Messi equaliser denies Chelsea victory at Stamford Bridge

first_imgHowever, one moment of carelessness cost Chelsea dear as Andres Iniesta intercepted Andreas Christensen’s pass to tee up Messi to swing the balance of the tie in Barca’s favour 15 minutes from time.The English champions must now score when they travel to the Camp Nou on March 14 to have any chance of making the last eight.Barcelona star Lionel Messi celebrates with his long-time team-mate Andres Iniesta after they combined to score the goal. PHOTO/ DAILY MAILChelsea manager Antonio Conte sprang a surprise before kick-off by leaving out both Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata with Eden Hazard instead operating in the middle of a front three featuring Willian and former Barca winger Pedro Rodriguez.And it was Hazard who sent the first warning that Barca were in for an uncomfortable evening when he fired just over from 20 yards five minutes in.Antonio Rudiger also headed just wide in a positive opening from the hosts, but it was Barca who had the first clear chance on 16 minutes.Chelsea constantly tried to surround Messi with three or four blue shirts to limit the Argentine’s threat, but he dug out a cross to the far post where an unmarked Paulinho headed wide.Barca then went on to dominate possession for a large spell of the first half with their control of the ball reaching 80 percent at one stage.However, the visitors lacked penetration before the break and were lucky to go in level at half-time.Chelsea’s No 22 is joined by his Chelsea team-mates bu the corner flag after scoring the opening goal of the two-legged tie. Photo/DAILY MAILWillian showed his ability to score from outside the box off either foot with a double against Hull City to take Chelsea into the FA Cup quarter-finals on Friday.He was inches away from another long-range stunner when he curled onto the post from 25 yards with Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten in the Barca goal.Barca had kept six clean sheets in their previous seven Champions League games, but once again had good luck rather than good defending to thank four minutes before the break when Willian hooked another effort from outside the box off the woodwork.Ter Stegen dives to his right in an attempt to save a shot from Willian, but is spared when it bounces off his goalpost. Photo/DAILY MAILHazard then volleyed just over as Chelsea ended the half on a high.Barca appeared to have restored order early second period, but failed to learn their lesson of Willian’s danger from the edge of the box.A short corner was worked into the Brazilian’s path and he arrowed a low shot past the rooted Ter Stegen.However, Barca remain unbeaten in 31 La Liga and Champions League games under Ernesto Valverde thanks to a late rally.Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) gesticulates wildly on the touchline after seeing Willian hit the post for a second time. Photo/DAILY MAILLuis Suarez had claims for a penalty waved away when he went down under pressure from Rudiger.But Barca’s protests had barely been silenced before they were level.Christensen’s dangerous ball across his own box was a gift for an old scourge of Chelsea in Iniesta.At the end where he broke Chelsea hearts with a stoppage-time equaliser in a highly controversial semi-final in 2009, Iniesta this time squared for Messi to apply the finishing touch low past Thibaut Courtois for his 28th goal of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Messi celebrates grabbing the equaliser along with Andres IniestaLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 20 – Lionel Messi struck for the first time in nine games against Chelsea to give Barcelona the upper hand from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.Willian’s fine strike just after the hour mark had put Chelsea in command after earlier hitting both posts in the first half.last_img read more

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Mourinho’s assistant Faria to leave Man United

first_imgFaria is one of the names who have been linked with filling the large vacuum being left by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.“17 years… in Leiria, Porto, London, Milan, Madrid, London again and Manchester,” said Mourinho.“Training, playing, travelling, studying, laughing and also a few tears of happiness.“17 years and the kid is now a man. The intelligent student is now a football expert, ready for a successful career as a manager.”United — who round off their Premier League campaign against Watford on Sunday and then face Chelsea in the FA Cup final — wished him well after his two years at the club.“#MUFC announces that assistant manager Rui Faria is to leave the club at the end of the season. We wish him all the best for the future,” the club tweeted.Faria, like Mourinho, never played top-level football, but became a significant part of his fellow Portuguese’s coaching staff after meeting the future United manager during a seminar day at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium in 2000.At the time, Mourinho was assistant to Louis van Gaal at Barcelona but, when he became a manager in his own right at Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria in 2001, he took Faria on as his fitness coach, and the two remained together for spells at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.However, Faria’s touchline antics have also made him a controversial figure.In 2014 he was handed a four-game stadium ban for using abusive language towards the officials in a shock 2-1 home defeat for Chelsea at the hands of Sunderland.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Rui Faria will end his 17-year association with Jose Mourinho by leaving Man United at the end of the season © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, May 12 – Manchester United assistant coach Rui Faria is to leave the club at the end of the season, the Premier League giants announced on Saturday just a week after Jose Mourinho said he would not force him to stay.Mourinho said on the United website that 42-year-old Faria, who he has worked with since 2001, was ideally situated now to become a manager in his own right.last_img read more

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