Messi majestic as Barcelona crush Chelsea

Annette Crawford
March 15, 2018

"It was a mistake on my part", said Courtois.

'It is a joy to reach 100 goals in this handsome competition, ' Messi said.

"God save the king", read a banner wielded by Barcelona fans at the start of the game, accompanied by an image of Messi celebrating after the extraordinary 6-1 triumph over Paris St Germain last season.

Chelsea were unfortunate only to take a draw from the first leg at Stamford Bridge, where Lionel Messi's equaliser spoiled an otherwise dominant Blues performance. Chelsea have shown that they are a very organised team with clear ideas about how they want to play and players up front who are very risky and very quick.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says good players want to compete in matches like these this: "Every player must be excited to play this kind of game". They are moments that we have to suffer. The best in the world. "This type of player is born once in 50 years".

Barcelona will make a late decision on whether captain Andres Iniesta is fit to face Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday, coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed. The hosts also stayed in contention for a rare treble of titles.

Just like Hazard who's bagged three goals in the Champions League. It is now in fifth place.

The victor of Wednesday's second leg will advance to the quarterfinals.

As it stands, Chelsea join fellow Premier League clubs Manchester United and Tottenham in exiting at this stage, while Barca join fellow La Liga giants Real Madrid and Sevilla in the quarter-finals.

But Messi needed very little to poke a hole in Chelsea's wall.

"This was a tough match and we were strong as a team".

That ability to know exactly what his teammates need was clear when Messi swooped in to steal the ball from Fabregas in midfield and charged toward the box.

He simply shot through Courtois and into the corner of the net.

His first of the game came after two minutes and eight seconds, the quickest goal of his career.

Marcos Alonso was unlucky to hit the post from a free kick in the 45th minute, then even unluckier to be denied a penalty when he was shoved down in the box just after the break.

The midfielder has been included in the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury and his return would represent a major boost to Barcelona's hopes.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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