Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and midfielder Marcos Alonso know very well why their opponents are moving on to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, and their side is eliminated. They don’t have the man who rivals Cristiano Ronaldo for best player in the entire world.
Barcelona has Lionel Messi, Chelsea does not. Entering this Champions League tie, Messi had never scored against Chelsea in eight games and that made for his worst individual record against any one team. However, by the time this tie was over, he had three scoring strikes in two matches.
Messi did it by nutmegging Courtois twice, and scoring from angles that looked ridiculously impossible.
“I don’t think we deserve to be out, but individual mistakes cost us in both legs. The first goal, I did not expect Lionel Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs. It was a mistake on my part,” Chelsea’s Belgian #1 said.
“I played against Messi a lot of time. I have already conceded goals like that before. The weakest point is between the legs or a goalkeeper, it is annoying, I cannot hide inside, I have to be a man and come out. I made some good saves too but we go out with conceding four goals from four mistakes,” Courtois said.
Tonight also saw Messi achieve both the quickest of the 602 goals that he’s scored over the course of his career, and his 100th in Champions League play.
“They have Lionel Messi and I think they were the better team even though we competed well in both games. If we concede easy goals and miss the chances, then it is very difficult against this team,” Alonso added.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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