19 Apr 2012

Chelsea hold off Barca to claim 1-0 win

12:55 pm on 19 April 2012

Didier Drogba scored late in the first half and Chelsea kept free-scoring Lionel Messi in check to secure a 1-0 win over holders Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League football semi-final.

The Ivory Coast international was in inspired form all game at both ends of the park, and finished off a swift break with an incisive finish from a Ramires pass in stoppage time at a rain-soaked Stamford Bridge.

Barca, looking to knock Chelsea out at this stage for the second time in four seasons, dominated the opening half but were quieter after the break as the well-organised hosts kept their shape.

Chelsea had a huge escape in the final seconds when Pedro placed a shot beyond goalkeeper Petr Cech but against the post and Sergio Busquets lashed the rebound over the bar.

The return leg will played in Madrid next Wednesday.