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Mar 15, 2018



Lionel Messi scored two goals and created the other one in a 3-0 demolition of Chelsea securing a record 11th Consecutive Quarter Final appearance in UEFA Champions League.



Lionel Messi celebrating Scoring against Chelsea

Lionel Messi, once again was the difference maker for Barca in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League 2017-18 Pre-Quarter Knockout tie. The little Argentinian scored two goals and created the other one in a very efficient 3-0 victory against Chelsea. In the process he became the second player in UEFA Champions League history to score 100 goals. The 3-0 scoreline may give a picture of the match being too comfortable; but this match was like the Atletico match where we were made to suffer; may be a lot more than Atletico. But like against Atletico, we clearly shut down Chelsea from making anything much of the game.




FC Barcelona gets the Dream Start they Craved For


The biggest talk in the build up of match was whether Iniesta will start and I myself predicted in the preview that Valverde won't risk it. But Valverde surprised everyone by starting Iniesta and also Demebele in the starting line-up. The match started as expected with Chelsea sitting deep and Barcelona going on the offense. In the third minute, the game destiny changed completely with a bit of luck. Lionel Messi darted into the Chelsea box with the ball on the left, tried to play a one two with Dembele, Demebele's return pass was blocked by defender but it fell to Saurez; who in turn found Messi close to the touch line; and Messi scored the quickest goal he has ever scored through the legs of Courtois.


The game literally changed from then on. For Chelsea despite conceding the goal, the equations remained more or less similar. But their reaction to the goal was excellent. There was suddenly a spring in their steps and they were pressing hard and Barcelona for once was getting seriously bothered with the pressing. Despite all of Chelsea's efforts Barca defense never gave a decent sniff to their opponents. Every shot was blocked or intercepted by the one of the back four. Then in the 20th minute Barca literally finished off the tie with an excellent counter-attacking goal from Dembele. Once again it was all Messi who won the ball in middle and raced towards the Chelsea goal dragging almost five defenders to him and then squared the ball to Demebele spotting his run. It was impossible for Chelsea to come back from that position.


He’s a player who can change the final result for any team he is playing in. But he started to play with Barcelona and, for sure, he will finish his career in Barcelona. Many teams can hope to have him in their team, but it won’t be possible. This is a great story for Barcelona and Messi. This type of player is born once every 50 years. We are talking about one single player with this capacity, with this ability, with these skills. He’s fantastic.Antonio Conte

Chelsea to their credit still kept trying but never had any serious chance. Barcelona had shots from Saurez being blocked by the keeper and Pique also came close to scoring from a free kick. Towards the end of the first half Barca conceded a free kick just outside of the box, luckily for us Alonso could only hit the outside of the post from the free kick.


Chelsea started Dominating the Second Half


The second half was completely different with Barca completely struggling against Chelsea's pressing. The first chance of half fell to Saurez who was gifted the ball by the keeper but failed to beat him. After that it was all one way attack from Chelsea. Never seen a Barca side struggle this much; we were at time struggling to get out of our own half. May be due to the 2 goal cushion, our players also were taking it a bit lightly. Despite all the pressure, our defense never crumbled. But all the pressure made up for a nervous watching in the second half.


Then against the run of play we scored the third to seal off a wonderful night. Jordi Alba stole the ball half way down the pitch and released Saurez on a counter attack. Saurez held the ball spotting Messi's run from right and back heeled to the Argentinian. Messi drifted wide dragging all defenders along with him and finished through the legs of Courtois. This was the kind of goal Messi used to score regularly some seasons back, especially under Guardiola.


This match didn't see the most beautiful football from Barca, but they showed the efficient side of football. To win 3-0 against this Chelsea side and that too by never getting seriously out of second gear shows the actual potential of the team. Iniesta was pretty subdued understandably so, as he is getting back from an injury. That could be the major reason why our midfield got dominated at times. But the we had Messi and that always make the difference.

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