Full-time - 90'
1 - 0
18:45 +00:00, April 18, 2012
Stamford Bridge, England
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych
That's it from me tonight. You can join me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN.
Chelsea will do what all the pundits said was impossible - they have a lead and a clean sheet to take to Camp Nou. Get a goal away from home and the unthinkable could happen.
Barcelona had 24 shots, six on target, to Chelsea's four shots and one on target. But there's only one stat that counts.
Barcelona simply had to score, but contrived to miss - while Chelsea threw bodies around heroically to protect their goal.
What an amazing end to that game - a few seconds which summed up the whole match.
And that's full time!
Pedro hits the post from just inside the box, it runs to the unmarked Busquets eight yards out and he balloons it miles over when he just had to score!
Unbelievable! How did Barca not score?
Into the last 90 seconds.
Alves takes, and it's headed away strongly by the superb Cahill - surely a contender for man of the match.
And Barca have a corner off Drogba.
Three minutes to be added on.
Awful pass from Iniesta! Nowhere near a Barca shirt and out for a Chelsea throw by the corner flag.
Ramires is replaced by Bosingwa.
Messi chipped it in, Puyol flicked it on with is head and Cech had to dive full length to his right to push it away - superb goalkeeping!
Great save from Petr Cech!
Cuenca comes on for Xavi
Yet another free-kick as Drogba trips Messi 25 yards out. Definite foul this time. Chance here.
Anxiety and belief growing in equal measures among the Chelsea fans.
Kalou looked to have the chance of a shot but is penalised for a foul on Adriano. He fired over anyway.
Chelsea really sitting deep now, Barca probing.
Petr Cech has had to make 39 more saves than Victor Valdes in the Champions League this season.
Cheers from the Chelsea fans as the ref gives their team a foul for a tackle on Mikel by Thiago.
Drogba breaks to give his side some breathing space - his pass through the centre for Kalou is just too strong.
Xavi's shot is charged down. Pressure mounting.
Fabregas, who should have scored himself and created another, is replaced by Thiago.
Chelsea's wall is forced further back by the ref. Alves hits it - it smacks into the wall. Another waste of a set-piece.
Another free-kick to Barcelona, 25 yards out, Messi fouled and you could pick any of three Chelsea players.
Busquets is shown a popular yellow card as Ramires tries to skip down the wing but is tripped. He needs a bit of treatment but is fine.
Cross from Alves on the right, Cahill heads clear.
Opta stat: Barcelona (7155) had completed 3244 more passes than Chelsea (3911) in the Champions League this season before tonight. That gap is somewhat wider after tonight.
Here we go. Kalou is on for Juan Mata, who has been quite quiet in this game.
(if Barcelona ever lose the ball)
Salomon Kalou about to come on.
The free-kick is floated in by Lampard, Terry tries to flick it on towards goal with his head - it drops well wide and Valdes is unconcerned.
One of Pedro's first contributions is to get booked for a trip on Cole - harsh.
Opta stat: In seven matches before tonight, Messi is yet to score away to an English side in the Champions League (exc. neutral venues).
Xavi goes for the right-footed effort this time and fires a few yards over to the joy of the Chelsea fans.
Ramires is booked after tripping Messi on the edge of the box. It looked as though he may have got a tap on the ball but a lot of Messi.
And Barca refuse to kick the ball back to Chelsea when the ref restarts the game.
If Drogba is not injured he really has to help his team and stay up now. Barca are not going to play that game anymore.
Drogba is down in pain again, this time from Puyol's challenge. This time Barca refuse to put the ball out, the ref waves play on but eventually has to stop play.
Follow Dale Johnson on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN
Pedro is on for the below-par Alexis.
Ivanovic is caught up-field, Messi breaks and this time Terry blocks the shot.
It's Messi... and he hits it into the bottom of the wall. "The man is human"
Handball against Mikel on the edge of the box - it was harsh as it bounced up on him but this is a real chance.
Brilliant from Cahill again! Messi jinked through the centre but the England international read it perfectly to get a foot in and rob the striker.
Free-kick against Alexis for a tug back on Cole in the box as the Barca man went on the break.
