The night's other Champions League round-of-16 match between Bayern Munich and Besiktas produced a far more conclusive outcome with a 5-0 victory for the German giants.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal during the Champions League Round of 16 First Leg  at Chelsea vs FC Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, London, Britain. February 20, 2018
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal during the Champions League Round of 16 First Leg at Chelsea vs FC Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, London, Britain. February 20, 2018 ()

Lionel Messi finally managed one of the few things he had yet to achieve in football.

At his ninth attempt, the five-time world player of the year finally scored against Chelsea, salvaging a 1-1 draw on Tuesday and halting his longest drought against any opponent after 730 minutes.

By cancelling out Willian's opener, Messi also gave Barcelona a narrow edge in their Champions League round-of-16 match-up heading into the second leg at Camp Nou on March 14. 

The night's other game produced a far more conclusive outcome with Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski both scoring twice as Bayern Munich beat 10-man Besiktas 5-0.

It was far tighter at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea deploying Eden Hazard as a false nine and containing Barcelona's energetic pressing before being made to pay for a rare slip in concentration in the 75th minute.

Andreas Christensen, the 21-year-old centre back who displaced 32-year-old captain Gary Cahill from the starting line-up, passed laxly across his own penalty area. Barcelona capitalised. Andres Iniesta beat Cesar Azpilicueta to the ball, skipped past the defender's attempt to tackle and squared for the unmarked Messi to turn into the bottom of the net. It prevented Barcelona from slipping to only its second loss in all competitions since August.

"We lacked more clear-cut chances, but the good thing is we managed to force an error out of them and score an equalizer," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said through a translator. "We go back to the Camp Nou happy."

Twice, though, Barcelona had gifted Willian the space to hit the post in the first half. It was third time lucky in the 62nd for Willian, who drifts in and out of the team but was the outlet of Chelsea's most dangerous moments against the five-time European champions.

The Brazilian was left unmarked just outside the penalty area to receive a pass from Eden Hazard. Sergio Busquets charged forward to block Willian but ended up on flat on his back after Willian shimmied past him.

"We gave too much space to Willian to shoot," Valverde said. "The pass to him was perfect, the control was perfect. And we just had to get closer to him."

They didn't. Willian picked out a gap in the defence to send the ball into the bottom right of the night.

"We stayed compact, had a plan," Willian said, "and did exactly what we expected."

Described by Valverde as a "clash of styles," this was not a meeting of equals.

While Barcelona enjoys a seven-point lead at the top of the Spanish league, Chelsea is in a scrap to even secure one of the Premier League's four Champions League qualification places. Recent damaging defeats at Bournemouth and Watford have left Chelsea with only a one-point hold on fourth place — and no chance of defending its title with Manchester City 19 points ahead.

Now Chelsea, which won its only European title in 2012, has to find a way to at least score at Barcelona next month to secure passage to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.

"We have to go there to attack and score because 90 minutes defending at the Nou Camp is an eternity," said Cesc Fabregas, who joined Chelsea from Barcelona. "It is a suicide mission."

Bayern vs Besiktas

Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski both scored twice as Bayern Munich defeated 10-man Besiktas 5-0 Tuesday to all but secure progress to the Champions League quarterfinals for the seventh straight season.

Bayern played with an extra man after Domagoj Vida was sent off early for bringing down Lewandowski as the last defender, but didn't open the scoring until the 43rd minute when Mueller netted from close range. The floodgates opened after the break, though, as Kingsley Coman doubled the lead and Mueller grabbed his second midway through the second half.

Lewandowski polished off the win with two late goals to give Bayern a seemingly insurmountable five-goal cushion ahead of the second leg of the last-16 tie in Istanbul on March 14.

"The red card definitely played into our hands," Mueller said after the biggest home first-leg win in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

It was Bayern's 14th straight win across all competitions — a record for Jupp Heynckes as coach, who was spoiled for choice with all his outfield players fit.

"The keys to the win were the sending off, and then, later, the first goal before the break," said Heynckes, whose side leads the Bundesliga by a huge margin. "The Champions League is another competition. I think we still need to improve."

Besiktas didn't take up its allocation of away tickets for the game for fear of a ban following fan-trouble at Lyon in the Europa League last season, but many visiting supporters nevertheless managed to get tickets to cheer on their side.

After a promising start, Besiktas' hopes took a blow when Vida was sent off in the 16th minute. Lewandowski was free after a mistake from Besiktas captain Atiba Hutchinson and Vida mistimed his challenge to bring him down.

Vagner Love fired a great chance over for the visitors, but Bayern dominated chances thereafter. David Alaba's effort was blocked, then Mats Hummels headed straight at goalkeeper Fabri after a brilliant cross from James Rodriguez.

Just when it looked like Besiktas weathered the storm, Mueller got the breakthrough for Bayern before the break, scoring from close range after good work from Coman.

Lewandowski pulled the ball back for Coman to score early in the second half, and Mueller grabbed his second a quarter-hour later, prodding Joshua Kimmich's cross in from close range.

Bayern kept pushing for more and Lewandowski was quickest to the rebound when Fabri saved Hummels' effort late on, before Mueller set him up for his 16th Champions League goal in as many games.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness ruled out any talk of Bayern repeating its 2013 treble from Heynckes' previous stint.

"No. That's crazy. We have to take it from one round to the next," said Hoeness, later contradicted by Mueller, who said the treble was "possible."

Source: AP