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1 - 1
L. Messi (75)
Chelsea v Barcelona Live Commentary,
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1 - 1
1 - 0
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
Neither side will be too unhappy with that result, although Chelsea will certainly feel slightly disappointed at failing to leave with what would have arguably been a well-deserved 1-0 win. All it took was one mistake from the home side, which was pounced upon by Messi and slotted into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. The second leg is set to be another fascinating encounter!
FULL-TIME: CHELSEA 1-1 BARCELONA
90' + 3'
Morata is penalised for a handball, and Barcelona are presented with one final opportunity to push forward. They move the ball around quickly before trying to find space down the right wing, but they're unable to do so and have to head back to the halfway line. That should be that.
90' + 2'
Alba pushes into the Chelsea half of the pitch and quickly tries to tee up Suarez just outside of the hosts' penalty area. The striker leaves the pass for a team-mate, but there's nobody there to meet the ball and it rolls straight into the hands of Courtois.
90' + 1'
Iniesta is serenaded by the travelling fans as he makes way for Gomes for the final minute or so.
Hazard dances his way through the middle of the pitch as he heads towards the Barcelona box. He's unable to get the better of Busquets, however, as the midfielder sticks out a foot and cynically trips the Belgian to the ground to earn himself a late yellow card.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
Barcelona have taken their foot off the pedal slightly, allowing Chelsea to see more of the ball as we near the 90-minute mark. The hosts are struggling to do much with it, though, and Barcelona eventually win a free-kick on the halfway line after Suarez is clipped by Drinkwater as they battle for a loose ball.
Morata was especially convinced that Chelsea should have been awarded a corner, and he's quickly booked by the referee for dissent.
Chelsea string together a good series of passes and do well to win themselves a free-kick 30 yards away from goal. It's sent short and eventually worked over to Moses, who believes he's won his side a corner with a deflected long-range strike but instead gives away a goal-kick.
And now the hosts have made their second switch, with Fabregas making way for Drinkwater.
Chelsea have made their first change of the night with Morata coming on to take the place of Pedro.
Umtiti clumsily runs the ball out of play, and it presents Chelsea with a corner over on the right flank. It's swung over to the far post and finds Rudiger, who tries to nod the ball down to Christensen in front of goal but can't quite keep it in play.
Rudiger dives into Roberto and catches the right-back on the top of the foot with a late challenge, leaving the referee with no choice but to show him a yellow card.
Suarez darts down the left flank as he tries to latch onto the ball in a promising position. It initially looks as if he's managed to get the better of Christensen, but he's penalised for pulling back the Danish centre-back.
Willian latches onto a deflected ball just outside of the Barcelona box and quickly sets up Moses to his right. The wing-back takes a touch and shoots, but Alba is there to make sure the strike doesn't test Ter Stegen.
Suarez reacted incredibly angry to not being awarded a penalty, and he's shown a yellow card for dissent after the Barcelona celebrations die down.
That was a really bad mistake by Christensen, but Iniesta did well to make it count. He could have gone for goal himself but put the ball on a plate for Messi instead.
GOAL! Barcelona have equalised! Moments after Suarez goes down inside the box without winning a penalty, the visitors make Chelsea pay for a sloppy piece of defending. A poor pass from Christensen rolls across the edge of the penalty area and finds Iniesta, who quickly tees up Messi to beat Courtois with a brilliantly placed finish into the bottom corner of the net.
Chelsea are temporarily down to 10 men as Willian receives treatment for a bloody nose. Barcelona try to make their numerical advantage count, but Iniesta can't get the better of Fabregas inside the penalty area and the home side hold on.
There's a brief bit of concern over on the Chelsea bench after Willian goes down off the ball, but he's quickly able to rejoin the action and help to bring another attempted Barcelona move to an end.
Another attempted Barcelona attack fails to come to anything, and Chelsea immediately hit the Blaugrana on the break. Willian darts deep into the visitors' half of the pitch and tries to pick out Kante, but he can't quite poke his pass into the path of the Frenchman inside the box.
