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Lionel Messi scores first ever goal against Chelsea

Oluwatobiloba Emmanuel

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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has finally ended his long wait for a goal against Chelsea.

Lionel Messi scored his first goal ever against Chelsea tonight with a 75th-minute equaliser to earn his side a 1-1 draw in a fascinating Champions League last 16, first leg duel at Stamford Bridge.

The Barcelona talisman is arguably the greatest player of all-time but had somehow failed to score against the Blues in eight matches before Tuesday night
But he finally broke his duck 12 years after meeting Chelsea for the first time.

The home side had gone in front when Willian – easily the best player on the night – rifled home early in the second half.

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Barcelona had dominated possession but struggled to break down the stubborn Blues.
It was a mistake that finally undid Antonio Conte’s plans… and ended Messi’s long wait.

Andreas Christensen played a truly awful pass across goal that went to Andres Iniesta – Cesar Azpilicueta made a desperate lunge, but his dive only served to set Iniesta free.
The Barca captain then cut back for Messi and as soon as hit rolled into his stride there was no doubt.

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Messi stroked home, ending a nine-game, 729-minute wait.
The Argentina skipper scored with his 30th shot against the Blues, ending a drought that started in almost 12 years to the day ago.

He even missed a penalty in the semi-final in 2012, the year Chelsea went on to win the competition under Roberto Di Matteo.
The game ultimately finished 1-1, with Barcelona having the opportunity to take advantage in the second leg at the Camp Nou on March 14.

Chelsea had been one of the 12 teams that the Barcelona star had faced in his career without scoring against, and one of two remaining in the current Champions League.

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Messi’s drought against the Blues was not for lack of trying as the goal came on the 30th shot the 30-year-old had taken against them in his career.

The equalizer was Messi’s 18th goal against English opposition in the Champions League, by far the most of any player. Rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second with 11.

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Sports

Arsene Wenger eyes £45m deal for Lyon Nabil Fekir before World Cup

Oluwatobiloba Emmanuel

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Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, is planning a mega deal that will bring Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir to the Emirate next season.

The legendary French gaffer is willing to pay £45m for the 24-year-old, who is expected to be a key member of France’s World Cup squad in June.

Fekir scored in Lyon’s 3-1 Europa League win over Villarreal on Thursday night February 15 and has been compared to France hero Youri Djorkaeff, who helped his country become world champions in 1998 and win the European Championship two years later.

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Lyon might be reluctant to lose their star man, but they might beb tempted by a juicy offer as the case of Alexandre Lacazette who they let go to Arsenal for £52.7m last summer.

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Wenger has tracked Fekir’s development closely, while he has also been watched by Arsenal’s French scout Gilles Grimandi.

He has previously been linked with a move to Real Madrid.
Wenger will be hoping for a deal before Fekir reports for World Cup duty with France.

Hitng.com.ng previously reported that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful of seeing out his current two-year contract at the Premier League club.
The longest serving Gunners manager signed a new contract at Arsenal at the end of last season but there has been no improvement in the club as they lie sixth in the league.

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The north London club have also been knocked out of the FA Cup and are not sure of a guaranteed Champions League football next season.

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Chelsea Vs Hull City: FA Cup (4 – 0)- Live – European Football (EPL, UEFA, La Liga)

Oluwatobiloba Emmanuel

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is without the injured David Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ross Barkley for Friday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Hull.Conte will rotate his squad for the game, with fixtures against Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City on the horizon.

But he said a strong cup run was high on his list of priorities for the rest of the season.

“We have in front of us two weeks that are very tough,” he said.

“It’s right to have a programme, to have a plan, to face these two tough weeks in the right way.

“At the same time, as you know very well, we want to try to go through to the next round in the FA Cup.”


Striker Olivier Giroud (calf) and defender Marcos Alonso (ankle) face a late test to be fit for the fifth-round match.

Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League, 19 points adrift of leaders City with 11 games left, but Conte said it was vital to maintain their advantage over Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who are directly below them in the league.

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“When you start a season, every competition is a priority,” he said. “We want to try to fight for every competition. There are three priorities for us in the rest of the season.”

Chelsea are also in the Champions League, hosting Barcelona in the last 16 next Tuesday.

Why does nobody want to buy Hull City?

Hull come into the FA Cup contest on the back of a 2-1 fourth round win over Arsenal’s conquerors Nottingham Forest.

Manager Nigel Adkins will be without a trio of defenders on loan from Chelsea – Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori – who are ineligible to face their parent club.

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Midfielder Seb Larsson is serving the first of a two-game ban, while captain Michael Dawson and winger Kamil Grosicki will have late fitness tests.

“It gives other players an opportunity,” Adkins said. “I know what we’re going to do, but we’ll leave people to discover that when the teamsheet goes in 75 minutes before kick-off.

“It’s a challenging scenario, and like I’ve said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us.”

Match facts

This will be the first FA Cup meeting between these two sides since a third-round match in December 1999, which Chelsea won 6-1 away from home – their joint-biggest away win in the competition and the only time they’ve scored six on the road in the competition.

In all competitions, the Blues have never lost at home against Hull City, winning 17 – including their last four – and drawing five.

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Chelsea have progressed from nine of their last 10 fifth round FA Cup ties, with their only loss coming against Manchester City in 2014.

The Tigers have won only three of their last 19 FA Cup ties against top-flight opponents. However, they won their most recent encounter with a Premier League club, beating Swansea City 2-0 in January 2017.

The Blues have scored 127 goals in 44 FA Cup games at Stamford Bridge since last failing to score at home in March 1999 (averaging 2.9 goals per game).

Hull have kept four clean sheets in their last seven matches under Nigel Adkins, having kept just four across the preceding 30 games.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/42998720

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