Ruthless Barca knock Chelsea out of Champions League

Barcelona 3 Chelsea 0
(Barcelona win on aggregate 4-1)

Chelsea are out of the Champions League after being well beaten at the Nou Camp.

They made the worst possible start to the last-16 second leg, with the first of two Lionel Messi goals coming after just three minutes courtesy of a mistake by Thibaut Courtois.

Another error, this time by Cesc Fabregas, led to Ousmane Dembele doubling Barcelona’s lead midway through the first half.

The visitors rallied and Marcos Alonso’s free-kick a minute before the interval clipped the outside of the post.

But Messi’s strike just after the hour mark crushed any hope of a Chelsea comeback.

The opening goal came after Alonso’s attempt to cut out a one-two between Messi and Dembele resulted in the ball ricocheting to Luis Suarez, who threaded a pass through to Messi on the right-hand side.

Courtois should easily have dealt with Messi’s right-footed shot from a tight angle, but he allowed the ball to squirm through his legs.

Barca’s away goal – scored by Messi – in the 1-1 draw in the first leg at Stamford Bridge meant Chelsea already had to score to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

And the Blues, with Olivier Giroud leading their attack, responded well to the early setback, with Willian’s shot bringing a save from keeper Marc-André ter Stegen.

But after Fabregas, playing against his former club, gave the ball away, Messi nipped in and raced beyond Andreas Christensen before teeing up Dembele, who fired past Courtois and Antonio Rudiger.

It left Chelsea facing an uphill task – but they had two great chances in the space of a couple of minutes before Alonso hit the woodwork.

Alonso was denied by Ter Stegan after being set up by Willian and then N’Golo Kante had an even better opportunity but dragged a left-footed shot wide of the target.

Chelsea continued to attack early in the second half and had appeals for a penalty waved away after Alonso went down under a challenge from Gerard Piqué.

However, they were caught on the counter-attack when Suarez found Messi and the Argentine breezed past Cesar Azpilicueta before shooting through the legs of Courtois for the second time.

Chelsea’s disappointing night was summed by them hitting the woodwork for a second time when Rudiger’s late header struck the bar.

Chelsea: Coutois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso, Willian, Giroud, (Morata 65) Hazard (Pedro 82).
Subs not used: Caballero, Bakayoko, Zappacosta, Cahill, Palmieri.