It feels like yesterday, but it is actually now five years old. Five years exactly to the day in fact. April 24, 2012, Nou Camp. The miracle.
Many strange and amazing and improbable things happened that year, enough to last us for a lifetime of reminiscing, or in Robbie Di Matteo’s case nine months on the job, but a few stand out more than others. And as tough and inherently subjective and thus incorrect it may be to rank these moments, Ramires’s goal at the Nou Camp has to be in the running for greatest Chelsea goal ever scored. Its all-around combination of timing, technique, unlikelihood, significance, and just all-around badassery — bonus points for the dance-off celebration in front of the Barcelona fans — earns it top honors in my book.
For Ramires, who’s currently off having adventures in the Chinese Super League, that day remains “one of the most incredible experiences” in his career. Earlier today he paid tribute to it on social media, along with most of the rest of Chelsea Twitter.
Down to ten men, down 2-0, Chelsea were supposed to be down and out. John Terry’s ridiculous red card was supposed to be death blow. But fate had something else in mind.
Chelsea had no right to not lose that game — 99 times out of 100 we probably get destroyed. But not that day. Not with a back three of Bosingwa, Ivanovic, and Ashley Cole, after Cahill pulled his hamstring early on. Not with Drogba playing left back (and even giving away a penalty to divey Cesc). Not with Lampard and Mikel and Meireles following Messi’s every step. Not with Torres repaying the £50m. Not with Ramires scoring the greatest Chelsea goal ever scored.
Football is amazing.