Barcelona keep coming back, and once again it's Alba who fires a hopeful cross into the middle of the box. This time it's Azpilicueta who clears the danger, however, and it forces the visitors into starting over from the halfway line as they desperately try to find a way back into the game.
Suarez picks up possession on the edge of the Chelsea box and tries to shoot, but he's unable to and instead works the ball over to Alba. The full-back then chips a cross into the heart of the penalty area, where Kante is able to head the ball away from danger.
Barcelona have made their first alteration of the evening, with Paulinho making way for Vidal.
It was Hazard who poked the ball over to Willian, but that goal was all about the Brazilian. On two occasions he managed to hit the post in the first half, and he's finally been able to put his side in front with an excellent shot.
GOAL! Chelsea take the lead! The home side are able to string together a decent series of passes, and the attacking move ends with a corner after Fabregas' low shot from 25 yards out is deflected behind by Umtit. It's sent short and worked over to Willian, who this time manages to find the back of the net with a thumping strike from the edge of the penalty area.
A clever chipped pass from Iniesta looks set to pick out Alba, who had made a quick run into the Chelsea penalty area, but Azpilicueta deals with the danger before Moses accidentally knocks the ball behind for another corner. Once again, Rakitic's cross is poorly hit and makes life easy for Courtois.
Suarez twists and turns over on the left wing, where he can't get the better of Moses and has to settle for a corner. Rakitic's cross is whipped into the heart of the penalty area and towards Pique, but it's comfortably collected by Courtois.
Hazard picks up the ball in a pocket of space and immediately darts towards the Barcelona back line. It looks as if he's going to set up Moses over on the right flank, but he loses his footing at the vital moment and sends the ball straight to Iniesta.
Hazard is brought down deep inside the Barcelona half of the pitch, and the visitors quickly break away on a counter-attack. Messi gets himself into a good position and heads towards the box, where he tries to pick out Iniesta but can't guide his pass past Kante.
Chance for Suarez! The Uruguayan has been really quiet tonight, but he's finally able to test Courtois after darting into the left-hand side of the Chelsea penalty area. He does well to latch onto a clever Iniesta pass and shoot, but his low effort is comfortably stopped by the outstretched arm of the Blues' goalkeeper.
Chelsea have started the second half in much the same way they finished the first, and they're doing well to deny Barcelona any space behind their back line. It's left the Blaugrana scratching their heads as they attempt to find a way through.
An attempted Barcelona attacking move fails to come to anything and Chelsea break away quickly. They work the ball nicely down the left wing before Hazard is set up inside the box, where he goes do while battling for the ball with Umtiti but fails to win his side a penalty.
Iniesta picks up the ball midway inside the Chelsea half of the pitch and quickly takes on Moses. He's able to get the better of the wing-back and shoots from 20 yards out, but his strike is poorly hit and sails well wide of the goal.
We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Barcelona have bossed possession so far but it's Chelsea who have gone closest to opening the scoring. On two separate occasions Willian hit the post with excellent long-range strikes, giving Barcelona plenty to think about at the half-time break. The Blues have sat deep and defended well, and they've certainly impressed when hitting their opponents on quick counter-attacks.
HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 0-0 BARCELONA
Barcelona come back once again through Messi, who darts into the left-hand side of the penalty area after shrugging aside two players. He then sends a low pass across the face of goal, but Azpilicueta is there to blast it away from danger.
The sting seems to have disappeared from Barcelona's attacking moves over the last 10 minutes or so. Messi darts around the edge of the Chelsea penalty area before being forced out wide, where Roberto swings in a cross that can only find a blue shirt in front of goal.
And now Hazard goes close! Alonso is clumsily fouled by Roberto, presenting Chelsea with a free-kick in a promising position. Fabregas' cross into the box can't quite find Christensen but bounces out to Hazard, who unleashes a thumping volley from the edge of the penalty area that flies just a yard or two over the top of the crossbar.
Willian hits the post again! A poor touch from Roberto knocks the ball over to Hazard, who immediately cuts it back to Willian. The Brazilian unleashes another wonderful shot from 20 yards out, but it smashes the woodwork once again after beating Ter Stegen. Unbelievable!
