All of Chelsea’s excellent work was undone in one moment, a loose ball played across our own penalty area in between two players. Iniesta pounced, passed to Messi, who broke his personal scoreless streak against Chelsea after 730 minutes, and in the process equalized for the visitors.
Chelsea had taken the lead through a wonderful shot from Willian, who had hit the post twice in the first half, and had wasted multiple opportunities on the counter to add to it before Messi’s heart-breaker.
While the 1-1 is not a disaster, it does mean that Chelsea need to score in the second leg at the Nou Camp in a couple weeks to have any hope of advancing.
We’ll take hope from playing very well for large parts of the match. We’ll need similar effort in the upcoming games against Manchester City, Manchester United, and Barcelona again. (And all the others as well of course.) If we play like this the rest of the season, we’ll accomplish at least our minimum targets.
- Rakitic lucky to escape two second yellows, twice, even, in the first half as the refereeing remained rather random throughout the match.
- Willian now on 11 goals for the season, just one below his career high.
- Conte surprised with the all-smalls starting forward trio, but it proved a solid choice in the end. Chelsea outshot Barcelona with ease and were very unlucky to score just once.
- Next up: Manchester United away on Sunday.
Due to prior commitments, this won’t be happening until tonight/tomorrow morning.