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Chelsea-Barca discussion area

This blog comment from JoePublic seemed worth a free-standing post on today's game:

We've had some interesting conversations about referee decisions on this blog, so I'm figuring people will have something to say about the two or seven in this game.

1: The Barcelona sendoff seemed a phantom to me -- in all the replays I couldn't see the defender make any contact at all with Anelka. But if it was a foul, it was definitely a last-man situation.

2: The Pique handling in the area -- not given -- sure looked like it could have been given for a penalty. The arm was straight out -- not in a natural position. But in fairness to Pique, he had his arm out there even before the Chelsea attacker played it into him.

3: The alleged handling at the end, the one the Chelsea players were so irate about, was definitely NOT handling -- especially not handling worthy of a penalty at that late stage of the game. The defender turned his back, had his arm in a natural position and it looked like the ball hit his shoulder more than anything else.

It is amazing though how a team so deep and talented like Barcelona can only play one way. They came at Chelsea with the same maddeningly patient buildup and possession. If only they would have had some other option than Dani Alves, who was terrible and really hurt them with wasted balls again and again. Chelsea just soaked it all up.

Great drama. Shocking behavior by the Chelsea players at the end. Controversial refereeing decisions. The play was not anything of beauty but man what an exciting game.

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