"God Save the King" was the title of the banner depicting Leo Messi which was held up by the Barcelona fans as their side wandered out at the Nou Camp to take on Chelsea in their last-16 tie on Wednesday evening. It served to be true as the Argentine ace scored twice and provided a perfect assist to give Barca a 3-0 (4-1 aggregate) win over Chelsea.
The Catalans made a dream start and took the lead in the second minute. A series of slick passes rebounded in the Chelsea box, eventually, Luis Suarez produced a deft backheel in the direction of Messi, who from a tight angle drilled the ball past Courtois.
Needing a goal, Chelsea sprung forward in search of a goal. Willian came closest when his long-range chance was palmed away by keeper ter Stegen. Barca weathered the Chelsea attacks and took advantage of sloppy play from former midfielder Cesc Fabregas for their second. Messi mugged his former-teammate and surged forward. Just on the edge of the penalty area, a quick look to his right and Barca's number ten played an inch-perfect ball to an onrushing Dembele. The summer signing from Dortmund took a touch before smashing the ball into the top-left hand corner for a memorable first goal for his side.
Chelsea came close to reducing the deficit on the cusp of half-time as Alonso saw his free-kick clip the upright, leaving ter Stegen helpless. The second half saw Chelsea push again and had a reasonable penalty shout turned down when Alonso was bundled down by Pique. The duo clashed again moments later when Pique pulled off a world-class block to deny the Chelsea wing-back.
Again, Barca eased the Chelsea pressure and just after the hour mark, Messi scored his second to put the tie beyond any doubt. Luis Suarez pushed forward and laid the ball to Messi who showed a trademark turn of pace to beat Victor Moses leaving him to hit a left-footed shot which found its way into the back of the net though Courtois' legs.
Chelsea pushed for a consolation, but Barca kept the ball well snuffing out any faint chances of a comeback. Barcalona will now be looking forward to the Friday draw for the Quarterfinals.
90+2- Full time! 3-0 Barca! That was impressive from Barca. An early goal from Messi set the tempo, a Dembele screamer confirmed it & a trademark Messi strike in the second half was the cherry on the top. Fine stuff from the Catalans!
89- Crossbar! Rüdiger rises and his header hits off the bar. Barca scrambles the ball away.
87- Chelsea are still trying at least, substitute Zappacosta has a pot-shot from outside the box. Saved by ter Stegen
84- Chance for Barca! Corner swung in. Paulinho in plenty of space. His header is pushed out by Courtois
80- Ten minutes or so left to play. Barca content to play keep ball. Hazard is replaced by Pedro, who gets a warm reception from the Barca crowd
78- Alex Vidal wins a dangerous free-kick for Barca, up steps Leo Messi, his shot stings the palms of Courtois. Corner for Barca, but the delivery is poor straight into the Chelsea keepers hands.
76- Fabregas with a perfect ball to Hazard who is on the run, he squares a perfect ball into the box however no Chelsea player is near it. The look on Hazards face.
74- Yellow card for Marcus Alonso for a kick on Paulinho
69- The Nou Camp is jumping right now. It's going to take a miracle (and four goals) to get back into this tie. No chance.
66- Some Subs have been made. Moses has been replaced by Zappacosta for Chelsea.Whilst Alex Vidal has come on for Dembele
63- GOAL! 3-0 That man Messi again. Suarez on the break and passes to Messi, from then it's all about the number 10, putting on the afterburners to breeze past Moses before a low shot past Courtois. Too easy. 3-0
61- What a block from Pique! Alonso is picked out again on the left, shaping to shoot the Barca defender get there in the nick of time.
60 Busquets seems to have a knock on his knee. Andre Gomes comes on in his place.
59- Barca is enjoying plenty of the ball again. Messi knocks a through ball to Dembele which is ever so slightly over-hit.
56- Substitute for Barca! Iniesta comes off and is replaced by Paulinho. Messi has been handed the captain's armband.
52- Chelsea has started the second half so well. They just need a goal to get going. Azpilicueta overhits a long ball to Alonso, goal-kick.
51- You just have the feeling that Barca can take Chelsea on the break and put this game to bed at any minute.
49- Penalty shout for Chelsea? Pique seems to have pulled down Alonso in the box. The referee waves on. The Chelsea players are livid! Giroud picks up a yellow for his protests.
47- Strong start from the Blues. They go long, Hazard squares it Giroud who passes to Alonso who is meters away from the goal. From nowhere Dembele slides in to win a corner.
Peep! Chelsea who is all in white get us underway at the Nou Camp!
Some half-time reading for you. Bayern is through with an 8-1 aggregate win over Besiktas. In France, PSG picked up a routine 2-1 win against Angers. Whilst Juve has now opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table in Italy with a 2-0 win against Atalanta. You are now up to date. I'm off to get a cup of tea!
Peep! That was the last meaningful act of the first half. Barca a 2-0 up thanks to Messi within two minutes and a Dembélé screamer. Chelsea has a mountain to climb but has given it a good go. An early goal for the blues in the second half opens this match right up!
45- Post! Goodness, that was close! Alonso steps up and smashes the ball, clipping the outside of the post. Unbelievable!
43- Hello... Chelsea has won a dangerous free-kick. Giroud is bundled down by Umtiti. They might get that goal after all.
40- Despite being 2-0 down Chelsea are giving this a good go! A goal just before half-time could make Barca skittish.
38- Barca can't clear it and Kante follows up, but his left-footed strike goes wide.
