There are many emotions inspired by Chelsea's arrival in the final but, more than anything, it is sheer wonder. They refused to be cowed after John Terry's red card and deserve their place in Munich on 19 May because of the heroism that went into a night of rare achievement and glory. As triumphs in adversity go, the night they went down to 10 men and knocked out Barcelona on their own ground will take some beating.
Terry will not be in the team to play either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in the final because of the knee he callously delivered into the back of Alexis Sánchez's legs after 36 minutes. Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires, who all received yellow cards, will also be suspended but that told only part of the story on a night when Chelsea looked for all the world like they had blown it during that eight-minute spell towards the end of the first half when Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta scored either side of Terry's final, senseless act.
To recover against the most devastating attacking team on the planet, a side that have now accumulated a staggering 104 goals at the Camp Nou this season, was nothing short of extraordinary and, for Roberto Di Matteo, these are the moments when it is increasingly difficult to comprehend how he cannot be closing in on the manager's job on a permanent basis.
His was a victory sprint down the touchline that revived memories of José Mourinho's famous celebration, with Porto, at Old Trafford in 2004. Now Di Matteo may get the chance to pit himself against the former Chelsea manager courtesy of Ramires's brilliant finish just before half-time and, in the final seconds, the finest moment of Fernando Torres's time with the club, running clear to round Victor Valdés and roll the ball into an exposed goal.
Chelsea have to be commended for their spirit of togetherness. They had survived a fearsome onslaught. They tackled and they harried, they ran and they chased and when the pressure was close to intolerable they simply refused to buckle. There were moments of substantial fortune, most notably when Lionel Messi thumped a penalty against the crossbar. The same player also struck the upright and Barcelona will reflect, once again, on a plethora of missed chances. Over the two legs, they must be bewildered that it has been so complicated and, ultimately, harrowing.
Yet they came up against an inspired goalkeeper in Petr Cech and a team whose ethos was epitomised by Didier Drogba appearing in both full-back positions. Torres also slotted into defence after replacing the Ivorian on 81 minutes. Then consider that Chelsea, already without the injured David Luiz, also lost Gary Cahill throughout the opening stages with a hamstring problem.
Their supporters, on the highest rows of this vertiginous stadium, could never have imagined the team would have to play the majority of this match with a midfielder, Ramires, at right-back and two full-backs, Ivanovic and José Bosingwa, in the centre‑half positions. The Camp Nou is no place for a team with these kind of disadvantages, faced by a team that have made an art-form of picking off opponents who sit on the edge of their own penalty area.
Terry had badly let down his team-mates, felling Sánchez with no provocation, and it was difficult to sympathise regardless of the traumas he must now endure. Two minutes earlier, Isaac Cuenca had turned the ball across the penalty area for Busquets to open the scoring.
Barcelona were threatening to overwhelm their opponents and it was a complete dereliction of duty from such an experienced captain. The apology Terry later issued would have carried greater substance had he not already claimed it was an accident.
It was difficult not to fear for Chelsea at that point and even more so, seven minutes later, when another burst of short, incisive passing saw Sánchez and Messi combine to put Iniesta through to make it 2-0. Barcelona were suddenly in utter control and then, almost out of nowhere, Frank Lampard's pass had released Ramires and he was bearing down on goal. The Brazilian's finish was audacious and wonderfully executed, chipping his shot over Valdés.
Even then, the temptation was to favour Barcelona. Guardiola had started the match with three defenders and Busquets as the only classic holding midfielder. The other six players were all, in essence, attackers.
The movement, anticipation and speed was a blur and Chelsea would surely have been defeated if Messi, two minutes into the second half, had made the most of Drogba's trip on Cesc Fábregas inside the penalty area.
Messi has now failed to score in any of his eight games against Chelsea.
Barcelona have not beaten them in their last seven attempts. It was a desperate backs-to-the-wall operation and, for long spells, Barcelona's superiority was so marked the 10 men were just grateful for the breaks in play when they could catch their breath. But they survived and, in the process, reminded us why the Camp Nou was the place where "football, bloody hell" was formed.