The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 continued on Tuesday with four more European sides kicking off their first leg matchups. In the must-watch match of the day, Chelsea held on for a 1-1 draw against visiting Barcelona at Stamford Bridge. The current La Liga leaders used a left-footed equalizer from Lionel Messi to draw level after the Blues opened the scoring.
Brazilian international Willian put Antonio Conte’s men in front after 62 minutes, scoring from a blistering long-range effort. It was the forward’s 10th goal in all competitions this season, and his second in the UCL. Willian had two efforts strike each of the posts in the first-half, which was the closest either side got to scoring earlier.
Messi drew the Catalan side level in the 75th-minute, as the Argentine netted his 26th goal of the season. Both Thibaut Courtois and Marc-Andre ter Stegen made one save apiece as Barcelona returns to the Camp Nou leading on the away-goal tiebreaker.
Barcelona welcomes Chelsea to town on March 14th in the second leg.
FOUR-GOAL SECOND HALF PROPELS BAYERN TO BEAT DOWN OF BESIKTAS
Bayern Munich looked to have all but booked their place in the quarterfinals after a 5-0 first leg thrashing of Besiktas at the Allianz Arena. The Turkish side played the bulk of the match with 10 men after Croatian international Domagoj Vida was sent after 16 minutes in.
The 28-year-old centerback saw straight red after a denial of a goalscoring opportunity on Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski. Ricardo Quaresma had Besiktas’ best effort after 39 minutes, forcing Sven Ulreich into his only save of the match. Thomas Muller’s close-range finish gave Bayern a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
After Lewandowski struck the post, Kingsley Coman doubled Bayern’s lead after 52 minutes from the Polish international’s assist. Muller added his seventh goal of the season from a strong finish before Lewandowski scored a brace of his own.
The striker’s first came after 79 minutes from a rebound before slotting home Muller’s assist in the 88th-minute. Lewandowski now has three goals in the UCL, and 26 in all competitions this season.
Besiktas returns home to face Bayern on March 14th, knowing a miracle is needed to advance.