MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 20:28:33
Feb 20, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 37,741
Chelsea
1-1
Barcelona
Willian (62')
Rudiger (80'), Morata (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Messi (75')
Rakitic (29'), Suarez (76'), Busquets (90')

Live Commentary: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona - as it happened

Live Commentary: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Champions League last-16 first leg between Chelsea and Barcelona, which ended 1-1.

Lionel Messi scored his first ever goal against Chelsea as Barcelona came from behind to draw 1-1 in Tuesday night's Champions League last-16 first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Willian sent Chelsea ahead just past the hour before Messi levelled for the visitors in the 75th minute to leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the return match at Camp Nou next month.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live coverage of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live Champions League coverage continues from Stamford Bridge, and it is a real cracker of an affair as Chelsea welcome Barcelona for the first leg of their last-16 tie. Barcelona are the favourites to beat the English champions over two matches, but anything can happen on these big European nights. Stay tuned for all of the action from a wet and cold London!

6.49pmTonight will be the 13th meeting between Chelsea and Barcelona in European competition. Chelsea have won four of the previous 12 fixtures, with Barcelona claiming three victories and the other five matches finishing level. They last met in the semi-finals of the 2011-12 Champions League, and it was Chelsea that won 3-2 on aggregate to make the final of the competition.

6.52pmChelsea won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge during their semi-final first leg in April 2012, but Barcelona did pick up a 1-1 draw in this stadium during the semi-finals of the 2008-09 competition as they made the final on away goals. Barcelona, however, have not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since February 2006; Samuel Eto'o scoring a late goal in their round of 16 tie. What will occur tonight?

6.55pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were last in action on Friday night – beating Hull City in the FA Cup. Barcelona, meanwhile, overcame Eibar in La Liga on Saturday afternoon. Any changes? Let's have a look...


6.58pmTEAMS!

CHELSEA: Courtois; Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro

BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Paulinho; Messi, Suarez


7.02pmChelsea boss Antonio Conte has decided against selecting a centre-forward tonight as Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud both start on the bench. Eden Hazard will play in the false nine position, with Pedro and Willian supporting the Belgian. Further back, Cesc Fabregas joins N'Golo Kante in central midfield, while Antonio Rudiger starts as club captain Gary Cahill is left on the bench.

7.05pmAs for Barcelona, head coach Ernesto Valverde has selected the XI that was expected to start tonight. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will operate as a front two, with Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta playing ahead of Sergio Busquets in midfield. Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are the full-backs, meanwhile, in what will be a 4-1-2-1-2 formation for the Catalan giants here. Ousmane Dembele and Andre Gomes are among the Barcelona substitutes at Stamford Bridge. Some talent there!

7.08pm

7.12pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 35 minutes from kickoff in the English capital. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with Chelsea. As mentioned, the Blues progressed in the FA Cup on Friday night courtesy of a 4-0 victory over Hull, and that result followed a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in their last Premier League match on February 12.

7.15pmThat said, the win over West Brom followed back-to-back defeats by Bournemouth and Watford where they conceded seven times. Chelsea are still fourth in the Premier League table, but are only one point above fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, and have the small matter of a trip to second-placed Manchester United to come this weekend. Tonight, however, is all about the Champions League.

7.18pmIn terms of the Champions League, Chelsea booked their spot in the last-16 stage of the competition courtesy of finishing second behind Roma in Group C. They only won three of their six matches, but lost just once to qualify with 11 points. While Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United received favourable draws, Chelsea were paired with Barcelona.

7.22pm

7.25pmThe Blues have won eight and lost four of their previous 12 round of 16 ties in the Champions League, and they were actually beaten by Paris Saint-Germain at this stage in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Chelsea have already faced Spanish opposition in this year's competition, however, and they impressively took four points from their two Group C matches against Atletico Madrid.

7.25pmThe Blues have won eight and lost four of their previous 12 round of 16 ties in the Champions League, and they were actually beaten by Paris Saint-Germain at this stage in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Chelsea have already faced Spanish opposition in this year's competition, however, and they impressively took four points from their two Group C matches against Atletico Madrid.

7.28pmAs for Barcelona, the Catalan giants are enjoying a wonderful season. Indeed, they currently sit seven points clear at the top of La Liga, and have already booked their spot in the Copa del Rey final. This is the competition that Barcelona really want, however, and they topped Group D ahead of Juventus – winning four of their six matches – to comfortably advance to this stage.

7.32pmBarcelona have also won 11 of their previous 13 round of 16 ties, although both of their defeats have come against English opposition – Chelsea in 2005 and Liverpool in 2007. The Catalan outfit also lost 3-1 to Manchester City when they last travelled to England during the group stages last year.

7.35pm

7.38pmThe Spanish giants have also lost three of their last seven away games in the Champions League – including a 4-0 defeat at PSG in last season's round of 16 first leg. That said, Ernesto Valverde's side have been in wonderful form this term, and look capable of causing Chelsea all sorts of issues over the two legs. It should be a very interesting game of football from the English capital.

