Lionel Messi finally lifted his curse against Chelsea and in doing so, gave Barcelona the advantage at the halfway point of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.
After 730 minutes, the Argentinian finally scored against the Blues in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
It was a battle from start to finish, with Chelsea trying to prevent Barcelona from playing fluently and getting men behind the ball every time the Blaugrana were in possession.
Antonio Conte’s gameplan worked for 75 minutes until Messi capitalised on a mistake by Andreas Christensen to level the scores after Willian’s opener.
The result means the Premier League club must score at the Camp Nou on March 14 if they are to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-final.
There’s hope to be found in the fact that Chelsea scored twice in their last appearance at Barcelona’s stadium, and haven’t tasted defeat in their previous four trips to the Camp Nou.
But to beat Barcelona means beating a side that possesses perhaps the finest defensive midfielder in the game right now.
N’Golo Kante showed last night how to impact a game without touching the ball on many occasions but Sergio Busquets showed how to pull the strings in midfield.
Busquets ran the show against Chelsea
The Spanish midfielder is widely regarded as one of the most under-appreciated footballers in history but his importance was evident at Stamford Bridge.
The Daily Mail gave Busquets an eight out of 10 player rating, writing: “Ran the show. One or two touch passing. An absolute midfield artist.”
He even set a Barcelona record
He also smashed Barcelona’s record for attempted and completed passes this season, with 128 of his attempted 139 passes proving successful.
The previous record was held by Paulinho, who completed 111 of 114 passes against Olympiacos.
Ninety of Busquets’ completed passes were made in Chelsea’s half and his overall pass completed rate was 92 per cent.
And it wasn’t just in his distribution of the football where the 29-year-old shined. He came up with 10 ball recoveries, per Marca, and had a total of 152 touches.
Talk about bossing the midfield.
Watch: Busquets' individual highlights
Busquets was flat-footed for Willian’s opener but very few players could keep up with the Brazilian’s quick feet.
Watch his individual highlights below.
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