Didier Drogba slots home the opening goal
This is getting fast and furious now. Barca still have 70% possession but Chelsea are improving.
Mata takes, Ivanovic heads it back across but Cahill uses his arm to control. Free-kick.
Foul by Iniesta against Drogba on the right. Chance to deliver.
Adriano gets forward and pulls a cross back for Alves - who fires well wide.
The rain is getting heavier. ESPNsoccernet's Kevin Palmer has had to retreat from the press desks as they are turning into a river.
Fabregas with a lovely chip over the top for Alexis - he's definitely onside and must score from six yards out ... and puts it two yards wide.
Bad miss from Alexis!
Didier Drogba celebrates after netting the opening goal at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea have never lost at Stamford Bridge in a Champions League semi-final (two wins, three draws).
Another top block by Cahill as Messi again shoots from the edge of the box.
Chelsea win a corner from Alves. Lampard takes but the ball is inches away from the boot of Cahill at the far post for a tap-in. Great curling corner.
Brilliant run by the left-back Adriano - he skips past several challenges, gets to the edge of the D before shooting with his right - Cech has to dive to his right and push the shot away. Fine run and fine save.
Barcelona have gone aerial with the first time ball very often in this game - something they rarely do.
Messi takes from the left, Lampard heads away at the near post.
Iniesta's shot rebounds off the legs of Ivanovic. Corner.
Chelsea will be - and should be - delighted to be in front. But the last thing they want to do is let in a goal. 0-0 would have been better for them than 1-1.
Barcelona have started the second half very well.
The rain is pouring down in West London, making it a slick surface.
Messi has a shot from the edge of the area blocked by Cahill.
And it will be Chelsea to kick off in the second half.
Opta stat: Didier Drogba has scored nine goals in his last eight Champions League matches against Spanish sides.
And out come the players for the second half.
Barcelona fans display a banner at Stamford Bridge
I'll be back for the second half, meanwhile you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN.
Barca have dominated possession and wasted some glorious chances - so this game is far from dead.
Sucker punch for Barca. The Chelsea fans cheer their team off after Drogba's shock goal - the Blues had not troubled Valdes.
And that's half-time!
Mistake by Messi as he gives the ball away, Lampard finds Ramires over the top and he breaks down the left and into the area - Ramires looks certain to shoot but picks out Drogba with a fine pass across the box and he cannot miss.
GOAL FOR DIDIER DROGBA!
Messi slips in the centre of the park and goes down in pain. The Barca bench looks worried but he's okay.
Two minutes to be added on.
Drogba is down again - but he was definitely caught by Puyol. No free-kick.
Messi with a shot from the edge of the box with goes a good 20 yards wide. Stamford Bridge held its breath.
Messi with the run through the centre and the through pass to Fabregas. He dinks the ball over the top of Cech and Cole has to scurry back and clear off the line.
Almost a goal for Fabregas!
Corner to Barca. Xavi takes from the right. It comes to Alves with a shot from 25 yards, but he smashed a wayward effort well over.
Ivanovic with the long throw, Drogba tries to flick it on and it falls for Merieles on the edge of the box - his snap shot is blocked.
Drogba didn't need any treatment in the end. Chelsea had put the ball out for him, but Barca very sportingly give the ball back despite the player not needing treatment.
Drogba is down hurt, he landed very awkwardly after going up for a high ball.
Free-kick to Chelsea in their own half, this time Messi on Mikel.
Puyol is getting his wrist strapped up, but is good to come back on.
Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez lobs the ball over Petr Cech only to see if bounce back off the bar.
Corner to Barca. Xavi takes - it is played short before being chipped into the box. There's something of a scramble before Puyul fouls Drogba. Free-kick.
Cole gets back brilliantly to thwart the run of Alves just when it looked as though he was in on Cech.
Carles Puyol seems to have picked up a wrist injury, but is happy to continue - and then spins Ramires perfectly near his own goal-line to bring the ball away.
Chelsea have done well so far, they have not been over-run by Barcelona which is what all the pundits were claiming would happen.
Offside against Alexis from the ball over the top.
Cheslea fans with some comedy "oles" as they enjoy extended possession. NB: They are joking.
