Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets smashes Champions League passing record for the season

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Pass-master Sergio Busquets was at his finest against Chelsea.

Sergio Busquets has long been the pass-master at the heart of Barcelona‘s play, and on Tuesday night he showed yet again just how good he is.

With Ernesto Valverde’s men dominating possession against Chelsea, Busquets had the chance to dictate play from midfield, and in doing so he set a new mark for midfield excellence this season.

The midfielder attempted 139 passes and completed 128, more than any Barcelona player has managed in a single game in all competitions this season.

Busquets had a total of 152 touches and 10 ball recoveries, with 90 of his passes coming in the opposition half, along with one chance created, in the 1-1 draw.

Before this, the record for attempted and completed passes by a Barcelona player in a Champions League was held by Paulinho, who completed 111 of 114 passes against Olympiakos in the group stages.

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Can you name the 12 clubs Barcelona's Lionel Messi has failed to score against?

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Lionel Messi up against Chelsea

Lionel Messi and Barcelona head to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night to face Chelsea in the Champions League.

It will be the ninth time Messi has faced the Premier League side in his career, having failed to score in each of the previous eight meetings between the two clubs.

Chelsea are one of 12 teams who have stopped the five-time Balon d’Or winner from scoring against them. Can you name the other 11?

If the quiz doesn’t load correctly, please click here.

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Ernesto Valverde praises Barcelona players after 2-0 victory over Eibar

David Cooper 18/02/2018
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Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde admitted he had to adapt his tactics to get the better of 10-man Eibar in their La Liga 2-0 victory on Saturday night.

Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were on target for the league leaders – a result which equaled a league unbeaten record of 31 matches – set in 2011.

Valverde resisted making changes at the Estadio Ipurua ahead of their Champions League last-16 round first-leg against Chelsea this week and the Spaniard was pleased to come away with all three points.

“Eibar are on an incredible run and played top quality football” he said. “We struggled in the second half and couldn’t get into their area.

“They were winning the ball in our half, causing danger with crosses from the wings and the pitch was very heavy. The game was as difficult as we had expected. But it was a lot easier when they were a man down.”

He added: “We tried to stay loyal to our style and beat our opponent that way. But you still have to adapt from time to time. In the second half they were on top because we couldn’t break down their pressure.”

“But they were taking a lot of risks by leaving so much space behind them, and long balls were the best way to deal with that pressure and get us into goalscoring positions.”

Yet despite the positive result which was their first in three league games, Valverde insists Chelsea will be a ‘different story’.

“Today was good preparation for the Champions League but every game is different and Tuesday will be a different story” he insisted. “We’ll go there and try to have a good game.”

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