There were talking points in highly entertaining match as the rivalry brought another dimension to modern day football artistry.
Chelsea were in control when they got into the lead through Willian but let the lead slip off their hands when Lionel Messi converted an Andres Iniesta’s pass.
Here 5 things we learnt in the Chelsea vs Barcelona match at Stamford Bridge
1. The match lived up to its hype
So much has been said about the encounter as Barcelona being favorites while Chelsea were regarded as an underdogs.
Antonio Conte’s men gave the Catalans a run for their money as the Blues should have been two goals ahead but struck the wood-work twice in first half. Unlike Valverde’s men Messi and co passed the ball around without a shot on target at half time.
2. Both managers tactical discipline came to play
Barcelona played their usual possessive football and dominated but Chelsea stood firm and got lose on the counter attack on several occasions.
Chelsea played with seven midfielders knowing full well their opponent’s strength of running over other teams if given the space and time at the center.
3. Hazard still has a lot to do to reach Messi’s level
Messi was at his usual best but was not given enough space to link deadly passes to Alba and Suarez. He however broke his jinx against the Blues when he scored a vital goal to give Barcelona the advantage into the second leg.
Hazard was full of confidence when given the ball to launch an attack causing all sort of problems for Barcelona and at some point in time, the Spanish side had to start their play from goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen.
Overall, the Belgian played well but Messi’s quality gets to show Hazard is still faraway from the reaching the level the Argentine has gotten to.
4. Experience played a role in the contest
After Willian’s goal in the second half, Chelsea dominated the match as they were heading home and dry until Christensen’s blunder pulled Barcelona back into the contest in the 75th minute.
Chelsea missed chances that would have the game put to bed but the only meaningful chance of the match to Barcelona was buried by Messi.
5. All to play for at Camp Nou
The result of the first leg gives fans and football lovers what to expect in the coming weeks as the contest is still wide open to both sides.
Chelsea must score in Nou Camp that means they must attack better than the first leg and Barcelona need to score to increase their chances of progressing through to the next round.