Barcelona's Lionel Messi, second right, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, second right, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Champions League tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Nick Potts/PA via AP

Messi ends drought to give Barcelona last-16 edge over Chelsea



Lionel Messi struck for the first time in nine games against Chelsea to give Barcelona the upper hand from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

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.

“Willian could have had a hat-trick – but we go home sad because a fantastic performance is not a fantastic result,” Chelsea’s former Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas told BT Sport.

“We have to go there to attack and score because 90 minutes defending at the Nou Camp is an eternity, it is a suicide mission. We have to play our game.”

Nine years on from combining for a stoppage-time equaliser in a highly controversial semi-final at Stamford Bridge to send Barca to the final, Iniesta and Messi swapped roles as this time the Spaniard provided the pass and Messi the finish.

“They are one of the best teams in Europe, they have great players and this is the Champions League. In this competition any move or mistake can cost you a lot,” Iniesta told TV3.

“I think it will be a different game at home. Playing in front of our fans, on our pitch.”

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.

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

Willian showed his ability to score from outside the box off either foot on Friday, with a double against Hull City to take Chelsea into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

He was inches away from another long-range stunner when he curled a shot on to the post from 25 yards with Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten in the Barca goal.

Barca had kept six clean sheets in their previous seven Champions League games but once again had good luck rather than good defending to thank four minutes before the break when Willian hooked another effort from outside the box off the woodwork.

Hazard then volleyed just over as Chelsea ended the half on a high.

Barca appeared to have restored order early in the second period but failed to learn their lesson of Willian's danger from the edge of the box.

A short corner was worked into the Brazilian’s path and he arrowed a low shot past the rooted ter Stegen.

However, Barca remain unbeaten in 31 La Liga and Champions League games under Ernesto Valverde thanks to a late rally.

Luis Suarez had claims for a penalty waved away when he went down under pressure from Rudiger.

But Barca’s protests had barely been silenced before they were level.

Christensen’s dangerous ball across his own box was a gift for an old scourge of Chelsea in Iniesta, and Messi made no mistake by sweeping low past Thibaut Courtois for his 28th goal of the season.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

The Iron Claw

Director: Sean Durkin 

Starring: Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Holt McCallany, Lily James

Rating: 4/5

NBA Finals so far

(Toronto lead 3-1 in best-of-seven series_

Game 1 Raptors 118 Warriors 109

Game 2 Raptors 104 Warriors 109

Game 3 Warriors 109 Raptors 123

Game 4 Warriors 92 Raptors 105

FIXTURES

Monday, January 28
Iran v Japan, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Tuesday, January 29
UAEv Qatar, Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Friday, February 1
Final, Zayed Sports City Stadium (6pm)

Yahya Al Ghassani's bio

Date of birth: April 18, 1998

Playing position: Winger

Clubs: 2015-2017 – Al Ahli Dubai; March-June 2018 – Paris FC; August – Al Wahda

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

RESULTS

1.45pm: Maiden Dh75,000 1,200m
Winner: Lady Parma, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).
2.15pm: Maiden Dh75,000 1,200m
Winner: Tabernas, Connor Beasley, Ahmed bin Harmash.
2.45pm: Handicap Dh95,000 1,200m
Winner: Night Castle, Connor Beasley, Satish Seemar.
3.15pm: Handicap Dh120,000 1,400m
Winner: Mystique Moon, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson.
3.45pm: Handicap Dh80,000 1,400m
Winner: Mutawakked, Szczepan Mazur, Musabah Al Muhairi.
4.15pm: Handicap Dh90,000 1,800m
Winner: Tafaakhor, Sandro Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
4.45pm: Handicap Dh80,000 1,950m
Winner: Cranesbill, Fabrice Veron, Erwan Charpy.

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya

Directors: Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Dharmendra, Dimple Kapadia, Rakesh Bedi

Rating: 4/5

Jeff Buckley: From Hallelujah To The Last Goodbye
By Dave Lory with Jim Irvin

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The specs: 2024 Mercedes E200

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo + mild hybrid
Power: 204hp at 5,800rpm +23hp hybrid boost
Torque: 320Nm at 1,800rpm +205Nm hybrid boost
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
On sale: November/December
Price: From Dh205,000 (estimate)

Leap of Faith

Michael J Mazarr

Public Affairs

Dh67
 

Scoreline

Australia 2-1 Thailand

Australia: Juric 69', Leckie 86'
Thailand: Pokklaw 82'

When Umm Kulthum performed in Abu Dhabi

Known as The Lady of Arabic Song, Umm Kulthum performed in Abu Dhabi on November 28, 1971, as part of celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the accession of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as Ruler of Abu Dhabi. A concert hall was constructed for the event on land that is now Al Nahyan Stadium, behind Al Wahda Mall. The audience were treated to many of Kulthum's most well-known songs as part of the sold-out show, including Aghadan Alqak and Enta Omri.

Key findings
  • Over a period of seven years, a team of scientists analysed dietary data from 50,000 North American adults.
  • Eating one or two meals a day was associated with a relative decrease in BMI, compared with three meals. Snacks count as a meal. Likewise, participants who ate more than three meals a day experienced an increase in BMI: the more meals a day, the greater the increase.
  • People who ate breakfast experienced a relative decrease in their BMI compared with “breakfast-skippers”.
  • Those who turned the eating day on its head to make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, did even better.
  • But scrapping dinner altogether gave the best results. The study found that the BMI of subjects who had a long overnight fast (of 18 hours or more) decreased when compared even with those who had a medium overnight fast, of between 12 and 17 hours.
Fourth-round clashes for British players

- Andy Murray (1) v Benoit Paire, Centre Court (not before 4pm)

- Johanna Konta (6) v Caroline Garcia (21), Court 1 (4pm)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


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