The first-leg of the round of 16 champions league match between Chelsea and Barcelona have come and gone with the result ending in a 1-1 draw.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi finally broke his goal drought against the London club scoring the only goal for his side which gives them an advantage ahead of their second-leg, even though Chelsea boss had planned to maintain the long-term tradition of the Argentine not scoring against Chelsea.
First, it was obvious that Chelsea boss identified Messi as a problem and failed to face Barcelona as a team, though Messi could make the difference anytime, but he needs the support of his team mates to actually do that.
Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen made a loose pass and Andres Iniesta got the ball and linked up with Messi, who eventually scored his first Champions League goal against Chelsea, and also confirming that he actually needed the support of his team mates to excel.
Each time Messi had the ball on him, there were about three players trying to dispossess him of the ball, and he tried very much to either dribble or give the ball to his teammates. But Conte’s tactics failed to address basic issues such as denying the likes of Iniesta, Suarez and Rakitic of the ball.
They were actually the ones planted around to give the Argentine an opportunity to score, and not Messi probably making a solo run as Conte had expected.
Barca showed in their approach that they were willing to play into the 18-yard box before they scored, they eventually achieved it and it was just a step away from the 6-yard box that Lionel Messi scored the goal, showing weakness on the part of Conte to keep them away from the 18-yard box.
While Chelsea hoped to score outside the 18-yard box with three shots coming from Willian in which two hit the woodwork and one converted to goal, Barca were consistent with their press to enter the 18-yard box before they scored, and it eventually worked for them.