Top 5 nights in Chelsea's Champions League history
Oh, those European nights. The excitement. The nervousness masked beneath brazen hope. The cryptic yet glorious anthem setting off a wonderful tingling sensation. The unfurled Champions League flag glittering in the centre circle. Oh, those European nights.
Champions League nights are in a world of their own, especially in the latter knockout stages. This is where the elite crop of players face off against each other for continental glory. The experience is an unbelievable one for players and fans alike.
Fortunately for the London club, Chelsea have had quite a few such nights, especially since the turn of the millennium. Since 2003, they have reached 7 semi-finals, 2 finals and clinched the trophy in 2012. Certainly a commendable track record.
On that note, here are the top five nights in Chelsea's Champions League outings...
#5 Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona (Round of 16 2nd leg, 2004-05)
The Blues were trailing 1-2 from the first leg in Jose Mourinho's first season in charge. They were looking for a strong start, but what followed was incredible. Chelsea raced into a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes by virtue of goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff.
The Stamford Bridge faithful could barely contain themselves. However, the sheer genius of Ronaldinho silenced them. He converted a penalty and stabbed home a delightful second from an impossible position.
The Catalans were in pole position to progress on the away goal rule, but it was Chelsea who had the final say. Skipper John Terry jumped highest from Duff's corner to guide the ball past Victor Valdes to send the crowd into raptures, and Chelsea to the last eight.
A remarkable game in which Chelsea were indebted to Petr Cech for some outstanding stops. The final whistle saw jubilant celebrations, capping off a cracking game of football.
Chelsea lost to Liverpool in the semi-finals that season, but those first 20 minutes against Barcelona will not be forgotten.