending by the hosts.
Luck once again came to the rescue of the Londoners as substitute Pedro's shot rebounded of the far post and fell to Sergio Busquets who skied his shot way above the crossbar in stoppage time.
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