7.42pmHere we go then; both sets of players have joined us on the pitch. It is Chelsea against Barcelona in the last-16 stage of the Champions League, and kickoff is next! Stay tuned for live coverage!

0 minKICKOFF! Chelsea kick things off on home soil...

2 min... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. You do get the feeling that Chelsea need to start well, and indeed win tonight, if they are to stand a chance of progressing through this tie. The first free kick goes Barcelona's way as Willian charges Alba.

4 minMessi delivers a cross into the Chelsea box, but Alonso is on hand to make the clearance at the far post. It has been all Barcelona in terms of possession in the opening four minutes here.

5 minSHOT! Hazard works some space outside the Barcelona box before looking to pick out the top corner, and the attacker's effort is not too far away. Some strike from Hazard!

7 minFabregas is standing over a free kick outside the Barcelona box...

8 min... Fabregas delivers into the Barcelona box, but Busquets is on hand to make the clearance.

10 minMoses delivers low into the Barcelona box, but Busquets manages to beat Willian to the ball. Rudiger then heads just wide of the away side's post from the corner. Really good spell for Chelsea as they keep the pressure on the visitors, who have been without the ball for the last few minutes.

12 minIt is Barcelona back in charge of the possession as they pass and probe in Chelsea's half here.

14 minSmart work from Hazard as the Belgian collects a super pass from Fabregas before delivering low into Pedro, but Iniesta is on hand to make the clearance before Kante handles outside the box.

15 minPass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they build from a deep position here.

16 minCHANCE! Big chance for the away side as Messi finds the head of Paulinho with a super cross, but the Brazilian's effort is just wide of the post. Wonderful cross from Messi there.

18 minSerious pressure from Barcelona at the moment as they pin Chelsea to the edge of their own box. Just a few signs that Messi is starting to dictate this game as he continues to get on the ball.

19 minAlonso has just bundled into the back of Messi. Had a few nibbles at the Argentine!

21 minSo, still goalless with 21 minutes on the clock, and Chelsea boss Conte will be pretty pleased with what he has seen thus far. Hazard struck over the Barcelona crossbar early on in Chelsea's best chance, while Paulinho headed the away team's best opportunity wide of the post from a Messi cross.

23 minRakitic delivers a dangerous cross into the Chelsea box, but Moses manages to clear ahead of Umtiti, who looked favourite to make contact. Barcelona are having lots and lots of the ball here.

25 minChelsea are fortunate as the ball just fails to fall for Messi following a super pass from Iniesta. Chelsea are riding their luck at the moment as the away side continue to dominate the ball.

27 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and we are still goalless. Barcelona have had a lot of the ball, but clear chances have been few and far between. Chelsea have not really been able to keep the ball in the final third as Morata and Giroud watch on from the bench here.

30 minBarcelona continue to dominate the ball, while Chelsea are struggling to make it stick in the final third. We have not seen too much from Luis Suarez in the first 30 minutes of this match.

30 minBOOKING! Rakitic (Barcelona) is deservedly booked for fouling Willian just outside the Barcelona box, and Chelsea now have a free kick in a very dangerous position here...

31 min... SAVE! Ter Stegen is across to keep out Alonso's free kick.

33 minIniesta cannot find Messi in the final third and Chelsea break once again through Hazard. The Belgian is slowed down in the final third, however, before Roberto goes through the back of him.

33 minPOST! Willian rattles the post with an effort from the edge of the box following a super piece of work from Hazard. So unlucky from Willian; the strike was sensational.

35 minReally good spell for Chelsea as they continue to force the issue on the counter-attack here.

37 minHazard is the danger man for Chelsea as the Belgian continues to find space down the left. Barcelona have not really created a chance since Paulinho headed wide of the post in the 15th minute.

38 minCHANCE! Pique heads wide of the Chelsea post after tangling with Rudiger inside the home side's box. Might have been a shout for a penalty there?! No real call though.

40 minFabregas attempts to slide a pass into Hazard, but the pass is just too strong, and Barcelona can build from the back. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining in the English capital.

41 minPOST! Willian now hits the other post with a super strike from outside the box!

43 minReally good spell for Chelsea here as they continue to force the issue in the final third.

43 minCLOSE! Hazard misses the Barcelona crossbar with a volley after Barcelona had failed to clear their lines from a set piece. The away side really should be 1-0 behind in this game.

45 minThe Chelsea fans are up, and why not?! The home side have been excellent for the last 15 minutes or so, with Barcelona struggling to find their passing tempo in the final third of the field.

45 minMessi drives into the Chelsea box before delivering low into Luis Suarez, but Rudiger is on hand to make the clearance. Barcelona are having a lot of the ball as we approach the break here.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Barcelona

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0, but it has been far from a boring stalemate. Indeed, Willian has hit both posts for Chelsea, while Hazard has also had a couple of really good chances. Barcelona have had plenty of the ball, but the Catalan outfit have been unable to really harm the hosts. All-action half of football from London!

