Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona | Player Ratings, Key Stats and Match Report

Barcelona achieved a valuable draw at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Valverde fielded his gala XI, as seen at Eibar on Saturday, and our predictions came true: Barca were in control of possession throughout the whole match but they found it hard to break Conte's defensive scheme. In fact, the Blaugranas were fortunate to reach half-time with that 0-0 scoreline after Willian hit the woodwork twice during the first half.

Despite Barca's relative positive start to the second half, Willian's goal shortly after the break could have definitely affected the team's confidence. However, the adverse circumstances only spurred the Valverde's men on even further and, as a result of their relentless perseverance, Messi managed to beat Courtois after a classy assist from Iniesta - leveling the tie and setting the tone for the epic return match that awaits at the Camp Nou.

Achieving qualification for the next round will definitely not be an easy challenge. Barca must clearly improve in terms of creativity upfront beyond Messi, Iniesta and Suarez, but that hugely valuable away goal could prove decisive when The Blues and The Catalans meet again.

Match Stats:

Player Ratings:

Ter Stegen - 6

Sergi Roberto - 6
Umtiti - 8
Pique - 8
Alba - 7

Busquets - 8
Iniesta - 8
Rakitic - 7
Paulinho - 6

Messi - 8
Suarez - 8

Aleix Vidal - 6
Gomes - n/a

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