Pique relishing United showdown

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Football News

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is relishing the prospect of a Champions League final against his former club after playing his part in dramatically knocking out Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Andres Iniesta's last-gasp equaliser sent Barcelona through on away goals and set up a clash in Rome against Manchester United, where Pique was until last summer before he moved to Camp Nou.

"It means a lot," Pique said on Sky Sports. "It will be special because I had three good years there, maybe I didn't play a lot but they were important years for me."

Chelsea were furious with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after he turned down four penalty appeals, including a handball from Pique.

"To be fair, it touched my hands but it was not deliberate," Pique added. "The referee can decide what he wants and you have to respect the decisions. Sometimes they are wrong. I'm just happy that I'm through to the final."

Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba also claimed they were fouled in the area, while Samuel Eto'o also handled but Ovrebo did not point to the spot.

It meant Chelsea headed into stoppage-time with just Michael Essien on the scoresheet before Iniesta found the top corner to spark manic celebrations.

"There are no words to describe how happy the team is," Pique added. "A team like this, trying to attack all the time, cannot go 180 minutes without scoring. It was in the last minute but it was enough."

With Chelsea leading, Barcelona had Eric Abidal sent-off for a professional foul on Nicolas Anelka and boss Pep Guardiola was surprised that opposite number Guus Hiddink did not then try to kill the game with a second.

"They created chances on the counter-attack but they were conservative," he said. "We showed a lot of strength and bravery and hung on. I can understand the feeling of Chelsea because they had Rome there and in the last minute we can take it."

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Didier Drogba
European News
Nicolas Anelka
Florent Malouda
Gerard Pique
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Michael Essien

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