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Monday, July 16, 2018

Barcelona beat Chelsea 4-1, through to quarter finals of Champions League: As it happened

Lionel Messi scored two goals and provided another to end Chelsea's run in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi Barcelona vs Chelsea, Live Champions League score: Lionel Messi scored in the third minute of the game. (Source: Reuters)

The story of the second leg was somewhat similar to the first. Chelsea pushed and pushed. They made Barcelona work to get the ball and were dangerous when they were on it. The finishing in the final third deserted them and so did Thibaut Courtois’ lacklustre performance down the other end. But the main reason why Chelsea lost really, is the fact that Lionel Messi plays for Barcelona. The Argentine great was ruthless, making sure he ran the Chelsea defence ragged whenever he was on the ball and ended the match being only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to score 100 Champions League goals.

  1. 3:09AM
    15 Mar, 18
    FULL TIME! Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea (4-1 agg.)

    Chelsea pushed and pushed but in the end, they were beaten because Barcelona have Messi. Yes Courtois should have done a lot better and yes Chelsea could have been more clinical but if it wasn't for the Argentine legend, this would have been a match with a much closer scoreline. Barca are through, Chelsea are out. 

  2. 3:01AM
    15 Mar, 18
    85 mins

    That third goal was Lionel Messi's 100th goal in the Champions League. He is only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to have reached the three-figure mark in Europe's elite competition.

  3. 2:58AM
    15 Mar, 18
    82 mins

    Pedro comes on for Hazard, prompting a wave of applause around the Nou Camp. That shows that Antonio Conte has thrown the towel.

  4. 2:53AM
    15 Mar, 18
    76 mins

    Azpilicueta fouls Suarez and the latter goes down like his leg has been hit by a sledgehammer. It happens right in front of Antonio Conte who gives a wry smile and goes and goes to the third official, possibly to ask whether there are Academy Award nominations up for grabs.

  5. 2:50AM
    15 Mar, 18
    73 mins

    The ball just getting knocked about now. Chelsea, who kept fighting when they were 2-0 down, seem to have lost that vigour now. Morata drives in from the left and puts the ball in, no Chelsea player there to go for it

  6. 2:42AM
    15 Mar, 18
    66 mins

    There were some big celebrations on the Barca bench when Messi scored that goal and that shows how good Chelsea have been. Barcelona, or Messi rather, have been clinical, Chelsea haven't. Also, Thibaut Courtois is having a shocker. All three goals are the kind that he could have saved and he has also made a few mistakes in his delivery too. 

  7. 2:40AM
    15 Mar, 18
    GOAL! Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea (4-1 agg.) Lionel Messi 63 mins

    Messi again and that has to be the end of it. Chelsea have dominated the ball so far and Messi hasn't had much to do. But the one time he gets the ball, he veers past Moses into the box after taking the ball away from Azpilicueta, takes the shot at the near post, Courtois goes the wrong way and it is 3-0, two in the night for Messi

  8. 2:37AM
    15 Mar, 18
    60 mins

    A brief lull in the game as Barcelona do change Iniesta for Paulinho. In a rare occurrence, Sergio Busquets then gets subbed off, he seems to have hurt himself landing awkwardly after contesting a header with Giroud. 

  9. 2:30AM
    15 Mar, 18
    53 mins Chelsea push on

    This is much better from Chelsea in the second half, they are relentlessly pushing at the Barca defence and it seems Valverde is bringing on Paulinho for Iniesta to deal with the extra pressure 

  10. 2:27AM
    15 Mar, 18
    47 mins Chelsea scream for penalty

    Chelsea with a start that is neither assertive nor passive. Barca get a chance through a Courtois mistake but then Chelsea break, Willian, by far the best player for Chelsea this match, plays a one-two with Giroud, then lays it off for Alonso who is in and then goes down due to apparent nudge from Pique. Replays show that there may have been a slight touch but Alonso made too much of it. One could argue that Suarez got a penalty last season against PSG in a similar way. Giroud gets himself booked for screaming at the referee's face, Antonio Conte almost did an angry triple axle on the touch line. 

  11. 2:06AM
    15 Mar, 18
    HALF TIME! Barcelona 2-0 Chelsea (3-1 agg)

    The players walk off, Willian muttering niceties to the referee, Messi doing the same. It has been one strange half. Chelsea haven't been too far behind and Barcelona will not be too content with the way things stand. Lionel Messi has been the difference between the two sides.

  12. 2:04AM
    15 Mar, 18
    45 mins

    Chelsea win a free kick just right of centre around 20 yards away from goal. Marcos Alonso takes, directed at the top left corner and hits the post on the way out!

  13. 1:58AM
    15 Mar, 18
    38 mins Chelsea break!

