Barcelona are safely through to the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to an impressive 3-0 win against Chelsea in the second leg at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana were very good with and without the ball for 90 minutes, and pretty much cruised to a place in the Last Eight of the European Cup. Oh, and Lionel Messi completely destroyed Chelsea. Forgot about that.
An early goal always helps in big games, and Barça got one after Lionel Messi made a one-two with Ousmane Dembélé, then a Chelsea defender, then Luis Suárez, and finished the move off with a nutmeg on Thibaut Courtois for the opening goal. It was the fastest goal of Messi’s career and it made things a lot easier for Barça.
The Blaugrana didn’t take the win for granted and never stopped attacking Chelsea, constantly forcing the Blues into mistakes. And it was a mistake from Cesc Fàbregas that sent Lionel Messi running towards the Chelsea goal, and the Argentine made a great pass to find Dembélé who fired a rocket to the top corner for a beautiful second Barça goal.
Chelsea went forward after that and had a few dangerous chances, and they came very close just seconds before the half with a fantastic free kick from Marcos Alonso that hit the post but went wide of the mark.
At halftime, Barça were dominant and had a two-goal lead, but the job was far from complete.
With a two-goal lead and a Chelsea side desperate to score, Barça decided to play a little more consertative football and stay well organized waiting for an opportunity to strike and end the tie. The plan worked: after Jordi Alba recovered a ball in midfield and started a counter attack, the play eventually came to Messi who round the defense and nutmegged Courtois AGAIN to make it 3-0.
The rest of the game was basically Barça passing the ball until the final whistle. It finally came, and we’re through to the quarter-finals! We may not be that bad, after all.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Dembélé (Vidal), Rakitic, Busquets (Gomes), Iniesta (Paulinho); Messi, Suárez
Goals: Messi (3’, 63’), Dembélé (20’)
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rüdiger; Moses (Zappacosta), Kanté, Fàbregas, Alonso; Willian, Giroud (Morata), Hazard