After struggling to find a way through the Chelsea back line on the ground, Barcelona instead try to catch them out with a long ball. It's Pique who blasts a pass deep into the home side's half of the pitch, where Paulinho rises high but loses out to Alonso.
The set-piece is swung in by Rakitic and manages to pick out Pique on the edge of the six-yard box. The centre-back is able to get a head on the ball, but he does so while tangling with Rudiger and sends a glancing header well wide of the goal.
Messi pops up in a pocket of space just outside of the hosts' box, presenting him with a good opportunity to break into the penalty area. He's unable to do so due to good defending from Christensen but Alba takes over out wide, where he takes on Moses and has to settle for a corner.
After spending most of the opening half an hour on the back foot, Chelsea are now enjoying a decent period of possession. Hazard twists and turns deep down the left flank as he tries to find a way into the box, but he's dealt with well by the visitors and has to work the ball back to Rudiger on the halfway line.
Willian hits the post! Hazard latches onto a loose ball and quickly darts towards the Barcelona penalty area. He's held up by Roberto but spins and finds Willian, who cuts onto his right foot and unleashes a curling strike that smashes the woodwork after leaving Ter Stegen rooted to the spot.
It's been a really impressive display from Azpilicueta so far. Once again he's able to bring an end to an attempted Barcelona attacking move, with Suarez unable to link up with Messi due to good play from the defender inside the Chelsea box.
Alonso steps up and shoots from the set-piece, but he isn't quite able to strike the ball as well as he would like and his curling effort is comfortably stopped by Ter Stegen at the near post.
The yellow card is out for the first time tonight, and it's Rakitic who finds himself on the receiving end. Willian darts through a group of Barcelona players as he heads towards the penalty area, where he's cynically clipped from behind by Rakitic, resulting in a free-kick in a dangerous position.
A slightly sloppy piece of play from Barcelona presents Chelsea with a rare opportunity to hit their opponents on the counter-attack. Hazard quickly tries to pick out Pedro, who makes a good run into the box, but his pass is hit slightly too early and fails to find a way past Roberto.
Kante loses out to Rakitic and Barcelona push forward once again. Paulinho does really well to muscle his way through a sea of blue as he charges down the right wing, but his low cross into the penalty area is slightly mishit and can only find the hands of Courtois.
Alba and Suarez try to link up deep down the left wing as Barcelona continue putting plenty of pressure on the Chelsea back line. It initially looks as if the Uruguayan has managed to get the better of Moses, but he ends up fouling the wing-back and the home side are able to pick up possession for the first time in several minutes.
A wonderful pass from Messi bypasses the Chelsea midfield and picks out Iniesta on the edge of the hosts' box. The Spaniard quickly finds Messi once again and the forward tries to pull off a flicked pass, but he can't quite poke it past Fabregas and Courtois is eventually able to pounce on the loose ball.
A scuffed, misplaced pass from Christensen fails to find Azpilicueta, resulting in a corner for Barcelona. It's sent short and worked over to Rakitic, whose low cross into the box is a dangerous one but well dealt with by Moses after Pique can't quite control the ball.
Once again, Barcelona try to find joy over on the left flank, where Alba attempts to get the better of Moses. He's unable to do so, though, as the Nigeria international stands firm and comfortably blocks the full-back's cross towards Suarez.
Another looping cross causes a few problems for the Chelsea defence, as Rudiger can only send his attempted clearance out to Suarez. The Uruguayan shoots from the edge of the penalty area, but his strike is easily blocked by Alonso before it can test Courtois.
What an opportunity for Paulinho! Messi links up nicely with Iniesta and quickly lifts a lovely cross into the heart of the hosts' box. Paulinho is able to get the better of Alonso before sending a header towards goal, where it bounces a few yards wide of the post and behind for a goal-kick.
Hazard picks up the ball out wide and immediately bursts forward on a beautiful run. He beats Paulinho and dances his way into the penalty area before trying to tee up Fabregas with a clever cut-back, but he can't quite pick out the Spaniard and the visitors are able to hold on.
