Lionel Messi breaks Chelsea curse to pull Barcelona level - and Twitter explodes
Barcelona and Chelsea finished level as Lionel Messi cancelled out Willian's goal, and Twitter went absolutely berserk
As Barcelona travelled to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 match, a large portion of the buzz surrounding the game pertained to the fact that Barcelona's demigod (although some would argue there's nothing 'demi' about him) Lionel Messi had never scored against Chelsea.
8 previous encounters had seen 1 missed penalty and none nestling the net, so it's unsurprising that there was some kind of pressure on the Argentinian sensation to change that. Barcelona dominated the game from the get-go, completely outpassing the Blues, while maintaining most possession of the ball.
Willian, however, led the Chelsea rebellion against not just Barcelona, but also luck. The Brazilian gave the hosts the lead in the 62nd minute with an excellent shot from outside the box, but was also extremely unlucky to hit either post, denying him 2 more well-deserved goals.
And then the inevitable occurred. A moment of weakness allowed Lionel Messi to rescue Barcelona in characteristic style, scoring his first ever goal against the Stamford Bridge-based outfit - and his 98th for Barcelona in the Champions League.
Notably, the diminutive 30-year-old's goal could ultimately prove to be pivotal, as it didn't just bring the visitors level, but also gave them an all-important away goal to work with in the return leg at Camp Nou next month.
As usual, Twitter went absolutely nuts, and here's a look at some of the best tweets we found:
A look at the goals, first:
Willian's wonderful effort put the hosts ahead, proving just how important he is to the side.
And then Lionel Messi replied with a blinder to highlight his own importance to the Catalan side.
Expectedly, the Twitterati were sent into a dizzying frenzy, as they usually are every time the Argentinian so much as exhales.
Andres Iniesta also received his share of praise for being his usual exceptional influence in midfield.
Chelsea's efforts didn't go unnoticed either, as fans consoled each other while also appreciating the Londoners. Well, it's no small feat to hold this mighty Barcelona side to a 1-1 draw. Of course, that didn't seem to be enough for some, as trolls weren't too far away, either.
Willian, in specific, was hailed for his performance, despite hitting the post twice.
Although the first leg has only just ended, it didn't seem to stop fans from discussing and speculating about the return leg scheduled to be played at Camp Nou on the 14th of March.
With the scoreline evenly poised at 1-1, the second leg in Catalonia sure will be an exciting affair, as both sides will be expected to go all guns blazing to win a place in the quarter-finals of Europe's most coveted competition.