Messi breaks jinx against Chelsea

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Lionel Messi took eight matches and more than 730 minutes of football, but finally scored against Chelsea, and that too when it was needed the most as his late goal gave Barcelona a 1-1 draw in the first leg of a Champions League knockout stage tie.

This time roles were reversed for Barca's two all-time greats, with Iniesta providing the pass for Messi to score his first goal in nine attempts against Chelsea after pouncing on a mistake from 21-year-old centre-back Andreas Christensen. But although they could not capitalise before Willian scored his 62nd-minute opener, Chelsea did enough to make Barcelona take them seriously in the return leg.

He fine-tuned his radar after the interval, however, rifling home into Ter Stegen's bottom-left corner to give Chelsea the lead.

Chelsea's Willian, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, on Tuesday, Febriary 20, 2018.

Had man-of-the-match Willian scored rather than hitting the post twice in the first half, the London club might have been home and hosed by the time the Brazil worldwide did find the back of the net after the break.

"Apart from Willian's two shots to the post, the game was in our favour".

While Barcelona dominated possession, it was Chelsea who created the better chances, with Willian hitting the post twice in the first half and Eden Hazard volleying over from a good position.

"To play in the Nou Camp is totally different and we have go there with the same mentality and try to win the game".

"When you play against Barcelona you know very well that if you want to face them box-to-box then you are insane and you go to lose the game, not 1-0, (but) 4, 5, 6-0", said Conte. David Alaba played in Thomas Muller and the forward made no mistake from close range.

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"We were very close to playing a flawless game", he told reporters after the match.

'I feel that in his own eyes the game just slows down for him, ' Ferdinand said.

Whether or not the Blues boss opts for the same setup in the second leg remains to be seen although he did suggest that it would have been "suicidal" to play 3-5-2 with a striker against Barca.

"It won't be easy, we must be realistic because we are talking about Barcelona, and they showed they are a fantastic, strong team tonight".

"When you play this way, the coach doesn't have a doubt and you play".

"In our line of work, we always have a bag packed".

"I think when you play this game you must have a plan and respect the characteristics of the opponent".

"But I think it's okay - we can go to Barcelona and do a good job again".