Messi’s Chelsea nightmare is over
It may have taken him nine games and 30 shots on goal but Lionel Messi has finally scored against Chelsea.
It was a clinical finish from the Argentine too, as Andres Iniesta capitalised on a mistake from Andreas Christensen and found his team-mate who made no mistake.
It’s a vital goal for Barcelona who struggled to create chances throughout the match and at 1-0 down were facing a really tough test in the second leg.
Messi’s goal makes that task a lot easier, but make no mistake this tie is far from over.
Barcelona fail to heed Willian warning
Willian was easily Chelsea’s best player and he served warning of the danger he poses in the first half when he twice hit the post with shots from range.
Both times goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was beaten and both times the Brazilian was desparately unlucky not to open the scoring.
He finally struck the target in the second half after being left completely unmarked at a corner as Barca were deservedly punishing for not paying Willian more attention.
Suarez is struggling in Europe
Luis Suarez has an excellent record in La Liga this season with 17 goals and four assists in 21 games but it is a different story completely in Europe.
The striker has yet to find the back of the net in the Champions League this season and he is now on his longest goal drought in the competition.
He didn’t even manage a touch in Chelsea’s box in the first half and if Barcelona want to win this competition they need Suarez to start scoring, and fast.
Barcelona need to get Dembele fit and firing
There’s a real sense that Barcelona are starting to run out of steam as the season reaches it’s business end, and that suggestion was only reinforced at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea defended excellently but if it hadn’t been for a mistake from Christensen it remains to be seen if Barcelona would have found the back of the net.
The team looked in real need of some pace, invention and more creativity - all attributes that Ousmane Dembele can bring, but can Barca get him in shape in time to play a major role this season?
Messi’s goal gives Barcelona advantage
This tie is still very finely balanced but Messi’s away goal means that Barcelona can go through with a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou.
Chelsea will head to Camp Nou knowing they must score and we may well see Alvaro Morata or Olivier Giroud start the game.
Home advantage and the extra space at Camp Nou should help Barcelona, but history dictates that Valverde’s side still have plenty of work to do to secure a quarter-final spot.