Sports

UEFA Champions League: Lionel Messi Breaks Chelsea Jinx As Barcelona Draw, Bayern Munich Thrash Besiktas

NEWS WORLD INDIA | 0
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| February 21 , 2018 , 13:43 IST

Lionel Messi ended his drought against Chelsea as he bagged a crucial away goal for Barcelona in the first leg in the round of 16 on Tuesday. The match ended with a 1-1 scoreline.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte surprised everyone by leaving out both his strikers Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata out of the starting line-up. He went with Eden Hazard up top as a false nine, to set his team up for counter-attacks against a team known to control the game via heavy possession.

Barcelona did just that with Messi dictating the play from the onset, chipping the ball into dangerous areas only to see his teammates heading them wide.

Chelsea winger Willian was a livewire in the first half being a constant threat with his direct attacking intent, causing problems for the Barcelona defence. His persistence almost paid off-twice, as two of his shots hit either side of the goalpost. In the dying minutes of the half, Hazard then volleyed just over as Chelsea ended the half on a high.

Antonio Conte’s gameplan was working well as his team carefully carved out opportunities from their minimal possession, waiting to pounce at the right time. Luckily for them, they did in the second half, as Willian was third time lucky when he curled one past Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 62nd minute.

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But, the joy of The Blues was shortlived as a defensive mistake, as a loose ball was picked Andres Iniesta who drove to the by-line before squaring it to Messi whose first-time shot saw the ball in the back of the net in the 75th minute.

Elsewhere, German giants and Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich thrash 10-man Turkish side Besiktas by putting five goals past them.

Disaster struck for Besiktas after just 16 minutes when Domagoj Vida was sent off bringing down Lewandowski when the Poland striker was through on goal.

Besiktas fought gallantly and held firm until just before half-time when Bayern captain Mueller scored from close range. This led to the floodgates to be opened. Robert Lewandowski scored twice along with Mueller and Kingsley Coman solidifying Bayern Munich’s stronghold of the tie, and a 5-0 goal advantage.