After a 1-1 first leg that hinged on one error gifting an equalizer to Barcelona, Chelsea upped the ante and gifted two goals to Barca in the first half. Courtois conceding between the legs from an extreme angle, then Fàbregas giving the ball away put Chelsea in too deep of a hole and were surely not part of Conte’s gameplan. Alonso hit the post in what was almost a semi-Ramires moment, then the same player was denied a fairly solid penalty shout early on in the second half.
And then it was over, despite Chelsea pushing for that goal and playing quite well. Ironically, Barcelona sealed the tie on yet another counter, unsurprisingly after another poor giveaway, with Messi scoring his third in two games against Chelsea.
The scoreline, either in this second leg or overall in the tie is hardly a “fair” reflection of the balance of play, but at the end of the day, only one team took advantage of their opportunities.
Chelsea’s Champions League campaign is over for this season. Now attentions to turn to making sure that we actually get to play in it again next season.
- Chelsea hit the woodwork four times in tie (Willian x2, Alonso, Rüdiger). Luck was not on our side.
- If Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois were looking to showcase their best qualities, they failed miserably.
- Chelsea out-shot Barcelona 14 to 8, but Barcelona put 7 of those 8 on target and Chelsea only managed 3. Quality where it counts.
- Next up: Leicester City, away in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Sunday. Last chance for a trophy.
Sorry, boys & girls, still on vacation.