Preview - Chelsea vs Barcelona 21 Feb 2018

Started by aaguerra90, Feb 20, 2018, 02:24 PM

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Round of 16
Chelsea vs FC Barcelona
Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
03:45 (GMT +8)
Stadium: Stamford Bridge

Last five matches: D W L D W
Average goals per match: 2.6
Average goals against per match: 1.3
Top Scorer: Eden Hazard (3)
FC Barcelona: 
Last five matches: W D D W W
Average goals per match: 1.6
Average goals against per match: 0.1
Top Scorer: Lionel Messi (3)

Perhaps the most interesting matchup in the Round of 16 pits together Chelsea and Barcelona. These two clubs have met in the past in classic, intense, and thrilling matches.

Chelsea had a string of unfavorable results recently, and seemed to have hit rock bottom after losing to Watford. However, a 4-0 win against Hull in the FA Cup last weekend seems to have righted the ship. Antonio Conte appeared to have been clashing with his players. The fans hope that the two parties found a way to bury the hatchet in order keep their dreams of European glory alive.

Barcelona haven't been very convincing of late either. Their 1-1 draw in the Catalan derby was followed by a goalless draw at home to Getafe. Even their 2-0 win versus Eibar this past weekend didn't see Barcelona dominate the way they were expected to. Lionel Messi's goal scoring form has dipped recently too; the Argentine hasn't found the net in any of his last five matches. Ernesto Valverde would argue, though, that he is not concerned with Messi's goal scoring as he is still providing plenty of assists to his teammates, like the one for Luis Suarez' goal versus Eibar. Also noteworthy is the fact that Messi has NEVER scored against Chelsea. Will he manage break his duck tomorrow?

Barcelona have had a tough time versus Chelsea, especially at Stamford Bridge. In seven matches Barcelona have only 1 win, 1 draw, and 5 losses versus Chelsea in London. The Blues will not be able to keep a clean sheet in this match though, as Barcelona boast too much firepower up front. However, the hosts will make this a tough night for the Catalans. It will be up to the return leg at the Camp Nou to determine the victor in this tie.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona


Half Time: 0:0
Full Time: 1:1
Shots: 9:5
Shots on target: 2:2
Corner Kicks: 3:4
Possession: 32:68

Lionel Messi finally put one past Chelsea to earn Barcelona a very important 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea enjoyed the first opportunity of the match through Eden Hazard. The Chelsea number 10 seemed to come out prepared to outshine is Barcelona counterpart when he blasted a shot from 25 meters out that just barely missed high and wide.

Barcelona's best opportunity of the first half was produced by Messi. He picked out an unmarked Paulinho in the box with a cross, but the Brazilian headed poorly and sent the ball wide.

Willian scared the life out of every Barcelona player and fan when he received a pass from Hazard, cut inside to leave Sergio Busquets in his wake, and fired a shot that rattled the far post. Marc Andre ter Stegen must have kissed the post after this, as he was well beaten.

Five minutes before the end of the first half, Willian again smacked the post with a shot from distance. This time, his right footed blast came off ter Stegen's near post.

Barcelona had 70% of the possession in the first half, but that doesn't win you matches. Goals do, and Barca were about to regret being so innefective with the ball.

Third time proved to be the charm for Willian and Chelsea. The Brazilian winger collected the ball at the top of the box from a short Chelsea corner and fired a low shot that ter Stegen could do nothing about.

Barcelona took this as a wakeup call and began pressuring the Chelsea defense. Soon they had their equalizer. Andreas Christensen played a poor ball across the face of the box in an attempt to play out of the back instead of clearing. The pass to Cesar Azpilicueta was intercepted by Andres Iniesta, Barca's 'hero of Stamford Bridge'. Iniesta waltzed into the box and cut the ball back to Messi. After eight scoreless games against Chelsea, the Argentine magician broke his duck and tucked a first time left footed shot into the front post.

The tie is far from over. Barcelona hold a slight edge thanks to the away goal but the Camp Nou will decide who goes through to the next round.

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