Barcelona win back possession and continue patiently passing the ball around inside the hosts' half of the pitch. Iniesta eventually tries to pick out Suarez inside the box, but Azpilicueta is there to stick out a foot and deal with the danger.
Chance for Rudiger! Willian pops up in a pocket of space over on the right flank and quickly whips in a low cross that's cleared behind for a corner. Rudiger rises high and latches onto the set-piece, but he can't quite hit the target with his downward header.
Willian is barged into by Alba, resulting in a free-kick for Chelsea in a promising position 30 yards away from goal. Fabregas steps up and chips a cross into the penalty area, but it's underhit and easily headed away by Busquets.
Thumping strike by Hazard! The home side do well to win the ball back and quickly push forward once again. Hazard skips past Alba on the edge of the Barcelona box and immediately shoots, and his rocket of a shot sails just a yard or two over the top of the crossbar.
Sloppy play by Barcelona allows Hazard to pick up the ball in the middle of the pitch, and Chelsea push forward on their first proper attack of the evening. Hazard cuts onto his right foot and knocks a pass into the path of Willian, who tries to get the better of Alba but can't quite squeeze past the left-back.
It's Barcelona who start the game on the front foot as they patiently work their way deep into the Chelsea half of the pitch. Messi breaks into the left-hand side of the penalty area and chips a cross over to the far post, where it can only find the chest of Alonso.
We're off! Chelsea get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off. The atmosphere inside the stadium is electric, with both sets of fans in fine voice.
Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has named an unchanged side to the one that featured in their last outing, with Messi and Suarez once again starting as a front two with Paulinho just behind. There’s no place in the squad for Philippe Coutinho, who is cup tied, but Dembele is fit again and available if needed.
Antonio Conte has decided to make seven changes to the Chelsea side that started the win against Hull in the FA Cup, with Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Moses, Kante, Alonso and Hazard all returning to the starting line-up after being rested. The latter is set to feature as a false nine, with Giroud and Morata both named on the substitutes’ bench.
Barcelona substitutes: Jasper Cillessen, Lucas Digne, Thomas Vermaelen, Andre Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Denis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona XI (4-1-2-1-2): Marc-Andre Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets; Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta; Paulinho; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez.
Chelsea substitutes: Willy Caballero, Davide Zappacosta, Gary Cahill, Danny Drinkwater, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud, Alvaro Morata.
Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Thibaut Courtois; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Victor Moses, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Marcos Alonso; Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro.
There’s just under 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
To make matters better for Conte’s side, Lionel Messi is yet to find the back of the net against Chelsea in the Champions League. The Argentine, who has 29 goals to his name this season, has played 655 minutes against the Premier League side without success, and against no other team has he played for so long without scoring. Will that barren run come to an end tonight and help give Barcelona a much-needed advantage to take back to Camp Nou?
While Chelsea have only won four of their previous 12 games in all competitions, they head into this evening’s game with history on their side. It’s now almost exactly 12 years since the Blues last lost against the Spanish giants, with the last west London meeting between the two teams seeing Chelsea pick up a 1-0 victory on their way to winning the 2012 edition of this very competition.
A thoroughly impressive Barcelona side have been in near-unbeatable form this season, resulting in them both leading LaLiga by seven points and topping their Champions League group with 14 points from a possible 18. Only Espanyol have managed to get the better of the Blaugrana in their last 38 games, a run stretching all the way back to August’s Supercopa and one that bodes well for tonight’s hugely important tie.
Chelsea narrowly missed out on topping their Champions League group after being held to a draw by Atletico Madrid on the final day but have so far been beaten just once in Europe this campaign. They comfortably stuck four past Hull City on Friday evening but have suffered heavy defeats against Bournemouth and Watford in recent weeks, highlighting a worrying defensive frailty that could be exposed by their opponents’ incredibly deadly front line this evening.
A slightly topsy-turvy season has left Chelsea fighting for a top four finish rather than the Premier League title, so with only the FA Cup and Champions League left to play for, the Blues’ focus has turned to Europe’s premier competition and a huge clash against one of the continent’s finest outfits. Antonio Conte’s men will certainly have to be at their best tonight if they’re to progress to the final eight.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Champions League last-16 first leg between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.