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UCLRoundOf16: Six Things We Saw As Barcelona Trumped Chelsea At Camp Nou

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Barcelona safely navigated their way to their 11th-consecutive Champions League quarter-final courtesy of a masterclass from Lionel Messi.

Messi struck after 128 seconds and laid on a first Barca goal for Ousmane Dembele to leave Chelsea needing at least two goals to progress after just 20 minutes. Antonio Conte’s side did have chances to score, but squandered them all.

Messi then slotted home in the second half to put the tie out of reach, nutmegging Thibaut Courtois for the second time to give Ernesto Valverde’s side a 3-0 victory on the night and a 4-1 triumph on aggregate.

Barcelona will be considered among the favourites to win the tournament, even more so after a certain Argentinian forward reminded everyone of his brilliance, while Chelsea’s hopes of silverware rest solely on winning the FA Cup, following their lacklustre title defence and elimination from the Champions League.

Here is a round up of everything you may have missed from the clash at the Nou Camp…

Two Willians

Chelsea’s social media department accidentally named Willian twice in the starting line-up for their pre-match graphic.

The tricky Brazilian has been a bright spark for Chelsea as of late, so the desire to want his output twice is understandable, but Willian won’t want to remember this night at the Nou Camp for too long.

 

Argentina boss treated to a dose of the expected

Jorge Sampaoli tweeted ‘Yendo a ver a Leo’ prior to kick-off, which translates as ‘going to see Leo’. What he saw was sheer brilliance from Barcelona’s talisman.

The opening stages saw Messi score and lay on an assist for Ousmane Dembele’s first goal for the club, essentially taking the game away from Chelsea before the second-leg really got going. It was the kind of fast-start national team manager Sampaoli will want from Argentina at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

‘God save the king’

That was the message beamed across a giant tifo by members of the Barcelona faithful.

Messi didn’t need long to prove why such fan art exists, as he twice slotted home through the legs of Thibaut Courtois for his 99th and 100th goals in the Champions League.

‘The King’ missed Barcelona’s victory away at Malaga this past weekend as he was celebrating the birth of third son, Ciro, but brought his impeccable royal standards back to the Camp Nou on Wednesday night.

Rivalry

As far as Champions League rivalries go, Chelsea vs Barcelona certainly qualifies. The pair first did battle back in April 2000.

On that occasion the Blues won 3-1, before losing 5-1 in second-leg of the quarter-final, with Gianfranco Zola, Robbie Di Matteo, Pep Guardiola and Rivaldo all featuring. The two sides have since faced each other 13 more times, with both sides winning four games each.

Wednesday’s clash at the Nou Camp was the 14th encounter between Chelsea and Barcelona. Only two fixtures have been played more than this one in Europe’s elite competition: Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid (18) and Barcelona vs Milan (15).

Lionel Messi’s fastest ever goal

It took Messi just 128 seconds to open the scoring at the Nou Camp, and in doing so, he scored the fastest goal of his career.

Prior to tonight, his fastest goal came after 166 seconds against Celtic in the Champions League back in 2016, but he wasted no time in heaping misery on Chelsea in what was a season-defining fixture for Conte’s men.

Messi’s 601st career strike was the fastest goal of his career for both club and country.

Michael Ballack hasn’t forgotten

When Chelsea played Barcelona in 2009, there were four penalty incidents that could’ve gone Chelsea’s way, but didn’t. By the end of the match, Michael Ballack was so aggrieved at the officiating, that he chased referee Tom Henning Ovrebo across the pitch.

Nine years later, Ovrebo admits that he made ‘mistakes’ and that those errors cost Chelsea a place in the Champions League final. Against Barcelona, the Blues had similar reason to feel short-changed once again.

Marcus Alonso went down following a tackle from Gerard Pique in the box which led many to believe it was a penalty. Willian and Olivier Giroud were both booked for protesting, but referee Damir Skomina chose not to award a spot-kick.

Ballack, a member of the Chelsea side from their infamous clash in 2009, was quick to point out the supposed injustice, tweeting ‘same old story #referee #BARCHE’.

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