Match Of The Week: FC Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea

So, it’s a Champions League semi-final and this isn’t merely Barcelona versus Chelsea. It’s “Mas que un club” versus Chelsea, Catalunya versus Chelsea and Europe versus the Premier League. Has it come to this? Are Barcelona the only continental club that can take on the swagger of the Premier League and give them a game? It certainly seems so, though Milan will probably be back in this competition next season. Part of Barcelona’s continuing ability to stay roughly in touch with the top Premier League clubs is down to the Spanish television deal which allows them to sell their rights without any collective bargaining, but it’s also in part down to the sheer scale of the club. Everything about Barcelona is massive. The Camp Nou is the biggest football stadium in Europe, holding over 98,000 people, and it’s due to be expanded to hold 110,000 people soon. It may be an optical illusion, but even the pitch looks huge, with the players dwarfed by everything surrounding them. The noise, the colour, the crackling tension – on a night like this, it’s a full sensory overload. In their two previous Champions League matches, they have been 4-0 up at half-time. The expectations are as massive as the Camp Nou itself, and it is this level of expectation that might be Barcelona’s achilles heel. Their results for this season make for...

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