Premier League legend Didier Drogba reflects on his angry reaction to perceived injustice during the 2009 UCL semi-final clash between Barcelona and Chelsea.
The Champions League semifinal second-leg match between Barcelona and Chelsea remains one of the most controversial clashes in modern football history, and Didier Drogba’s incensed post-match reaction is an apt snapshot of the emotions many Blues fans were feeling at the time.
Although the match ended in a draw after Andres Iniesta’s late rocket restored parity for Barcelona after an Essien stunner put Chelsea ahead, it was the Blaugrana who advanced to the final due to the away-goal rule.
15:49 - 13.11.2023
Super Eagles star Victor Osimhen has been compared to former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
09:13 - 08.11.2023
Didier Drogba has showed his appreciation to Erling Haaland after the Manchester City striker kept his Ballon d'Or promise by recreating the Chelsea legend’s goal celebration
The result was a hard pill to swallow for the West Londoners, as the match was marred by dodgy officiating, most of which were at Chelsea’s expense. Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, who was in charge of the match, was accosted several times by embittered Chelsea players during the match and even after.
Drogba’s fiery reaction
Though Iniesta’s equaliser came in the 93rd minute of proceedings, with ensuing celebrations suggesting a finality, the match was far from over, as it could even be argued that the moments after the equaliser had as much drama as the period before it.
Chelsea had two strong claims for a penalty for a chance to restore their lead, but as it was the pre-VAR era, Ovrebo’s split-second decision from whatever angle he managed to position himself to oversee an incident was final, with no chance for a more forensic inquiry or takebacks.
The Norwegian referee denied the calls, and aggrieved players charged at him in droves; Michael Ballack and Drogba both earned themselves yellow cards for dissent.
Drogba’s protest did not cease after the blare of the final whistle and he had to be dragged into the tunnel by teammates and staff. This, however, did not prevent the Ivorian from yelling the famous "It's a disgrace! It's a fucking disgrace! UEFA is a fucking disgrace!" at the match cameras.
Drogba reflects on the match
The African football icon was at a Global Youth Tourism Summit event and was taking questions from members of the audience when a young person, identifying as a Barcelona fan, asked Drogba if he still believed the 2009 Champions League semi-final was a great robbery like many claim.
Drogba pointed out to the fan that Ovrebo himself had admitted to committing blunders during the game before the questioner interjected, explaining to the Chelsea legend that Barcelona themselves were at the wrong end of some shoddy officiating in the first-leg of the tie.
Drogba seemed to understand and agree with the young fan before going on to address the question. The former striker gave a diplomatic answer, which could be summarised as saying that he had since moved on from the game and no longer felt angry as he believes things played out the way they were destined.
13:35 - 06.12.2023
FOOTBALL Man United vs Chelsea: Team news, where to watch & predicted line-ups as struggling Premier League giants clash at Old Trafford
Here is all you need to know as Manchester United and Chelsea renew their rivalry on Wednesday night seeking for some respite after a tough start to the season
04:50 - 06.12.2023
The Girona player has been a Barcelona fan since he was a kid and wants to play for the LALIGA champions.
18:12 - 05.12.2023
In a development that has sent ripples through the Camp Nou, Barcelona's esteemed goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen has reportedly decided to undergo surgery for a lingering back problem.
17:31 - 05.12.2023
The Champions League group stage comes to a close on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 December with 1xBet announcing some exciting promotions.
12:18 - 05.12.2023
Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino's teams keep contriving to make life difficult for themselves. Is it by design?
21:55 - 04.12.2023
I need pills and Injection to play — Luis Suarez reveals how he braves his last days as a footballer
Luis Suarez reveals how he defies pain and limitations, relying on medication and injections, as he battles to continue playing and leaving a lasting legacy on the football field, while facing the heartbreaking reality of his physical limitations in everyday life.
21:27 - 04.12.2023
Mirroring Lionel Messi's accolades, Enzo Fernandez emerges as a pivotal force at Chelsea, showcasing world-class skills that align with the Argentine legend's praise.