Olivier Giroud’s spectacular overhead kick gave Chelsea an excellent victory in opposition to Atletico Madrid within the Champions League final 16 first leg in Bucharest.
Giroud’s very good second of improvisation not solely delivered the win and a significant away purpose but in addition continued new supervisor Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten begin at Chelsea and put them in pole place to succeed in the quarter-finals.
In a tie performed in Romania as an alternative of Spain due to Covid-19 restrictions, Giroud demonstrated athleticism and approach to ship an acrobatic effort past Atletico keeper Jan Oblak within the 68th minute. The purpose was initially dominated out for offside earlier than a video assistant referee assessment revealed the ball had bounced off Atletico defender Mario Hermoso.
It was reward for Chelsea’s extra progressive type within the face of the same old attritional strategy from Diego Simeone’s Atletico. They hardly ever troubled Tuchel’s aspect who comfortably stored the in-form however more and more pissed off Luis Suarez at bay.
Chelsea have now gone eight matches unbeaten since Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard whereas Giroud is rising as their Champions League talisman after scoring all 4 targets within the group-phase victory in opposition to Sevilla and a last-minute winner away to Rennes.
Tuchel was fast to reward the affect of 34-year-old World Cup winner Giroud and mentioned: “In case you see him each day, you can’t be stunned. He’s completely match, his physique is in form and his physicality is on prime stage.
“He trains like a 20-year-old, like a 24-year-old. He’s a man who has an excellent combination of great and pleasure in coaching. He’s at all times constructive and it’s a massive issue for the group.”
Tuchel’s largest assertion but
Tuchel’s Chelsea have been environment friendly fairly than spectacular for the reason that German coach was appointed following Lampard’s departure in January – however there might be no complaints after probably the most spectacular results of his temporary time in cost.
Chelsea had been considered underdogs on this last-16 tie in opposition to the La Liga leaders however other than a few early scares – keeper Edouard Mendy miscontrolled early within the sport earlier than Suarez flashed the ball throughout the face of purpose – they had been in cost.
They confirmed extra ambition than a surprisingly torpid and much more cautious than regular Atletico.
It would improve Chelsea’s confidence that they’ve appointed a coach who’s snug working on the highest ranges after reaching the Champions League closing with Paris St-Germain final season and impressing at Borussia Dortmund.
And as soon as once more Giroud proved what an clever and proficient participant he’s with a bit of ingenuity that settled a decent sport to present Chelsea excessive hopes going into the second leg.
Giroud has proved again and again he’s invaluable to Chelsea’s trigger, demonstrating what a discount purchase he was at £18m from Arsenal in January 2018.
It was additionally an excellent evening for younger England ahead Callum Hudson-Odoi, who carried out creditably after the controversy surrounding his substitution after approaching as an alternative in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Hudson-Odoi was changed once more after 79 minutes in Bucharest however this was after a efficiency filled with power and laborious work that can have delighted taskmaster Tuchel on a extremely satisfying evening for Chelsea.
Atletico nonetheless pose a menace – however this was poor
This was a dismal displaying from an Atletico Madrid aspect who’ve been wonderful domestically in heading Actual Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona.
Atletico adopted a extra conservative strategy than Chelsea regardless of this being their ‘dwelling’ leg, albeit on impartial territory, and the previous streetfighter Suarez was decreased to acquainted moments of gamesmanship in a bid to unsettle his opponents. It was all to no avail because the Premier League aspect held agency.
It was a sport that pointed to Chelsea constructing the platform for progress within the second leg however Atletico’s resilience, means to combat the percentages and love of being the underdog nonetheless makes them a menace.
Simeone might want to encourage an enormous efficiency from his gamers within the second leg however they’ll by no means be written off, as Liverpool – rampant within the Premier League on the time – painfully found after they had been eradicated by Atletico over two legs at this stage final season, accomplished by a 3-2 win at Anfield after coming from 2-0 down.
Chelsea achieved an outstanding end result and their future is now in their very own fingers however Tuchel is not going to, and can’t, enable for any complacency in opposition to an Atletico staff who could revel within the job going through them within the second leg.
One other Champions League purpose for Giroud – the stats
- Thomas Tuchel turned the third Chelsea supervisor to win his first Champions League sport in cost when the sport occurred within the knockout stage after Roberto Di Matteo and Guus Hiddink.
- Atletico Madrid did not have a shot on the right track in opposition to Chelsea – the primary time they’d did not register a shot on the right track in a Champions League sport since March 2019 v Juventus.
- Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has scored six Champions League targets this season, his finest return in a single marketing campaign within the competitors.
- Giroud (34 years and 146 days) turned the oldest participant to attain a Champions League knockout purpose for Chelsea.
- Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy has stored extra clear sheets than every other goalkeeper within the Champions League this season (5).
- Mason Mount’s yellow card after 55 seconds was the quickest card proven within the Champions League this season.
- Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea and PSG) turned solely the second supervisor within the historical past of the Champions League to handle two totally different golf equipment within the competitors inside a single season after Ronald Koeman in 2007-08 (PSV and Valencia).
‘A giant reward’ – what they mentioned
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel instructed BT Sport: “Unbelievable end result, incredible purpose. Effectively deserved.
“We needed to dominate within the opponents’ half, to by no means lose focus, to not do any simple errors and at all times pay attention to fast counter-attacks for all their high quality.
“It was a really disciplined efficiency – a deserved shut-out. That is the laborious work, a staff effort – the idea for an enormous win.
“We knew they had been able to undergo with eight individuals within the field. The intention was to maintain the depth excessive. That is what we did excellent. We by no means allow them to breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We now have an enormous reward with this end result.
“This is likely one of the hardest challenges to open a defence like Atletico.”
- 22HermosoSubstituted forMachín Pérezat 84′minutes
- 14LlorenteBooked at 63mins
- 8SaúlSubstituted forTorreiraat 82′minutes
- 11LemarBooked at 90mins
- 10CorreaSubstituted forDembeleat 82′minutes
- 7SequeiraSubstituted forLodi dos Santosat 82′minutes
- 12Lodi dos Santos
- 20Machín Pérez
- 31San Román
- 20Hudson-OdoiSubstituted forJamesat 80′minutes
- 5JorginhoBooked at 64mins
- 17KovacicSubstituted forZiyechat 74′minutes
- 19MountBooked at 1minsSubstituted forKantéat 74′minutes
- 11WernerSubstituted forPulisicat 87′minutes
- 18GiroudSubstituted forHavertzat 87′minutes
Reside Textual content
Match ends, Atlético de Madrid 0, Chelsea 1.
Second Half ends, Atlético de Madrid 0, Chelsea 1.
Reece James (Chelsea) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Vitolo (Atlético de Madrid).
Foul by Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea).
Lucas Torreira (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick within the attacking half.
Thomas Lemar (Atlético de Madrid) is proven the yellow card for a foul foul.
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Thomas Lemar (Atlético de Madrid).
Foul by Kai Havertz (Chelsea).
Koke (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Andreas Christensen (Chelsea) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Luis Suárez (Atlético de Madrid).
Foul by Kai Havertz (Chelsea).
Renan Lodi (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Substitution, Chelsea. Christian Pulisic replaces Timo Werner.
Substitution, Chelsea. Kai Havertz replaces Olivier Giroud.
Foul by Reece James (Chelsea).
Renan Lodi (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Olivier Giroud (Chelsea).