UCL: Messi brace annihilates Chelsea, Bayern advance
March 14 23:26 2018 îPrint This Article î¼Share it With Friends ð'¤by Jonathan Ledger î 0 Comments Advertisement
Barcelona defeated an enterprising but error-strewn Chelsea 3-0 at the Camp Nou to advance into the Quarter final of the UEFA Champions League thanks to a brace and an assist from Lionel Messi.
Both sides made one change apiece to their starting XI from the first leg, Oliver Giroud replacing Pedro for Chelsea. Barcelona replaced Paulinho with fit-again summer signing Ousmane Dembele, while Lionel Messi returned after the birth of his son, Ciro, over the weekend.
Any hopes Chelsea had of defending all night was banished by Messi in the third minute when Chelsea had barely touched the ball. A string of Barcelo na passes led to the new father slotting under Courtois from a very acute angle.
Chelsea however responded well, driven forward by both Hazard and Willian, with Victor Moses having a penalty appeal dismissed while Willian forced a good save from Ter Stergen.
Chelseaâs valiant attempt at a comeback was quickly dispelled in the 20th minute, no thanks to former Barcelona midfielder, Cesc Fabregasâ error. The Chelsea midfielder was dispossessed in the centre circle by Messi and the mercurial forward stormed past two defenders before passing to Dembele whose shot found the top corner despite the best effort of the out-of-sorts Courtois to make it 2-0.
Barca were relentless and Iniestaâs backheeled pass found Suarez who shot straight at Courtois while Pique couldnât connect with a Messi free kick as the Catalans sought to put the game to bed early.
Willian broke free on the counter, and from his cutback Marcos Alonsoâs shot was saved and Giroudâs follow -up blocked, while Kanteâs shot wide from inside the six yard box. Alonsoâs free kick hit the bar from 25 yards as Chelsea finished the half on a high despite being two goals down.
Chelsea had a strong penalty claim waved off by the referee early in the second half, Alonso crumbling under a push from Pique but the referee would have none of it. Chelseaâs entire backline were, however, all over the place and they soon gifted Barca the third goal, and Messi his 100th Champions League goal to join Cristiano Ronaldo in the exclusive centurion club. Captain, Cesar Azpilicuetaâs misplaced pass was picked up by Suarez who found Messi and the little magician slotted under an abject Courtois with his defenders stumbling all over the box.
It was easy onward for Barca as they reduced the tempo despite Chelsea refusing to give up without a clear-cut opportunity, but Messi and Paulinho were denied by Courtois as Los Cules advanced to the quarter final for the 11th co nsecutive season.
Earlier in the evening, Bayern Munich completed an 8-1 aggregate win over Besiktas to stroll into the UCL Quarter finals. Thiago AlcÃ¡ntara, Timo Werner and a GÃ¶khan GÃ¶nÃ¼l own goal gave the German champions a 3-1 in Istanbul, VÃ¡gner Love scoring Besiktasâ consolation goal to suffer the seasonâs worst aggregate scoreline of the round.
BESIKTAS 1-3 BAYERN MUNICH (Bayern Munich advance 8-1 on aggregate)
BARCELONA 3-0 CHELSEA (Barcelona advance 4-1 on aggregate)