Chelsea have been involved in some fiery Champions League ties over the last two decades, but perhaps none more so than their 2009 semi-final encounter with Barcelona.
A tense 0-0 draw in Camp Nou's first leg clash set up a potential humdinger at Stamford Bridge; a game which saw referee Tom Henning Ovrebo heavily criticised for his performance. Following Michael Essien's ninth minute wonder strike – and Barca defender Eric Abidal's second half dismissal – Chelsea believed they were on course for a second straight final, only to see a number of big decisions go against them.
Didier Drogba had two strong penalty claims dismissed before Andres Iniesta smashed home a 93rd minute equaliser that sent Barcelona through to the final. Chelsea's players were irate, with Drogba and Jose Bosingwa handed six- and four-game bans respectively. The Blues defender feels his actions – including labelling Ovrebo a cheat – were justified, however.
"I’d do it again, as I felt it was a tremendous injustice," Bosingwa tells FourFourTwo's October edition. "I have no clue about who chose the officials, but the reality is that you can’t opt for a Norwegian one who’d refereed seven or eight games in his country to take charge of a Champions League semi-final with so much at stake! Among other things, we should have been given three or four penalties that night – I never felt so wronged in my entire career."
Chelsea's fourth semi final loss in six seasons was a tough pill to swallow, but they would eventually get their hands on the trophy they craved. Bosingwa and Drogba were both in the team that defeated Bayern Munich in the 2012 showpiece.
Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get three issues delivered for just £3. The offer ends October 17, 2021.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.