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Barcelona hold Chelsea, Bayern hit five

Barcelona hold Chelsea, Bayern hit five
February 21
08:17 2018
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Nigeria’s Victor Moses played all 90 minutes as barcelona held a spirited Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford bridge.

Eden Hazard and Willian spearheaded Chelsea’s attack in a surprise move, while there was no surprise from Ernesto Valverde, the Spanish coach fielding the usual suspects of Messi, Suarez and Iniesta in attack, while Paulinho was drafted into midfield to add steel.

Barcelona were about patient passes while Chelsea on the other hand were set up to counter attack, and they got the first shot off in the fifth minute, Willian and Hazard breaking away and the Belgian winger sent an angled shot inches wide of the far post from 25yards. The Blues continued to apply pressure and an unmarked Rudiger headed wide from a corner kick four minutes later. Messi almost provided Barca’s opener but Paulinho headed wide when found free in the area by the diminutive Argentine.

Barcelona controlled 75% possession and Messi was finding pockets of space as Chelsea retreated into their own half, waiting patiently to pick off the Catalonians. They got their opportunity in the 30th minute, Willian waltzing past three men but was brought down some 30 yards away from goal and Alonso’s free kick was saved by Ter Stegen. The London club had an even better opportunity in three minutes later but Willian’s belter from just outside the area hit the upright. He hit the other bar on the 40th minute from a similar position, and with Chelsea in the ascendancy, Hazard’s volley was just a yard shy of goal and the first half ended with Chelsea clearly the superior side with more attacking intent.

Barca came running out of the blocks in the second half, Messi and Iniesta more involved but they still found chances hard to come by, only a wide Suarez shot to show for their effort.

It was third time lucky for Willian, the brazilian midfielder was found in a similar position after Fabregas worked a shot corner to him and his low shot caught an unsighted Ter Stegen stranded to hand Chelsea a well-deserved lead. Messi has never scored against Chelsea and was not having the best of nights. However, he soon discarded such an unwanted statistic when a stray pass at the back by young centre back Andreas Christiansen set Barca free and the club’s record goalscorer wrongfooted Cortouis to equalize, handing his team a vital away goal going into the second leg at the Camp Nou.

In Germany, Bayern Munich scored five times to equal Liverpool’s result at Porto last week. Thomas Muller captained Bayern on a night both Ribery and Robben were given bench roles. Besiktas were reduced to 10 men on 16 minutes, defender Vida getting his marching order after hacking down Robert Lewandowski when free on goal after the 29-year old striker latched unto a misplaced pass.

Bayern pinned the Turkish champions in their own half afterwards but Besiktas nearly opened scoring through Queresma. The Germans broke the deadlock during the visitors’ best period when captain on the night Muller was in the right place to poke home a Kingsley Coman cut back , giving Bayern a one-goal lead at halftime.

Robben replaced an injured James Rodriguez before halftime and helped Bayern up the tempo in the second half, winger Coman side footing home a Lewandowski low cross from the penalty spot to double the advantage.

The third goal duly arrived in the 66th minute, Joshua Kimmich’s cross found Muller- again, well placed- to divert home from 2 yards out for his brace on the night and his third in the UCL this season. It was goals rush and Lewandowski joined the party, scoring on the rebound after Rafai saved a Mats Hummels cross. Lewandowski had his brace on 88 minutes, another low cross doing the damage as the Polish striker ghosted in at the far post to all but put Bayern in the quarter finals.

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