Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has lauded the contribution of Chelsea midfielder Ramires to his side's remarkable two-legged victory over Barcelona.

The Brazilian scored Chelsea's opening goal as they fought back from 2-0 down to level the tie and progress 3-2 on aggregate to their second Champions League final in four years.

Chelsea looked to be heading out of the competition after 45 minutes when captain John Terry was sent off and goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta had given Barcelona a commanding advantage.

Chelsea's Didier Drogba and team mate Ramires celebrate after defeating Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final second leg match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. REUTERS

But Ramires gave Chelsea a lifeline when he latched on to Frank Lampard's through-ball to chip Victor Valdes from 15 yards. And Keown has praised the Brazilian's display at the Nou Camp and believes the young midfielder emulated Lionel Messi over the course of both legs.

"When I watched Ramires getting up and down the pitch at the Nou Camp, he was so fast it looked like he was on a motorbike at times," Keown told the Daily Mail.

"When you are running at pace, it is a very difficult skill to scoop the ball like he did over keeper Victor Valdes. A lot of players would be exhausted at the end of a run like that but he still had the energy to find a little piece of magic.

"It was a brilliant finish, full of imagination. It was something Lionel Messi would have been proud of."

Ramires' goal came just moments after he picked up a booking that will rule him out of the final. Indeed, the one sour note for Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is that suspensions have ruled Ramires, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles out of the trip to Munich.

Nevertheless, the Italian refused to dwell on his team selection for 16 May and instead hailed his side's "incredible achievement" in overcoming Barcelona.

"A lot of people had written us off and we showed again what kind of character these players have," Di Matteo said.

"[Barcelona] are a great team with great players. We showed what we're made of."

And Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard said the result was one the greatest results of his 11-year career at the club.

"It's one of the finest moments I've felt in a Chelsea shirt," he told BBC Sport. "It was backs to the wall. I know we dug in and people want to see beautiful football, but with 10 men for 50-odd minutes or whatever it was, to perform like that was unbelievable.

"That clock wasn't half slow in the second half. You know they're liable to score at any moment because of the players they've got in their team but there's a determination about us and you get what you deserve.

"We were all in it together and we dug in."