Lionel Messi’s first goal in nine Champions League games against Chelsea gave Barcelona a vital away goal as they rode their luck to earn a draw in this last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had subdued Messi and Willian had struck the woodwork twice in the first half before a fine low finish from the edge of the area made it third-time lucky for the Brazilian and gave Antonio Conte’s side a deserved lead after 62 minutes.
Barcelona had barely threatened but a misplaced pass from Andreas Christensen gave Andres Iniesta the opportunity to allow Messi to end that 730-minute drought against Chelsea with a crisp left-foot drive 15 minutes from time.
It was cruel on Chelsea after an outstanding display – but gives Barca the advantage of an away goal for the return leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 14 March.
The result at Stamford Bridge does mean that none of the English teams have lost in their last-16 first-leg ties so far.