37- What a chance for Chelsea, Willian sprints down the wing and cuts into the penalty area, he picks out Alonso who smashes the ball towards goal. Don't worry, ter Stegen palms it away.
36- Barca dangerously pass the ball around the Chelsea penalty area. Iniesta has a shot, the ball skims wide.
31- Azpilicueta launches a deep cross towards Giroud. The French Striker times his run well but ter Stegen is even to it and easily clutches onto the ball.
27- Keep ball from Barcelona. Iniesta is reeling back the years here. The veteran midfielder plays a cheeky backheel into Suarez in the penalty box. Courtois is quick off his line to get rid of the ball.
25- Chelsea needs two goals at the Camp Nou. This is some ask.
19- GOAL! 2-0 Dembele, what a finish! Barca break as Messi pounces on a Fabregas mistake. After beating two defenders Messi squares the ball to Dembele who smashes the ball first time into the top left-hand corner. Some finish that, and what a debut goal fro Dembele and that surely is Barca in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League. They have a 3-1 aggregate lead!
18- Willian wins the ball back well and gets Chelsea out of trouble a few more passes and the Blues progress up the pitch. All of their good work is undone when Hazard loses the ball.
15- Barca seemed to have weathered that Chelsea spell of possession. They win a freekick as Christensen attempts to leapfrog Suarez in an ariel challenge.
11- Chelsea pushes forward again. Giroud and Hazard exchange passes, before the Belgian knocks the ball to Willian who promptly blasts one from range. ter Stegen gathers with ease
7- Hazard breaks at pace and knocks the ball to Willian on the left wing. The Brazilian attempts a low cross to Giroud, but the ball is bundled away by Umtiti. Close!
4- Chelsea needs goals and fast. Dembélé fouls Alonso on the left-hand side of the box. Willian knocks a ball to the near post, which flashes into the side netting. Chelsea wins a corner, which they waste.
2 GOAL! What a start for Barca! 1-0! It's pinball in the Chelsea box as Barca exchange passes! Suarez lays off a ridiculous backheel to Messi & he slots past Courtois from a tight angle.
Let's go! Barcelona get us underway!
Barcelona has done the old flag trick. Thousands of them have been given out to create an atmosphere at the Nou Camp. A quick reminder before the players come out, you can watch all the action live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Barca has some real firepower in the final third tonight. We are just over 10 minutes away from Kick-Off!
Chelsea has had a decent record down the years. I wonder if Conte can spring a surprise at the Nou Camp tonight.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS- Conte has decided to go with Giroud to lead the line. Having missed the match against Crystal Palace, Antonio Rudiger slots back in central defence.
WE HAVE TEAM NEWS! First up Barca! Iniesta passes a late fitness test and starts! Dembélé also gets a start and joins Messi & Suarez.
Chelsea has arrived at the Nou Camp, and look relaxed. We should get the team news within the next 15 minutes or so.
So just to get us started! What about an interview with arguably Barca's greatest ever midfielder Xavi on tonight's game at the Camp Nou.Plenty of salient points from the Midfield Maestro, including his memories of previous Barca Vs Chelsea clashes. Oh, thanks to the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy for the video.
Hello! Welcome to the Live Updates of Barcelona Vs Chelsea. If you are not feeling the live updates, you can, of course, watch all the action Live & Exclusively via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Chelsea faces an uphill battle to progress to the Champions League Quarter-finals when they head to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona on Wednesday evening. You can watch all the action on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
The tie is finely poised with the first leg ending 1-1 thanks to Leo Messi cancelling out Willian’s opening goal. For Blues boss Antonio Conte, his side are relishing the prospect of playing Barcelona.
"You must be excited to play this kind of game at the Nou Camp. A lot of my players have never played in this stadium and we want to try to do our best.
"In the first leg, we played a really good game and it was almost perfect. That was against a team that I consider one of the best in the world. When we made a mistake, we paid for it. The final result of that games gives a great advantage to Barcelona.”
It certainly promises to be an interesting tactical battle for Chelsea, and particularly who Conte decides to lead the line with. Olivier Giroud impressed in Chelsea’s Premier League win over Crystal Palace and could be a much needed focal point for the Chelsea attack. Whilst Eden Hazard could also play in the false nine, which could enable for the Blues to break quickly utilizing the blistering pace of the Belgian attacker.
In team news, Chelsea welcome back central defender Antonio Rudiger to the squad after missing out on the weekend's match against Palace and have no other injury doubts.
Stadium- Camp Nou, Barcelona
Kick-Off- 10:45 pm (Mecca)
Channel- HD 11
Watch Online- beIN SPORTS CONNECT
Barcelona will be confident of getting the result on Wednesday evening, especially after grabbing a vital away goal in the first leg. The Catalan giants have an impressive record at the Nou Camp and have not tasted defeat in their last 24 Champions League home games. A record that stretches all the way back to 2013.
Talking ahead of the game Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde revealed that he was unsure how Chelsea would set up for the game. “I don't know what might happen tomorrow. They may press us up high, they may attack from out wide. We know that when they sit back, they're very strong and difficult to beat.”
Barca welcome back the duo of Leo Messi & Andreas Iniesta to their squad. Messi missed out on the 2-0 win over Malaga for the birth of his third son. Whilst Iniesta will be given a late fitness test on his hamstring. Valverde stressed that he would only include the veteran midfielder if he was confident of playing. "It is a very important game. It is down to the player. It is a game you can only play if you are 100%."
It certainly promises to be an interesting, tactical encounter when Barcelona take on Chelsea for a chance in the Champions League Quarter Finals. You can watch all the action on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.