Barcelona defender Dani Alves accuses Chelsea of lacking courage

On the eve of the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea the Spanish side’s Brazilian full-back Dani Alves has claimed Chelsea lost the last encounter between the sides in 2009 not because of the indecision of referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, who rejected a series of penalty appeals, but because the Premier League team played with fear and lacked courage, the Guardian has reported.

Alves added that when Eric Abidal was sent off, handing Chelsea a man’s advantage, the Blues’ response was what cost them the game. He said: “Chelsea did not reach the final because of fear. The team that has got a man more, is playing at home and winning should have attacked us more. I think Chelsea lacked the courage to take a step forward and attack us. They paid for it.

Chelsea, managed then by Guus Hiddink, held a 1-0 lead through Michael Essien after drawing 0-0 at the Nou Camp, but Andres Iniesta’s last minute goal put Barcelona into the final, where they defeated Manchester United. There were ugly scenes after the final whistle when Didier Drogba, incensed at not having been awarded at least one penalty from the four Chelsea claims, angrily confronted Ovrebo and launched a profanity-laden tirade a the official.

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