Outstanding decision-making and positioning to force Barcelona's attackers into finishes that they couldn't pull off. Comfortably pawed away the powerful finishes lashed at his goal and made one of the saves of the season to keep out Puyol's late header.
Rose to the occasion with an outstandingly alert defensive display, capped by the latest in a long line of crucial goal-line clearances when he kept out Fabregas' dink on the cusp of half-time.
Chelsea's deep defensive line suited their captain but he led from the front by leading with such commitment and fortitude from the back.
Struggled to cope with the mesmerising and relentless Barcelona attacks in the first half but made two excellent blocks early in the second, when the crowd responded by chanting his name. His head will still be spinning by the time the return leg kicks off but he can hold it high.
Lost possession too easily high up the pitch on a few occasions but recovered through a combination of illegal and desperate means.
Unleashed by Di Matteo to snap at the ankles of Barcelona's pass masters, the Portuguese was in full dog-of-war mode with two ill-timed early challenges and a series of cynical attempts at disrupting the rhythm of the hosts.
J. Obi Mikel
Kept his concentration superbly to close down the space in which Messi normally sparkles.
His sublime scheming was sacrificed for an unfamiliar role on the right of Chelsea's deeply defensive five-man midfield. Stuck to his task but rarely threatened. Subbed with 20 minutes left.
Provided energy, heart and defensive nous in his left flank role, which he decorated with a brilliant run and cross-pass to set up Drogba for Chelsea's goal.
Played a memorable hand in Chelsea's goal by robbing Messi of possession and launching a glorious ball to Ramires to set in motion the move for Drogba's strike.
Some of his antics would not have looked out of place at the local amateur dramatics society but held the ball up manfully - and brilliantly at times - in the most lonely of lone targetman roles. Took his goal on the cusp of half-time with aplomb.
Spent most of the evening in his quasi-sweeper role but his reflexes were rather dozy for Drogba's goal.
Provided a dangerous outlet on the left flank and came close to grabbing an equaliser with a splendid run early in the second half.
Made some bombing raids down the right but met his match in the outstanding Cole.
The Captain Caveman look-a-like had a thunderous, raw-boned battle with Drogba but will not enjoy watching the highlights of the Ivorian's goal.
Against the muscular brilliance of Drogba, looked what he is - a converted defender just about holding his own in a brilliant team.
Fused relentless pressing when he didn't have the ball with silky smooth distribution when he did. Blazed over the bar in added time with the goal at his mercy.
Married twinkling feet with Einstein-like intelligence. Danced through the Chelsea defence on countless occasions like Frank Sinatra gliding across the stage.
The conductor of the Barca orchestra set the tone for his team's dominance with tuneful distribution. Completed 88 per cent of his 126 passes before being subbed late on.
Heavily involved in Barcelona's silky smooth possession game and floated into some dangerous positions but guilty of wasteful finishing. Scuffed an early sitter and his dinked chip shortly before half-time was cleared off the line by Cole.
His extraordinary skill lit up west London and will give Chelsea's defenders a headache that lasts for another week but he could not find the finish to decorate his brilliant build-up play. Furthermore, most of his free-kicks were disappointing.
His speed and mobility on the right flank got him into some good positions but lobbed his first excellent opportunity onto the crossbar and his second inexplicably wide of the post. Withdrawn midway through the second half.