Chelsea celebrate as they triumph at the Nou Camp
Roberto Di Matteo continued his audition to be permanent Chelsea manager with a remarkable overall victory from a truly astonishing second leg tie at the Nou Camp.
Chelsea produced one of the greatest escapes in the history of European football as they survived the sending-off of John Terry and a two goal deficit to turn a sure fire looking heavy defeat into the draw that was enough to send them to Munich and the Champions League Final.
On a night of unparalleled drama, Terry looked to have pressed the self-destruct button on the Blues' hopes of glory on the continent when he saw red for needlessly kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind.
But the 10 men were simply magnificent for the rest of the second leg, fighting back from goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta with a stunning chip from Ramires, from a brilliant Frank Lampard through ball before half-time that meant Barca had to score again.
And after surviving a Barca siege from start to finish that at some points looked liked a training match between attack and defence, which also saw Lionel Messi miss a second half penalty, Fernando Torres came off the bench to score a stoppage-time breakaway goal as Chelsea avenged their 2009 defeat in the most dramatic manner.
Reaching their second final came at a huge cost, though, with Terry's red card and yellows for Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles ruling them out of the final. Coupled with the fact that Gary Cahill was substituted due to injury and Chelsea might be short of players by the time they fly to Germany.
All credit must go to Di Matteo as he set up his team very astutely and frustrated Barcelona, as the supposedly best team in Europe failed to break down the compact and organised Blue's defence on what must go down as one of the greatest nights in the club's history.
Chelsea's opponents will be Bayern Munich as the German outfit ruined former Blues boss Jose Mourinho's reunion as they beat Real Madrid on penalties at the Bernabeu on another exhilarating night of Champions League football.
Bayern Munich celebrate as they eliminate Real Madrid on penalties
Real had erased their 2-1 deficit from the first leg within five minutes as Alaba was somewhat harshly punished for handling Angel Di Maria's shot and Ronaldo slotted home the resulting penalty giving Neuer no chance.
Ronaldo doubled his tally on 15 minutes and gave Madrid their first advantage of the tie, as he raced on to a brilliant through-ball from Mesut Ozil and stroked the ball past Neuer from the edge of the area.
The tie was back on a knife-edge 12 minutes later though as Pepe was penalised for a push on Gomez as he tried to get on the end of Kroos' cross into the box and former Real player Robben just about converted the spot kick despite a great effort from Casillas.
Generally both sides tightened up significantly in the second half and opportunities were far harder to come by at either end as the game went into extra time.
With minutes of extra time remaining, Real had claims for a third penalty of the evening turned down. Instead Esteban Granero was booked for going down too easily under pressure from Neuer, even though the German keeper was tugging on the youngsters shirt.
That left the tie to be decided on the unpredictability of a penalty shoot out. Ronaldo, Kaka and Ramos all failed for Real Madrid and it was left to Bastian Schweinsteiger to score the decisive spot-kick to secure the Germans a place in the final on May 19 on their home ground.
Like Chelsea they will have to do without three of their semi-final starters as left back Alaba, centre back Holger Badstuber and midfielder Luiz Gustavo all picked up yellow cards which will see them banned for next month's showdown.
Two extra ordinary semi final matches that left all that saw them breathless, resulted in the better teams justly winning out. Bayern must hold the slight advantage as they are playing on their home territory but you certainly can't rule out the English side after they have overcome a tough Napoli side and stifled the European Champions already.
Let's hope the final is as good as what has gone before it.
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