Barcelona come away from Stamford Bridge with the slimmest of possible advantages in a Champions League knockout, and that so fittingly reflecting the engaging tightness of this game, but so frustratingly coming from the one moment that Chelsea had allowed the gap between the teams to become so tangibly evident.
It also allowed Lionel Messi to inevitably end what had been one of the most notable negatives on his record, as he finally got his first goal against Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois. He did so inevitably exploiting the space offered up by a kamikaze Andreas Christensen pass. That gave Barca a 1-1 draw and means Chelsea simply have to score in the return in three weeks, having also undone the ingenuity displayed by Willian.
This was the greater frustration for Antonio Conte and his side. Willian’s goals had many of the same qualities as his manager’s game plan: he so expertly calculated the exact angles and space allowed to maximise the tightest of openings, in the same way his manager had worked out how to reduce the much-discussed gap between the English champions and Spanish leaders.