Chelsea have drawn against Barcelona with a scoreline of 1-1 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the round of 16 clash of UEFA Champions League. The Blues have given their all in this match against the Catalan Giants. Antonio Conte’s tactical masterstroke have almost worked for the Blues at their home ground Stamford Bridge. Playing Eden Hazard as a false nine and keeping both Pedro and Willian in the field together.
Chelsea have two renowned strikers in their squad , keeping both of them in the bench was a real brave decision taken by Antonio Conte. The selection might have paid off if the miss pass given by Cesar Azpilicueta was not converted into a Goal by Lionel Messi. The second leg will happen at Camp Nou and if Chelsea can display this spirited performance at Camp Nou too, they will surely have a chance to go through to the quarter final of the biggest event of Europe.
First have a glance how the teams have shaped up before the big occasion:
Chelsea XI (3-4-3):
Thibaut Courtois; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Victor Moses, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Marcos Alonso; Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro.
Barcelona XI (4-1-2-1-2):
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets; Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta; Paulinho; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez.
Here are the talking points of the match :
1. Antonio Conte Fielded A Chelsea XI Without A Proper Striker :
It was a real brave decision taken by Antonio Conte to field a Chelsea XI without a proper striker. Eden Hazard was used as the false nine with Pedro and Willian playing at the two flanks. They were defending well in front of a strong Barcelona XI and were trying to break the Barcelona defense in occasional counters. There were no free space in the midfeld for Barcelona to shoot from distance.
2. It Was A Willian Show At Stamford Bridge :
It was a complete magical show displayed by Willian at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. His pace was blistering and his shots from distance were great. But the luck was probably not in favour of the Blues as two shots of Willian with great power were denied by the post. But he didn’t stop trying to take shots from distance. For this reason, he got the result in the second half. It was a short corner of Chelsea ; Hazard gives the ball to Willian who took a curved shot towards Goal and Ter Stegen has no clue to stop it from a Goal.
3. Messi Finally Scored Against Chelsea In Any Competitive Match :
Lionel Messi finally scored against Chelsea after these much meetings between two sides. The defense of Chelsea was playing great through out the whole match. But one mistake of the defense had caused them badly. Azpilicueta had passed the ball wrong and Fabregas had missed the tackling opportunity.
Then Iniesta had taken the full opportunity of it and passed the ball to Messi. His left footed shot had left Courtois falling them on the other side.