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Champions League: Centurion Lionel Messi guides Barcelona past Chelsea

Source DW.


Lionel Messi has chalked up his 100th goal in the Champions League as his brace helped see off a timid Chelsea at Camp Nou. Ousmane Dembele also found the net as Barcelona sealed their place in the quarterfinals.

Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea (4-1 agg.), Barcelona win 4-1 on aggregate
(Messi 3, 63′, Dembele 20′)

Lionel Messi was the architect of Chelsea’s downfall as Barcelona beat a poor Chelsea side to ease into the last eight of the Champions League.

Not only did this game see Messi reach 100 Champions League goals, a feat he has achieved in 123 games — 14 fewer than his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo — but his opener was the fastest he has ever scored, stopping the clock at 128 seconds.

Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez were both involved in the build-up as Messi drove through the heart of the Chelsea defense, and slotted the ball under goalkeeper Thibault Courtois from a tight angle.

Barcelona added a second not long after, and it came from former Borussia Dortmund winger Dembele, who was found in space by Messi, and the Frenchman found the top corner with his weaker right foot.

Impenetrable defense

Chelsea offered occasional flickers of potential, but struggled to turn their possession into clear-cut chances against a Barca defense that has now gone four games without conceding a goal. Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso came close in the second half, but his shot was blocked by the impenetrable Gerard Pique.

Reaching a milestone

Instead, Messi added a third to score his milestone goal, collecting a short pass from Suarez and dribbling his way into space before firing low under Courtois again.

It completed another memorable night for Barcelona, who also set a new record by becoming the first team to reach the quarterfinals in 11 consecutive seasons.

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