I never thought I'd score! Torres looks forward to 'dream' final after beating Barca
09:01 GMT, 25 April 2012
Fernando Torres is delighted to have scored the goal that rubber-stamped Chelsea's place in the Champions League final – although the substitute admits he never envisaged such an opportunity would crop up.
The Blues somehow overcame John Terry's first-half sending off at the Nou Camp to progress to the Munich finale at the expense of Barcelona.
Head boys: Branislav Ivanovic celebrates with goal hero Fernando Torres after beating Barcelona
Chelsea were penned back for the most part as they looked to achieve progression from the semi-finals and saw it secured when Torres came off the bench to wrap up victory late on.
The Spanish international has an impressive record against Barca, netting seven goals in 10 league appearances for Atletico Madrid, and was delighted – if surprised – to add to his goal haul.
'I was not expecting to have any chances,' he said. 'I was playing almost as a left-back.
'The only chance we could have was on the counter-attack like this.
Last gasp: Torres rounds compatriot Victor Valdes to seal a dramatic victory for Chelsea
'One more goal against Barcelona. I have nice memories in this stadium, nice memories against them.
'But this one's more special than any one before because it helped us to go the final.
'I am very happy to be part of the game, to score the goal.
'To be in the Champions League final, obviously, is a dream come true for all the Chelsea players, for all the Chelsea supporters who come here and everyone watching the game at home.
All over: Torres stuns the Nou Camp with his last minute equaliser to win the game on aggregate
'It's the second Champions League final for Chelsea. Everyone knows what happened in the past with the penalty shoot-out.
'So, I think Chelsea deserved a second chance and we have the chance now.'
Chelsea came into last night's match boasting a 1-0 first-leg lead but went behind to goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, either side of Terry's sending off for inexplicably kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind.
But, while he scored the equalising goal, Torres was quick to highlight Ramires' superb goal in first-half stoppage time as the game-changing moment.
'It was frustrating to be on the bench watching the game,' he said. 'It's a difficult moment when you cannot help your team-mates.
'We are happy now but, to win the game, there were a lot of ups and downs.
Dream come true: Toprres revealed he was 'delighted' to fire Chelsea into the Champions League final
'When JT was sent off, when they scored the second one, it looked like everything was lost.
'And after Ramires scored to make it 2-1, at half-time we started believing that we could do it.
'That goal made us believe. That was the key for us.
'After the 2-2 and getting to the final, there are a lot of different emotions during the game, a day to remember.'
Chelsea will find out their opponents for the May 19 showpiece later today when Real Madrid and Bayern Munich meet for their semi-final second leg.
If it is Jose Mourinho's side, though, former Atletico striker Torres insists it would have no bearing on proceedings.
Party time: Torres was mobbed by his Chelsea team-mates after his sensational solo strike
'It doesn't matter,' he said. 'They have to play one more game and Bayern Munich are another great team.
'We are waiting for one of them in the final but the main thing is Chelsea's there and we have a chance to win it.
'If we play with this unity, we can beat anyone. To not lose against Barcelona in two games is quite difficult.
'Everyone at the club and the supporters have to be very proud.'
WHO MISSES THE FINAL FOR CHELSEA…
Chelsea's stunning Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona last night came at a heavy price as four players earned yellow or red cards that will rule them out of next month's final against either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.
Here Sportsmail looks at those who will be missing and what impact it might have on Roberto Di Matteo's side.
The captain's needless first-half red card for clashing with Alexis Sanchez will deny him the chance of redemption for his penalty shoot-out miss in Moscow four years ago, a mis-kick which cost Chelsea their first chance at Champions League glory.
But putting his personal disappointment aside, the loss of their defensive leader will surely leave a hole at the back that Chelsea – given their other absentees – will struggle to fill.
Ivanovic, who played most of last night's match as Chelsea's only regular centre-half, talked himself into a suspension when he was booked for dissent for arguing over the award of a penalty for Didier Drogba's foul on Cesc Fabregas.
Lionel Messi missed the spot-kick, but the punishment will still be felt by Ivanovic, who did not seem to realise the implications of the booking until he was told during a television interview after the match.
With Gary Cahill hobbling off last night with a muscular injury and Chelsea anxiously awaiting the results of tests, the loss of Ivanovic and Terry means Chelsea could need the injured David Luiz to shake off his own hamstring problem if they are not to go into the final without a single experienced central defender.
The Brazilian midfielder found himself playing much of last night's match at right-back in Chelsea's reshuffled backline. However, he still managed to get forward to score the dramatic 49th minute goal that would have been enough to send Chelsea through before Fernando Torres' late strike made sure.
His audacious chip over Victor Valdes came after he was booked for dissent late in the first half, meaning he already knew he would not be part of the final he was helping Chelsea to reach.
The Portuguese midfielder will pay a heavy price for the 90th minute booking he received for a late sliding tackle on Javier Mascherano. But the price Chelsea might pay remains to be seen as his absence alongside Ramires will rob Di Matteo of two of his more versatile midfield options.
Florent Malouda, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou are the players that might stand to benefit, but all have suffered from either injuries or indifferent form and they are likely to leave Chelsea weaker in the middle of the park.