    Kante makes his way into the box, gets a touch past a Barca defender which seems to prompt Fabregas on his right to take a shot. But Kante continued his run, probably intending to lay it off for Giroud or take the shot himself. Fabregas pulls out in the final second, avoiding an almighty clash of feet but Kante lets the ball roll across the face of goal. Fabregas would have been off side had he touched the ball. Just before that, Marcos Alonso took a shot from a Chelsea break from the edge of the box and it is straight at Ter Stegen

  14. 1:55AM
    15 Mar, 18
    36 mins

    Suarez cuts it in from the right side of goal to Messi but the pass has a little too much on it, he somehow gets it to Dembele who passes it to Alba. It comes to Iniesta who takes the shot but it is devoid of power or precision

  15. 1:53AM
    15 Mar, 18
    30 mins

    Messi receives the ball near the left touchline, Rudiger arrives on the scene and Messi changes direction quicker than Rudiger could bat an eyelid, ends up drawing a foul. It was a legitimate one, but Rudiger had as much knowledge of it as we have of an asteroid hitting the earth in the next 30 minutes

  16. 1:46AM
    15 Mar, 18
    27 mins, Barcelona 2-0 Chelsea

    Turn of pace from Andres Iniesta and he is in the box, lots of Chelsea shirts around him and Iniesta backheels it to Suarez who is in space because Iniesta has drawn the defenders. Suarez unable to finish it though and the ball gets away from them. Barca have now got Chelsea under their feet

  17. 1:41AM
    15 Mar, 18
    GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Chelsea, 3-1 agg. (Dembele 20 mins)

    Now it really is difficult for Chelsea. Messi takes the ball from Fabregas, nonchalantly gets past Christensen, Azpilicueta tries to keep up with him with little success. Messi takes a look to right, gets into the box, he has Suarez to his right and Dembele arriving further away and lays the ball to the latter, Dembele takes the shot first time and it goes past Courtois into goal. 

  18. 1:29AM
    15 Mar, 18
    10 mins, Barcelona 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea had a rather passive start and Barca punished them for it. Courtois won't be too happy with the way that he let that ball slip through his feet and so it is one of the luckier goals that Messi has scored in his career. Chelsea respond with Hazard charging down the right and putting the ball in low. Willian was the target but Pique gets in the way. They still need just one goal to level proceedings and take the game into extra time.

    Meanwhile, there used to be a goal drought once upon a time. 

    (Source: Reuters)

  19. 1:23AM
    15 Mar, 18
    GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Chelsea, 2-1 on agg. (Messi 3 mins)

    And straightaway. Barcelona kick off proceedings and take less than five minutes to go ahead. Messi gets away from a Chelsea man in the hypnotic way he does left side of the box, an attempted one-two with Dembele whose return pass bounces off Alonso, it goes to Suarez who lays it off brilliantly with the inside of his right foot and Messi then takes the shot from the acutest of angles and the ball goes through the legs of Thibaut Courtois and into goal. 

  20. 1:17AM
    15 Mar, 18
    The teams walk out

    Barcelona are employing a 4-4-2 with Messi and Suarez up front. Chelsea going for a 3-4-3

  21. 1:03AM
    15 Mar, 18
    The last time Chelsea visited the Nou Camp

    Is a memory Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Segio Busquets and a few others would like to forget. The year was 2012 Chelsea came into the match leading 1-0, scored an away goal and then parked the bus as Barcelona kept trying to find a way through. The final score of that second leg was 2-2, aggregate score was 3-2 and Chelsea who could only manage a sixth-place finish in the Premier League that season, beat Barcelona who were defending champions then. The Blues went on to win the Champions League, beating Bayern Munich in the final. They were led by an Italian back then, just as they are now, and had a rather beleaguered Spanish striker in their ranks, just as they do now. 

  22. 12:45AM
    15 Mar, 18
    TEAMS

    So N'golo Kante starts for Chelsea along with Olivier Giroud. Kante had not played in the first leg and his presence in midfield is always a reassuring sight for Chelsea fans. Pedro doesn't start against his former team and Morata is on the bench. Ousmane Dembele starts for Barcelona while Coutinho can't play because he is cup-tied. 

  23. 12:36AM
    15 Mar, 18
    A sleeping giant

    (Source: Reuters)

  24. 12:31AM
    15 Mar, 18
    TEAMS!

    Chelsea: Courtous, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Willian, Giroud, Hazard

    Subs: Caballero, Cahill, Zappacosta, Emerson, Bakayoko, Pedro, Morata.

    Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Pique, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Alba, Roberto, Umtiti

    Subs: Cillessen, Paulinho, Paco Alcácer, Digne, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen

  25. 12:16AM
    15 Mar, 18
    Welcome to the Champions League match between Barcelona and Chelsea

    The hype surrounding the apparent resurrection of English super clubs in the Champions League took a major blow after Manchester United's shocker against Sevilla. After their rather comical exit from the Champions League and Tottenham Hotspur's defeat to Juventus, it is only Chelsea and Manchester City holding the Premier League flag aloft. While City have sleepwalked their way to the quarter finals, Chelsea face Barcelona at the Nou Camp. If that wasn't bad enough, the score is 1-1, with Barcelona having the away goal advantage. It means Chelsea have to score at least one goal and no concede more than one to go through. Checkup the last Champions League Round of 16 second leg match that was played at the Nou Camp to know just how difficult that task can prove to be.