Andres Iniesta’s Brilliance Summed Up In 3 Seconds To Assist Messi's Goal Vs. Chelsea
Get the best email in soccer.
The Lionel Messi goal vs Chelsea gave Barcelona a vital away goal after the first leg in the Champions League Round of 16 as the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge. It was his first goal in nine career matches against the Blues. But it was all about that assist from Andres Iniesta, three seconds that perfectly summed up the Spaniard’s brilliance.
In the 75th minute, Andres Iniesta capitalized on a horrible giveaway by Andreas Christensen, who played a ball across the middle of his defensive third to no one in particular. Iniesta was first to react and did all the hard work to allow for an easy finish from Messi.
(Goal comes around 0:50 in video below.)
Iniesta has never been the biggest, fastest or most athletic player for Barcelona or Spain, but everything he does bring to a team was on display in his assist in the 75th minute. Iniesta showed intelligence reading the game, timing to reach the loose pass, vision to spot the run of Messi and technique to play a perfect ball to the Argentine.
Iniesta was apparently the only one who noticed Messi wandering into the box unmarked. He didn’t even have to turn his head as he laid a no-look pass off to Messi, who was never going to miss a chance like that. The opportunity immediately followed a penalty shout from Luis Suarez, who was eventually booked for dissent for arguing his case.
The Messi goal vs Chelsea was massive for the two-leg tie. While Barcelona doesn’t have a lead to protect, the away goal will give the Blaugrana confidence heading into the second leg at the Camp Nou. It was certainly a better showing than their last two Champions League first legs, a 4-0 loss at PSG and 3-0 loss to Juventus.
For much of the match it appeared as though everything was going to plan for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Willian struck the post twice in the first half before finally beating the woodwork in the 62nd minute with another well-struck ball from distance.
But, thanks to the brilliance of Andres Iniesta, the Messi goal vs Chelsea gave Barcelona the advantage ahead of the return leg on March 14.