Lionel Messi is carrying too much of the creative burden at Barcelona

Lionel Messi is carrying too much of the creative burden at Barcelona

Barcelona's talisman Messi had fired blanks on eight previous occasions against Chelsea, most notably in a shock semi-final defeat six years ago, and he rarely had a glimpse of goal on his ninth meeting with the Londoners.

Messi's goal was the first a Barcelona player has scored in an away Champions League match for six games. It will be totally different, we must play with the same mentality, prepare well.

"The issue was that he was careless, too casual in a game where full concentration for 90 minutes was required".

"I think our three strikers played very well, a fantastic game", the Italian responded.

While it was Eden Hazard who was touted as the big player for Chelsea, it was Willian's sharpness, runs and battles that made Barcelona stutter the most.

The Blues were heading towards a first-leg advantage following Willian's opener, only for La Liga leaders Barcelona to seize upon Andreas Christensen's loose pass and Lionel Messi to plunder his first career goal against Chelsea at the ninth attempt.

But things are bunched up between second and fifth place, as Chelsea is fourth with 53 points and Tottenham is just one point behind in fifth with 52. "Barcelona were fighting so hard to create a chance, and then one mistake opened us up".

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said his side played nearly the flawless game against Champions League favourites Barcelona on Tuesday (February 20), but he was still disappointed with the 1-1 home leg result. "We go back to the Camp Nou happy... we will see what happens in the return leg".

"I was a bit unlucky (hitting the post twice)".

"You have to have a lot of personality to play against this team who have over 70% of the ball".

"Of course, the result against Atletico gives us confidence".

"They had a few chances, one of the best teams in the world, but we were compact and solid". But if we go with the same mentality as we did against Atletico, we can go there with great spirit and win the game.

"We were the stronger team, in fact we dominated most of the game", the Croatian told reporters (via Football Espana).

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