By James Agberebi:
A brace from Lionel Messi and another strike from Ousmane Dembele gave Barcelona a convincing 3-0 win against Chelsea in their second leg round of 16 UEFA Champions League clash at Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
Barcelona are through to the quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate after holding Chelsea to a 1- 1draw in the first-leg at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago.
It was Barcelona’s first win against Chelsea at the Camp Nou since 2005.
Super Eagles forward Victor Moses was in action for Chelsea before he was replaced by Davide Zappacosta in the second half.
Messi, who recently had his third child, gave Barcelona the lead as early as three minutes, which was the fastest goal he has scored in his career and also his 99th Champions League goal.
He turned provider as he set up Ousmane Dembele to make it 2-0 to Barcelona before adding the third goal.
Barcelona have now qualified for the quarter-finals for the 11th straight season since they got knocked out by Liverpool in the round of 16 in 2007.
Barcelona got off to a good start in the third minute as Messi slipped the ball under Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle off a Luis Suarez assist for the Argentine superstar’s 100th Champions League goal.
Chelsea almost responded immediately from a Willian free-kick but his effort deflected off a Barcelona player for a corner.
Dembele doubled Barcelona’s lead in the 20th minute as he fired past Courtois into the roof of the net following a break by Messi after Cesc Fabregas gave the ball away in the centre circle.
Chelsea should have scored on 37 minutes through N’Golo Kante who ran into the Barcelona area but his left-foot strike went just off target.
Marcos Alonso almost scored for Chelsea in one minute of first half added time only to see his well taken free-kick come off the post.
Chelsea were almost made to pay early in the second half on following a poor pass by Courtois which went to Luis Suarez but the Uruguayan’s shot was stopped by the outstretched legs of the Belgian keeper.
Chelsea had a shout for a penalty when Marcos Alonso appeared to have been brought down when through on goal in the Barcelona box but the referee waved play on.
After playing on the back foot early in the second half it was Barcelona who struck again as Messi scored his second to make it 3-0 on 63 minutes off a breakaway, as he breezed past the Chelsea defence before unleashing a low shot which went through Courtois legs again.
Messi almost scored his third goal on 79 minutes from a free-kick but Courtois punched his goal bound shot away for a corner.
With five minutes left Courtois produced a superb save as he palmed Paulinho’s header from a corner over the bar for another corner.
Chelsea had two quick chances late in the game, first through Davide Zappacosta whose shot was well saved by Ter Stegen, while Antonio Rudiger’s header came off the bar.