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Angels Links: Messi’s goal cancels out Willian’s for Champions League draw

Also, how VAR came back to bite Marek Hamsik.

Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,

Lionel Messi finally scores against Chelsea in 1-1 draw in first leg of Champions League match up

Chelsea and Barcelona have a lot of Champions league history, and Tuesday’s game continued their fierce rivalry. Going in it seemed like it might be a walk over for the Blaugrana, with Barca flying high in La Liga, and Chelsea looking shaky as of late. But the champions of England put in a good performance, and were unlucky to be level at the break, as Willian struck the post twice in the first half. The third time was the charm though, as Willian fired in a low effort in the 62nd minute to give Chelsea a deserved lead. This lasted for about 10 minutes, with a terrible giveaway at the back by Andreas Christensen was intercepted by Andres Iniesta, who laid the ball off to Messi and he fired it into the net. This gives Barca the slight advantage headed back to the Camp Nou, but if Chelsea played like they did on Tuesday, they just might have a shot at the upset.

Toronto FC defeat Colorado Rapids in first MLS CONCACAF Champions League knockout match of 2018

Defending treble champions Toronto FC traveled to bitterly cold Commerce City, Colorado to take on the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night in the first leg of the teams’ CCL knockout series. While the new-look Rapids looked frisky in the first half, multiple chances, including several from Dominique Badji, went unconverted, and TFC came roaring back in the second half, with goals from Jonathan Osorio and Sebastian Giovinco (the latter a volley with the Rapids’ backline almost literally frozen in place). TFC will take a tidy 2-0 lead into the return leg in Toronto.

Sergio Aguero avoids disciplinary action in aftermath of Wigan loss and scuffle with fans

Wigan’s defeat of Manchester City in the FA Cup was overshadowed by the chaos that ensued before and after the game. Manchester City and Wigan were charged with failing to control their players, when there was some tense words exchanged between the City players, Wigan players, and the referee after Fabian Delph’s late red card. There was also post-match action, as the Wigan fans stormed the field to celebrate their victory, and some fans got into it with Sergio Aguero. Aguero was not charged with any wrongdoing in the matter. Storming the field is great visually, and feels great for the fans (I have done it personally, at one of the few big College Basketball games my school won). But the number one concern when it happens is the safety of everyone involved, and if there is a danger to the players of the opposing team, every effort must be met to prevent any incidents from occurring.

Marek Hamsik booked for destroying corner flag in celebration... only for goal to be disallowed by VAR

Corner flags in soccer are frequent props used for goal celebrations. Maybe the most famous example is Tim Cahill, who had frequent boxing matches with the corner flags whenever he scored. Charlie Davies when scoring in Mexico for Team USA briefly used the corner flag like a mike stand for his celebration. This goes above and beyond though, as Marek Hamsik destroys a corner flag while celebrating his goal against SPAL over the weekend. Hamsik was booked for the effort, and then things got really embarrasing, as the goal was ruled out because of VAR. Hamsik’s team got the last laugh, but he will surely not live that down for a while.

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