Christensen's cock-up

One of the incredible things about the game of football is that no matter how much time we watch the game, we continually get to witness new things. Last night's suicidal pass from Christensen is an example as the Chelsea player knocked the ball across the face of his goal where it failed to reach Azpilicueta and was intercepted by a grateful Iniesta who touched back for Messi to slot home. I'm convinced that that passage of play could be decisive in deciding the overall outcome of this tie as I also felt that the turning point last week at the Bernabeu was when Emery decided to swap Meunier for Cavani in a tactical mistake that allowed Marco Asensio to maraud with the 22-year-old having a hand in both Madrid's late goals.

Soccer Football - Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Chelsea vs FC Barcelona - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - February 20, 2018 Chelsea's Andreas Christensen looks dejected after Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scores their first goal

Schoolboy error

Life is full of surprises. We dedicate so much time in breaking down details in football, trying to discover the secrets of the game and each time we feel we are about to reach the hold grail, the system resets and we're back to square one. Despite their possession last night Barça were struggling to carve out chances with Messi indifferent as Willian came close for the home side, striking the post twice before slotting home just after the hour mark with a precision finish. The defining moment of the night came with 15 minutes remaining as Christensen committed that cardinal sin of passing across one's own penalty box, something that is drilled into every young player. Just as PSG seemed to be in control at the Bernabéu last week, a similar fate befell Chelsea who now head into the second leg with Barça having bagged a vital away goal.



Playing well in a football match generally means dominating the situation. In plain speaking, that also encapsulates not cocking-up. There are certain clubs at the top of the footballing pile who never gift goals to the opposing side via silly errors but they are the first to pounce when presented with these "gifts". In the past week we've seen games when arguably both Real Madrid and Barça have been outplayed but both managed to salve positive results from their respective matches. This may, in these instances be coincidental but I'd also say there is a cold-bloodlessness of experience in both teams that has been instrumental in helping them to achieve their results and put both teams in a positive positing going into each second-leg.