In the build up to tonights Champions League last 16 first leg between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, much has been made about Lionel Messi’s run of eight games without scoring against the Blues.
This run is in fact, the worst of the Argentina superstars career against a single club. One of the lowest moments of Messi’s career came in 2012 when he missed a penalty in the semi final second leg, which saw his side eliminated and Chelsea go on to win that years tournament.
However, writing in his column in the London Evening Standard, Blues Legend Frank Lampard admitted that Messi may well have a point to prove tonight at Stamford Bridge, when he said:
”Lionel Messi will be more motivated than usual at Stamford Bridge tonight and that has to be a big worry for Chelsea. It has been well documented ahead of the first leg that Messi has never scored against Chelsea in the Champions League — a run that has so far totalled eight games.
The last thing you want to do is give Messi a bit of a challenge for him to overcome and he will have the bit between his teeth to get off the mark.
For me, the Argentina international is the greatest player of all time and Chelsea will have to pay special attention to him.”
Messi’s has also suffered a bad run of form against Chelsea’s Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who did not concede any goals against the five time Balon d’Or winners in six appearances for his former side Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona’s captain is of course one of the greatest footballers of all time, so nobody will be too surprised if he gets his name on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. However, his poor record against Chelsea and Courtois definitely adds another interesting subplot to what promises to be a cracking Champions League encounter.