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UEFA Champions League

Messi Salvages A Draw For Barca At Chelsea

UEFA Champions League

Result: Chelsea 1-1 FC Barcelona

Date: 20 February 2018

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Lionel Messi netted his first goal against Chelsea to earn FC Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in their UEFA Champions League last 16 first-leg tie on Tuesday.

Click through the gallery to all highlights of the clash.

The Blues left out January transfer signing Olivier Giroud, days after he scored his first goal for the club, while Alvaro Morata also missed out.

They started well, giving little room to the more-fancied Barca, as Eden Hazard went close to giving them an early lead with a shot that sailed over the top after four minutes.

Spearheaded by Lionel Messi, the Catalan giants were looking to carve out a few openings with their short-passing game.

Despite enjoying a bulk of possession, Barca frustrated the home side who struggled to put a few passes of their own together.

Brazilian Willian got his feet on the ball and ran at the defence before being tripped by Ivan Ratikic, which led to a free-kick that Marcos Alonso took poorly, firing straight at Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Willian this time decided to take matters into his own hands after beating two defenders on the right side, wrapping his foot around the ball before seeing his attempt cannon off the post.

The woodwork stood between the former Shakhtar Donetsk player once again after he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area, before having another crack at goal which hit the left side post.

Three minutes before half time, Hazard launched a volley from a free-kick on the edge of the box, but it ballooned into the stands.

The Spanish outfit came out more dominant in the early stages of the second-half, with the hope of seeing the tie to its very end.

Veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta became the latest to take aim at goal, but like all the others before him, his effort evaded the net.

Uruguayan Luis Suarez then got round Antonio Rudiger minutes later and had a crack at Thibaut Courtois, who pulled off an outstretched finger-tip save.

Read: SA-Born Star Among 12 Most Promising Teenagers In Europe

It was third time lucky for Willian, who finally got his name on the scoresheet after curling home an excellent low finish into the bottom corner after 62 minutes.

The La Liga leaders' never-say-die attitude came to the fore 15 minutes before the end when Messi stepped up with the equalizer that finally ended his hoodoo against the Londoners, slotting home from Iniesta's cut-back to give them a massive away goal for the return-leg in three weeks' time.

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