Chelsea Vs. Barcelona, 2012 Champions League: Remembering Ovrebo And The "Iniestazo"

Ah, 2009. It feels like only yesterday that I watched a stunned Chelsea side gape as Andrés Iniesta's outside the box blast sailed past Petr Chech's outstretched arms. The tabloids in Spain--bastions of journalistic quality--dubbed the shot, and everything that had happened prior to it, the Iniestazo--golazo, but with the little Spaniard's name appended.

It seems like an apt description of the event, though I might change one thing. I'd probably call it the Ovrebazo, replacing Spain's World Cup hero (he has better things to be known for than this--you know, like scoring a World Cup winning goal), and give the honor to Norwegian referee Tim Henning Ovrebo, who conceded an interview to ESPN recently where he admitted that his mistakes "cost Chelsea in 2009."

Here's a little background for the unfamiliar: the 2009 semifinal between Barcelona and Chelsea was a tense tie. The Pep Guardiola Barcelona, in what was arguably their signature season, were looking at the brink of elimination, and were being outplayed by Guus Hiddink's Chelsea. After a chippy affair, Chelsea held a one goal aggregate advantage in Stamford Bridge; then, the Iniestazo, which put the Blaugrana through on away goals.

Earlier in the match, Ovrebo missed three perfectly clear penalties on Barcelona that would have given Chelsea an express path to the final. Each was more clear than the previous one. And he knows it: he still "gets death threats" from irate Chelsea fans.

Despite how memorable that match was, I think it's safe to say that neither side would enjoy a repeat performance. And for our sake--you know, the "unbiased" supporters--it would be better to never have to witness that again.

We'll have continuous pre-game updates and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs. Barcelona, UEFA Champions League Semifinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.

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