Whenever Chelsea come up against Barcelona in the Champions League, certain memories come flooding back: Ronaldinho’s toe poke par excellence in 2005, Andres Iniesta’s stoppage time winner in 2009, an irate Michael Ballack shrieking in a bald Norwegian gentleman’s face, Didier Drogba poking his head through a crowd to label everything a “f**king disgrace”, etc, etc.
However, Pies’ most enduring and fondly recalled memory most definitely came at the climax of the semi-final between the two sides in 2012 – “climax” being the key word.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg, the Blues quickly found themselves trailing 2-1 and down to 10 men by the 44th minute of the second leg, only for Chelsea to square things up through Ramires with just about the last touch of the first half.
A manic second half followed as Chelsea adopted a ‘backs to the walls’ defensive approach and barely ventured into the Barca half until, in the 92nd minute, the much-maligned Fernando Torres broke loose, rounded Victor Valdes and trundled home the winner.
Cue the most curious extended purr of pure ecstasy from Sky Sports co-commentator Gary Neville…
Still as weird now as it was six years ago.