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, after it took him nine games.
The Barcelona talisman scored his first career goal against the Blues in a big moment, finding the net in the 75th minute to level the Champions League match 1-1 at Stamford Bridge and cancel out Willian's earlier strike.
He was the benefactor of a bad giveaway by Chelsea's Andreas Christensen at the edge of their own area, which was pounced on by Andres Iniesta. The playmaker pulled it back for Messi who did not miss the opportunity and netted Barcelona a crucial away goal in the first leg of the last-16 tie.
The game ultimately finished 1-1, with Barcelona having the opportunity to take advantage in the second leg at the Camp Nou on March 14.
Chelsea had been one of the 12 teams that the Barcelona star had faced in his career without scoring against, and one of two remaining in the current Champions League.
Messi's drought against the Blues was not for lack of trying as the goal came on the 30th shot the 30-year-old had taken against them in his career.
The equalizer was Messi's 18th goal against English opposition in the Champions League, by far the most of any player. Rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second with 11.