2012 UEFA Champions League was a magical season for former Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi, as the English Premier League side rose from their ashes, reborn, to take Europe by storm – albeit with little belief he recalls.
Mikel recounting the feeling among Chelsea’s Gladiators especially in the semi-final second-leg at the Camp Nou revealed, the Blues didn’t come believing a win was possible.
“They are one of the teams in the world that can score 10 any time they want,” the Midfielder said.
“We didn’t go into that game with the great believe that we would come out.”
In an electric atmosphere at the Camp Nou, Chelsea conceded 2-0 and had yielded their 1-0 first-leg advantage; Barca were in cruise control even Lionel Messi missed a spot kick.
Chelsea’s woes were compounded with the sending off of captain John Terry in a very dramatic first-half.
But, they didn’t give up and as the former Chelsea man explained, it would always come down to taking their chances, however they came.
“We stuck in there, we knew it was going to be difficult, we knew we have to give away the possession of the game. We knew we have to put in our shift, work very hard do the dirty work and we get our chance we just knew, if we take them we’ll be fine.” [sic]
Ramires started the comeback, latching on a pass from Frank Lampard, the Brazilian chipped delightfully over the Barca goalkeeper Víctor Valdés to halve the deficit.
The dagger was struck in the hearts of Camp Nou faithfuls with two minutes of additional time after regulation time, when Fernando Torres rounded Valdés to tuck it home and earn Chelsea place in the final – for the second time in the club history.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo, who had come on in interim basis, guided the team to victory in final against Bayern Munich, for the club’s first UCL title.