UEFA Champions League | Barcelona 3 – Chelsea 0

Barcelona are the last team to make it through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League after securing a comfortable 3-0 win over Chelsea.

Messi celebrating after scoring Barcelona's third goal
Messi celebrating after scoring Barcelona's third goal

Following their 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, Barcelona started the match as slight favourites. However, they were conscious that they will be facing a strong Chelsea.

Ernesto Valverde decided to make a change to the team that faced Chelsea in the first leg. Ousmane Dembele replaced Paulinho.

Anotnio Conte also made one alteration to his starting line-up. Oliver Giroud took Pedro’s place.

Barcelona made a flying start to the match as they went ahead after just three minutes. Lionel Messi broke into the Chelsea box and tried to play a quick one-two with Dembele. The ball deflected off Marcos Alonso and fell to Suarez, who found Messi once again and sat up the Argentine to fire the home side into an early lead.

Chelsea responded on the 12th minute. Wilian hit a low shot from distance that was neutralised by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

However, Barcelona doubled their advantage on the 20th minute. Cesc Fabregas lost the ball on the halfway line and allowed Messi to fly forward on a quick counter attack. The Argentine went past both Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta before teeing up Dembele whose powerful shot gave Courtois no chance.

The Spanish side threatened Chelsea again on the 27th minute. Andreas Iniesta went inside the penalty area and served Luis Suarez with a clever flick. The Uruguayan striker fired a shot from close range that was blocked by Chelsea’s goalkeeper.

Chelsea could have pulled one back on the 37th minute.  Willian charged down the left flank and managed to get himself into a great position. He then cut a pass back to Alonso who forced a good save from Ter Stegen.

A minute later, N’Golo Kante muscled his way into the box and attempted a shot on goal. Fabregas also tried to do the same thing and got into the way of his team mate. At the end, the French man saw his shot rolling well wide of goal.

Conte’s side had another great opportunity on the brink of half-time. From a free-kick, Alonso sent a thumping shot that hit the post and went out for a goal-kick.

Barcelona nearly scored their third goal two minutes into the second. Courtois’s poor pass went into the direction of Suarez whose shot was saved by the Belgian goalkeeper.

Chelsea protested heavily for a penalty on the 50th minute. Alonso turned brilliantly inside the penalty area, but was brought down. Despite the protests, the referee waved play on and booked Giroud for dissent.

Messi killed Chelsea’s hopes on the 63rd minute. A poor pass let Barcelona in and Suarez passed the ball towards Messi. The star player raced away from Moses and Azpilicueta and smashed the ball through Courtois legs.

On the 79th minute, Messi hit a powerful drive from a free-kick that was saved by Courtois.

Courtois was on the alert to deny Barcelona from scoring again on the 85th minute. From a corner, Ivan Rakitic delivered a cross towards Paulinho whose header forced a great save from Chelsea’s shot stopper.

The post denied Chelsea for the second time in the match on the 90th minute. Fabregas sent a cross towards Antonio Rudiger and the latter sent a header that smashed the woodwork.

Following this result, Barcelona are through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league with a 4-1 aggregate score and will now wait for Friday to know who their opponents will be.

Barcelona starting line-up: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez

Chelsea starting line-up: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso, Willian, Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

Assistant Referees: Jure Praprotnik, Robert Vukan

Additional Assistant Referees: Matej Jug, Slavko Vincic

Fourth Official: Tomaz Klancnik

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