Barcelona beat Chelsea 3-0

From ESPN - March 14, 2018

Two goals from Lionel Messi -- one the fastest of his career and the other his 100th in the Champions League -- helped Barcelona beat Chelsea 3-0 at the Camp Nou and advance to the quarterfinals 4-1 on aggregate.

The scoreline was harsh on Chelsea, who created sustained spells of pressure but were unable to find the sort of cutting edge displayed by Messi and Ousmane Dembele, the home side's other scorer.

After Barcelona had monopolised the ball for the opening two minutes, they broke the deadlock in the third with the quickest strike of Messi's career..

It seemed Chelsea had cleared the initial danger when Messi tried a one-two with Dembele, but the ball broke to Luis Suarez, who freed Messi near the byline on the right and his low shot from a tight angle went through the legs of Thibaut Courtois.

Marcos Alonso was fouled on the left as Chelsea looked to muster a quick response, with Willian's low free kick deflecting into the side netting for a corner that came to nothing.

The visitors soon built again, this time down the right as Eden Hazard found Willian, whose cross was cleared by Samuel Umtiti with Olivier Giroud waiting.

Victor Moses won another free kick for Chelsea with a burst down the right but when Hazard clipped a ball into the box Antonio Rudiger was offside.

With a little over 10 minutes gone, Willian's low drive was held by Marc-Andre ter Stegen with Chelsea playing their full part in what was an open start.

Barcelona then embarked on another spell of possession but failed to do much with it as Suarez appealed in vain for a corner and then Messi, of all people, misplaced a pass.

But the Argentina captain burst into devastating life moments later, skipping away from Alonso and laying the ball across the box to Dembele, who smashed home his first Barcelona goal to make it 3-1 on aggregate after 20 minutes.

Courtois made a good stop when a lovely Andres Iniesta backheel gave Suarez the chance to shoot, and soon afterwards Cesar Azipilicueta had a chance to swing a cross towards Giroud but put it too close to Ter Stegen.

A Messi free kick almost found Gerard Pique at the near post but he was just unable to find a telling touch, and then Moses overran the ball on the right after good work to win it back.

With 10 minutes remaining until the break Ter Stegen was called into action when Willian set up Alonso to fire in a shot before N'Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas almost got in each other's way inside the area and the former's swiped shot flew wide.


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