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BLUE and white blood runs in their _42945611_wembley416veins. They eat, breathe and sleep blue and white, and bleed blue and white blood.            

Who are they?

They are the Perth Chelsea Football Club Supporters Group, and they might be coming to a pub near you.

About 70 people, some from the northern suburbs, make up the blue and white army, a small but dedicated band of followers whose mission it is to support and celebrate, lose and lament with the team from their Perth base.

Their fearless leader, president Steve Van Doorn, from Butler, co-ordinates the group’s activity, which mainly consist of late-nights and early mornings in various pubs or supporters’ houses to catch live telecasts of each game in the October to March season.

“The northern suburbs have a strong contingent of more than 35 members who have been meeting regularly in Butler, Quinns, Kinross, Banksia Grove or Landsdale for the last six years,” he said.

Mr Van Doorn said the group ranged in age, from the four- and five-year-old children of members, to men and women in their 60s, some London ex-pats whose passion for the round ball game followed them across the ocean.

FA Cup fever has gripped the group, with a Chelsea versus Everton final on Saturday, May 30.

“It’s a 10pm kick-off, which is really an early night for us considering the telecasts of most games start about 2.45am here,” he said.

“One of our members wore a ‘The Who’ T-shirt to a game we won so now he can’t take it off until we’ve won the final – it’s just a superstition but he wears that shirt like a badge of pride.”

Source   www.inmycommunity.com.au

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Andres Iniesta scored one of the most dramatic goals in Champions League history to sink Chelsea and send ten-man Barcelona into a Champions League final showdown with Manchester United.

Three minutes into injury time in a second leg that Chelsea had completely dominated, the Spain midfielder latched on to a pass from Lionel Messi and lashed an unstoppable shot spinning into the top corner of the net.

That was enough to cancel out Michael Essien’s even more stunning ninth-minute strike for Chelsea, level the aggregate score at 1-1 and send the Catalans to Rome on the away goals rule after an encounter that will principally be remembered for the erratic refereeing of Tom Ovrebo.

Out-thought and out-muscled in the goalless first leg in the Nou Camp, Barcelona found themselves out-played in what was, until the cruel final minutes, a one-sided Stamford Bridge encounter.

Ovrebo was wrong to send Barca’s French defender Eric Abidal off with just over 20 minutes left for what he thought was a professional foul on Nicolas Anelka.

But the Norwegian official’s performance hit Chelsea far harder with Guus Hiddink’s side denied what appeared to be at least two stonewall penalties on a night that ended with him being escorted off the pitch under the protection of Chelsea stewards alarmed by Didier Drogba’s attempts to confront him.

Chelsea had made two changes from the side that had prevented Barcelona from scoring at the Nou Camp for the first time this season.

Ashley Cole returned from suspension and John Obi Mikel, one of two defensive midfielders deployed in Barcelona, was sacrificed to accommodate Nicolas Anelka on the right of a front three.

Barca did not have the luxury of tactical fine-tuning. Already deprived, by suspension and injury, of centrebacks Carles Puyol and Rafael Marquez, Josep Guardiola lost Henry to a knee injury suffered in the 6-2 thrashing of Real Madrid at the weekend.

The result was a reshuffle that saw Yaya Toure employed as a stand-in centre-half, Sergio Busquets and Seydou Keita brought into midfield and Iniesta pushed forward to join Messi and Samuel Eto’o in attack.

Pilloried as exponents of “anti-football” after the first leg, Chelsea needed only eight minutes of the return to produce the perfect riposte with a goal that breathtakingly demonstrated that the Catalans do not enjoy a monopoly on technical excellence.

Frank Lampard’s attempted chip was deflected by Toure into Essien’s path and, from just beyond the arc on the edge of the penalty area, the Ghanaian midfielder unleashed a left-foot volley that rattled into the net off the underside of the bar.

Midway through the half Lampard released Drogba but Chelsea’s appeals for Abidal’s robust challenge to be penalised went unheeded.

It was Chelsea who should have killed the match soon after the restart.

Anelka’s surge to the edge of the area allowed him to tee up Drogba, who turned inside Gerard Pique’s desperate lunge only to be denied by the outstretched boot of Valdes.

The home supporters’ frustration with Ovrebo grew when he failed to spot a blatant foul by Toure on Drogba, this time outside the area.

But the Norwegian official more than compensated ten minutes later when he adjudged Abidal to have tripped Anelka from behind as he raced goalwards in pursuit of Drogba’s flick.

Television replays suggested Anelka had contrived to trip himself and Barca had been unfairly condemned to playing for more than 20 minutes with ten men.

Chelsea had further reason for grievance when, with ten minutes left, Anelka’s flick caught the outstretched arm of Gerard Pique deep inside the box.

Again, Ovrebo waved the penalty appeals away and Chelsea paid the price when Petr Cech, who had not had a significant save to make until then, was left with no chance by Iniesta’s lovely strike.

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