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Chelsea vs. Barcelona: UEFA assigns ref who sent off John Terry in 2012

Having sent off John Terry when the last two clubs met in 2012, Alison Bender and former referee Peter Walton discuss what Chelsea and Barcelona can expect from referee Cuneyt Cakir.
Goals from Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were enough for Barcelona to see off 10-man Eibar and equal a club-record 31-match unbeaten run in La Liga.

Cuneyt Cakir will referee the Champions League round-of-16 first leg tie between Chelsea and Barcelona on Tuesday.

Cakir, 41, officiated when Chelsea held Barca to a 2-2 draw in a Champions League semifinal second leg at Camp Nou in 2012 and progressed to the final.

The Turkish official sent off John Terry in the 37th minute of that game for a foul on Alexis Sanchez but Chelsea fought back from two goals down to draw and reach the final 3-2 on aggregate

Cakir was also in charge when Barcelona won the 2015 final against Juventus in Berlin.

Meanwhile, Tom Henning Ovrebo has admitted that he "can't be proud" of his controversial refereeing performance that overshadowed Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the second leg of a dramatic 2009 Champions League semifinal tie.

Chelsea felt they were wrongly denied four clear penalties by Ovrebo at Stamford Bridge, while Barcelona were also aggrieved to see Eric Abidal sent off after the Norwegian referee judged that he had brought down Nicolas Anelka.

Michael Essien had given Chelsea the lead on the night and on aggregate with a spectacular first-half volley, but Andres Iniesta's strike in added time sent Barcelona through to the 2009 Champions League final courtesy of the away goals rule to the fury of Stamford Bridge.

Ovrebo bore the brunt; Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa were subsequently handed six and four-game bans by UEFA for venting their anger at the official's performance, while Chelsea were fined £85,000 for the conduct of their players and "the throwing of missiles by supporters."

In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca as the two clubs prepare to meet again, Ovrebo -- now retired from refereeing -- conceded that he made "several errors."

Asked if he was proud of his performance, Ovrebo said: "No, not at all. It was not my best day, really. But those mistakes can be committed by a referee ... and sometimes a player or a coach. Some days you're not at the level you should be. But no, I can't be proud of that performance.

"There were several errors and everyone will have their opinion of those plays. But, I insist, the players and the coaches also fail, and nothing happens. I am proud of having had a long career and having been in the European elite for a while, and among the best in my country at least.

"That's why you can't remember me or my career just for that game, although some people do so... unfortunately."

Two of Ovrebo's most egregious errors on the night were failing to award Chelsea penalties when Anelka's flick struck the hand of Gerard Pique and, in the final seconds following Iniesta's goal, when Samuel Eto'o used his left arm to block Michael Ballack's goal-bound shot on the line.

"Yes, they were handball situations," Ovrebo said of the incidents. "I judged them on the pitch and I think it is not interesting to know what I think of those actions once judged, although I understand that people think differently to the decisions I made at the time. That discussion will continue eternally."

Ovrebo did, however, insist that his decisions were not affected by the size of the occasion. "No, I was used to the pressure," he explained. "You simply see the plays differently. That's it."

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.


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