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Football

Jubilant Chelsea reach final eight


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Lampard is on target as Chelsea reach the last eight

LONDON, England -- John Terry headed Chelsea into the Champions League quarterfinals with a hotly-contested goal in a dramatic 4-2 victory over Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

The England defender headed home a 76th-minute corner to send Jose Mourinho's team through 5-4 on aggregate after Barcelona had recovered from being 3-0 down to lead on the away goals rule.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff all scored in the first 19 minutes as the English Premier League leaders wiped out their 2-1 first leg deficit in superb style.

Barcelona hit back with a Ronaldinho penalty and the Brazilian world player of the year improvised a brilliant second goal to give the visitors the edge until defender Terry's intervention settled an extraordinary tie.

Barcelona claimed that goalkeeper Victor Valdes had been held back by Chelsea's Ricardo Carvalho -- and television appeared to back them up.

There were ugly scenes at the final whistle as an angry Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard and Ronaldinho were ushered down the tunnel by stewards.

"What a great performance," Terry told Sky Sports television. "We got a brilliant start. In the second half we pressed them and they didn't like it. We got our reward in the end."

Rijkaard told Canal Plus: "Chelsea were on the ropes for some time but we committed some crucial errors.

"We lost the ball in midfield just at the wrong time, and we have to learn from mistakes like that."

Perfect start

Chelsea had the perfect start with three goals before Barca even had a shot on target -- an echo of the last time they played Barcelona at Stamford Bridge almost five years ago when they scored three times in nine minutes at the end of the first half.

This time their three-goal strike started in the eighth minute when Gudjohnsen superbly outwitted defender Gerard after a cross from Mateja Kezman to lift the ball over the onrushing Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes.

The cheers for that goal had hardly died down when Chelsea struck again nine minutes later.

Joe Cole cut in at the end of a surging run down the right and cracked a shot goalwards that took a deflection off defender Oleguer.

Valdes, wrong-footed on the slippery surface, twisted and got a hand to the ball, but could only palm it into Lampard's path and he fired in from two meters.

Even worse was to follow for Barca when Kezman and Cole exchanged passes before Cole split the Barca defence with a through ball for Duff who shot past Valdes to make it 3-0 after only 19 minutes.

Gradually Barca came back into the match with striker Samuel Eto'o forcing Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to make a superb save after 23 minutes.

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Ronaldinho rocked Chelsea with a second goal that lifted Barca's hopes

Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira then handled a cross from Juliano Belletti and referee Pierluigi Collina immediately signalled a penalty.

Ronaldinho scored despite Cech guessing correctly to dive right and at 3-1 Barca were suddenly back in the game.

Sixteen minutes later they were leading the tie.

The ball fell to Ronaldinho on the edge of the box and he scored with an audacious shot with the outside of his right foot that nestled in the corner of Cech's net without the keeper moving to bring the score back to 3-2, giving Barca the advantage on away goals.

Cech saved brilliantly from Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta before Terry soared to score the crucial goal for Roman Abramovich's expensively assembled team.


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