An excellent tactical performance looked likely to give Chelsea a valuable lead to take to Camp Nou, but a single mistake from Andreas Christensen led to Lionel Messi’s equaliser, the away goal leaving Barcelona as firm favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.
Barcelona dominated possession in the early stages, but a lack of width, speed and guile meant that Chelsea, defensively disciplined, restricted them to few sights of goal. Meanwhile, Willian twice welted curlers from distance against the post, and at half-time the sense was that it was the away side which needed to change things.
The second period started slowly, but then on 62 minutes Chelsea took a corner short as Barcelona failed to mark Willian on the edge of the box – fair enough, it was not as though they had been warned – and he shifted the angle, then passed a lovely finish low inside the near post.
With Chelsea maintaining their defensive shape, an equaliser did not look imminent, but then Christensen passed across the face of his box, Andres Iniesta intercepted, and retained his composure to tee up Messi, who finished with ease.
Neither side came especially close to finding a winner, Barcelona looking to protect their draw and Chelsea wary of sending too many men forward, and though it is easy to see Chelsea scoring at the Camp Nou, it is easy to see Barcelona doing likewise.