Lionel Messi denied Chelsea a famous Champions League victory by scoring his first ever goal against the Blues in an absorbing 1-1 last-16, first-leg draw at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s side were only ahead for 13 minutes through Willian’s 25-yard strike before Messi profited from an Andreas Christensen mistake to convert from Andres Iniesta’s pass, ending his wait for a goal against Chelsea at the ninth time of asking.
The Blues now face a huge uphill task in the return game on 14 March to avoid a European exit which would only heighten speculation over Conte’s future as manager.
The second leg takes place at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 14 March, and La Liga leaders Barcelona, with the benefit of an away goal, will be favourites to advance.
The result at Stamford Bridge does mean that none of the English teams have lost in their last-16 first-leg ties so far.