8.37pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona dominated the first-half possession with 71%, but the Catalan outfit failed to hit the target with any of their three attempts. Chelsea, meanwhile, managed one attempt on target from six shots. That said, as mentioned, Willian has hit both posts for the home side. Just the one yellow card to report, and that came for Rakitic in the 29th minute for a cynical trip on Willian.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH! Barcelona have a whole host of attacking talent on their bench tonight, with Ousmane Dembele, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez and Aleix Vidal all fit and available ahead of the second period. Chelsea, meanwhile, have the likes of Giroud, Morata and Hudson-Odoi in reserve.

46 minRESTART! Barcelona resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops in London.

48 minRoberto drifts down the right before attempting to deliver into the Chelsea box, but the ball is behind for a goal kick. You do get the feeling that the home side need a goal in this first leg.

50 minPossession for Barcelona as they pass and probe in Chelsea's half of the field. Iniesta then has a go from outside the home side's box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post.

52 minHazard goes down inside the Barcelona box under a challenge from Umtiti, but the referee is not interested. That is not really Hazard's game - backing into the big centre-back! Morata, Giroud?

54 minAll Barcelona at the moment in terms of possession as they continue to boss the ball. That said, not too much to report in terms of clear chances. Chelsea are pretty comfortable at the moment.

54 minSuarez drills the ball across the Chelsea box, but the striker has no support.

56 minPass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they continue to move from left to right. The Chelsea supporters are doing their best to raise their team, but they cannot get out at the moment.

58 minLittle over 30 minutes of the first leg remaining, and we are still locked at 0-0. You do get the feeling that the opening goal is coming though as Barcelona continue to drive forward. We are entering the stage of the match where both managers will be considering changes.

59 minSuper work from Suarez in a wide position as the striker wins a corner under pressure from Christensen and Moses. The resulting corner will be delivered into the Chelsea box...

59 min... Rakitic delivers into the arms of Courtois.

61 minRakitic again delivers his corner straight into the arms of the waiting Courtois.

62 minFabregas strikes one from the edge of the Barcelona box, and his effort is deflected wide.

62 minGOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona (Willian)

63 minChelsea take the lead in the 62nd minute as Willian again finds space on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner with a brilliant effort! He deserves that after hitting both posts!

64 minBARCELONA SUB! Vidal replaces Paulinho for the away side.

66 minPass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they attempt to find a route back into this match. Still a lot of football to be played before the night is out, and the away side will continue to have the ball.

68 minAlba delivers low into the Chelsea box, but Azpilicueta is on hand to make the clearance. It is all Barcelona as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. Chelsea sit deep.

70 minLittle over 20 minutes of football remaining, and Barcelona continue to dominate the ball.

72 minStill no movement on either bench, but Dembele must be in the thinking of Barcelona boss Valverde. No sign of Morata or Giroud for Chelsea, meanwhile, which is not a surprise.

74 minIniesta drives into the Chelsea box, but the midfielder's shot is blocked, and the home side can clear their lines. Willian, meanwhile, is back on the field following some treatment on his bloodied nose.

75 minGOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (Messi)

76 minBarcelona level the scores in the 75th minute as Iniesta jumps onto a loose ball before feeding Messi, who slides the ball into the bottom corner. Poor mistake from Chelsea, and Messi was never going to miss from that position. It is the Argentine's first ever goal against Chelsea!

77 minBOOKING! Suarez (Barcelona) is booked for dissent.

79 minChristensen is a touch fortunate as Suarez is adjudged to have felled the centre-back in a wide position. Chelsea need to be careful here as Barcelona push for a second goal in London.

80 minBOOKING! Rudiger (Chelsea) is booked for a poor challenge on Roberto.

82 minChelsea break through Hazard, but Barcelona quickly have players back. Morata will soon join the action for the home side, and it would be some moment for the striker to pop up with a goal.

83 minCHELSEA SUB! Morata replaces Pedro for the home side.

84 minCHELSEA SUB! Drinkwater replaces Fabregas for the home side.

86 minChelsea send all three centre-backs into the Barcelona box for their latest free kick, but Willian's delivery is played short, and Barcelona crowd it out with Moses's final strike drifting wide.

86 minBOOKING! Morata (Chelsea) is booked for dissent.

87 minVidal delivers high into the Chelsea box, but Courtois is on hand to make the claim.

89 minSuarez is not pleased with a challenge from Drinkwater, and it was very high to be fair. Alba also takes a tumble, but the left-back was not really touched. Stoppage in play at the moment.

90 minBOOKING! Busquets (Barcelona) is booked for chopping Hazard to the deck.

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes at the end of the match.

90 min+2BARCELONA SUB! Gomes replaces Iniesta for the away side.

90 min+3Not too much longer to play here, and Barcelona have a free kick in Chelsea's half of the field.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona

9.36pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Chelsea in the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Champions League. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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Pedro celebrates scoring the opener during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Watford on October 21, 2017
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