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Saturday , 20 October 2018

Bayern hammer Besiktas, Chelsea hold Barcelona

Bayern Munich did not spare their visitors Besiktas from Turkey in the first leg of the UEFA Champions Round of 16 at the Allianz Arena, as they banged five goals behind them.

In London, Chelsea and Barcelona ended up 1-1, with Lionel Messi seizing on a defensive error to put the Catalans at an advantage in the second leg at Camp Nou.

Four of Bayern’s goals were scored in the second half, with Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski recording a brace each.

Mueller had opened scoring in the 43 minute, 27 minutes after Besiktas defender Domagoj Vida had been red-carded after tripping Bayern’s striker Lewandowski.

Vida was sent off for the foul because he was the last man to contain the Bayern offensive.

Eight minutes after play resumed in the second half, Kingsley Corman scored for Bayern, making the scoreline 2-0. Mueller struck again in the 66th minute for his brace of the day and Bayern’s third. Then Lewandowski slammed two goals in the 79th and 88th minute.

The hosts dominated the match, with 66 per cent possession and 12 shots on target. Besiktas, playing with 10 men for 74 minutes, only managed one shot on target. And it was in vain.

At London’s Stamford Bridge, Lionel Messi struck for the first time in nine games against Chelsea.

Willian’s fine strike just after the hour mark had put Chelsea in command after earlier hitting both posts in the first half.
However, one moment of carelessness cost Chelsea dear as Andres Iniesta intercepted Andreas Christensen’s pass to tee up Messi to swing the balance of the tie in Barca’s favour 15 minutes from time.

The English champions must now score when they travel to the Camp Nou on March 14 to have any chance of making the last eight.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte sprang a surprise before kick-off by leaving out both Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata with Eden Hazard instead operating in the middle of a front three featuring Willian and former Barca winger Pedro Rodriguez.

And it was Hazard who sent the first warning that Barca were in for an uncomfortable evening when he fired just over from 20 yards five minutes in.

Antonio Rudiger also headed just wide in a positive opening from the hosts, but it was Barca who had the first clear chance on 16 minutes.

Chelsea constantly tried to surround Messi with three or four blue shirts to limit the Argentine’s threat, but he dug out a cross to the far post where an unmarked Paulinho headed wide.

Barca then went on to dominate possession for a large spell of the first half with their control of the ball reaching 80 percent at one stage.

However, the visitors lacked penetration before the break and were lucky to go in level at half-time.

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