Roman Abramovich looks to be enjoying himself as usual.
Header from Messi on the edge of the area, and it's ease for Cech to collect low down to his right.
Join Dale Johnson on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN
Fabregas with a shot from the angle, Cech fists it away. Simple save.
Drogba looks full of power tonight, he's just not getting the ball in the right areas.
Iniesta goes into the box and goes down under Cahill's challenge - nothing doing from Dr. Felix Brych the referee.
Puyol and Drogba do battle.
The corner is awful and intercepted. Chelsea break and Merieles has options to his right - his attempt to switch the play is abysmal and straight to a Barcelona player.
Xavi's shot is deflected behind for a corner.
Barcelona have had 79% possession so far.
Chelsea get a throw from it, Mata has a shot from the angle of the box but slices it into the stand.
Chelsea go up the other end, another scramble of sorts which Mata and Merieles try to make the best of - Alves hacks away.
Iniesta drove a shot in from the angle, Cech made the save but the ball ran perfectly for Fabregas with a near-open goal eight yards out - he had to score. He completely missed his kick and ended up trickling away from goal. What a sitter.
What a miss from Fabregas!
Mikel blocks a shot by Messi from the egde of the area.
Mata flagged offside as he tried to get through down the right.
Drogba and Busquets clash in the centre of the park. There's nothing much in it but Drogba hobbles around a bit, as is his way.
Merieles a little late on Busquets - he must be close to a yellow card, and that would rule him out of the second leg.
Opta stat: Four of the nine goals that Chelsea have conceded in the Champions League this season have come in the 120 mins with Gary Cahill playing.
Alexis tries to burst past Terry down the right and the defender steps in front of him - no free-kick given.
Ivanovic puts a long throw into the box, it causes chaos in the Barca defence and Cahill almost stabs it home - but it's a goal-kick.
Alexis was sent through the centre by Iniesta, he lifted the ball over the top of the onrushing Cech but Alexis hit the bar smack on and a Chelsea defender cleared.
Alexis hits the bar!
Xavi's free-kick cross into the box is ... awful and into the gloves of Cech.
Merieles fells Fabregas over on the left. This could come to something.
There looks to be some holes at the back for Barca. But can Chelsea exploit that and stay tight at the back?
Drogba is so close to getting past Puyol and through on goal, his touch past the Spaniard is not strong enough and is mopped up.
Opta Stat: Chelsea and Barcelona are the only two sides to have reached the semi-finals of the CL six times in the last nine seasons.
Now Drogba is penalised for a foul on Busquets, correct decision.
Drogba almost through the centre, too much on the ball and Valdes can collect.
Ramires is down the left for Chelsea, not Merieles as was reported officially. That's an attempt to stop Dani Alves.
Ivanovic in late on Fabregas, foul - Chelsea still to have the ball.
Shock start: Barcelona enjoy an extended period of possession.
And it's Messi and Fabregas to kick-off!
Pep Guardiola and Roberto di Matteo take their seats.
Opta Stat: Chelsea are the only side that Pep Guardiola's Barcelona have played but never beaten.
Out come the teams! It's almost time.
Chelsea fans know their team needs the performance of the season - twice. The fans are coming in, with expressions of both excitement and apprehension.
The atmosphere is building inside Stamford Bridge.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Messi, Alexis. Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Thiago, Pique, Pedro, Keita, Cuenca.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Meireles, Ramires, Mata, Drogba. Subs: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Essien, Malouda, Kalou, Torres, Sturridge.
For Barcelona, Gerard Pique does not return to the starting line-up with Javier Mascherano alongside Carles Puyol and Adriano at full-back. Other than that Barca are as expected.
The teams are in. The big news is Didier Drogba getting the nod ahead of Fernando Torres up front. David Luiz is injured so Gary Cahill comes into the starting line-up. Branislav Ivanovic is available for Europe, so he too returns with Jose Bosingwa dropped. Raul Meireles is in for Salomon Kalou.
Pep Guardiola was quick to praise Chelsea in the pre-match press conferences this week.
Join Dale Johnson (Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN) for live commentary of the crucial Champions League showdown at Stamford Bridge.