Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick – awarded by VAR – handed Chelsea a significant 1-0 away win in opposition to Atletico Madrid, placing Thomas Tuchel’s males accountable for the last-16 tie.
In a predictably-tight encounter, Giroud acrobatically hooked residence with 20 minutes left however celebrations have been muted because the linesman’s flag was immediately raised. Nevertheless, the ball had deflected off Mario Hermoso slightly than Mason Mount, which was noticed by VAR, and after three minutes of deliberation the aim was awarded.
La Liga leaders Atletico have been pressured to play their residence leg over 3,000 kilometres from Madrid attributable to Spanish restrictions on arrivals from Britain to regulate the unfold of COVID-19 infections.
Thomas Tuchel was going through his hardest check since becoming a member of Chelsea however arrange his group shrewdly in Bucharest, protecting a lid on Luis Suarez whereas controlling possession all through. Atletico did not handle a shot heading in the right direction as Chelsea put themselves in pole place to achieve the quarter-finals. Tuchel can be with out Mason Mount and Jorginho within the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 17 as they are going to be suspended after being booked.
Watch the highlights of the match below:
Callum Hudson-Odoi – singled out by his supervisor within the draw with Southampton – was a shock starter on the precise for Tuchel in a cagey opening to the sport.
There was a reserving inside 60 seconds for Mount for a foul on Joao Felix, that means he can be suspended for the second leg at Stamford Bridge subsequent month.
Then Edouard Mendy virtually contrived to pile extra distress on the guests after a heavy contact within the penalty space however Saul was unable to take advantage of the goalkeeper’s mistake.
The Premier League aspect then began to dominate possession and a long-range effort from Marcos Alonso represented the primary shot heading in the right direction from both aspect.
There have been indicators that Atleti have been set to be extra adventurous within the second half as Suarez noticed an effort deflected extensive and Felix fired an overhead kick off track.
Though Chelsea have been wasteful within the remaining third, Tuchel’s aspect managed the ball in shrewd vogue and all that was lacking was a remaining end. That modified with 20 minutes remaining.
Alonso bought ahead nicely and his cross was deflected into the trail of Giroud, who produced an excellent overhead kick from 12 yards that discovered the underside nook.
It was instantly dominated out for offside, with Mount deemed to have knocked the ball ahead for his team-mate, however after a prolonged VAR evaluation it was adjudged Atletico centre-back Hermoso had bought the decisive remaining contact.
A vital away aim that leaves Chelsea in a implausible place to achieve the final eight.
Man of the match: Olivier Giroud
This was one other delicate reminder from the French striker that he could be a harmful possibility for Chelsea nonetheless in huge video games. For almost all of the night, Chelsea struggled to discover a remaining killer cross into their frontmen however that did not deter Giroud, who was at all times sniffing out an opportunity, at all times in search of a half a yard to make the most of. His second got here with 20 minutes remaining and he took it in typical stylish vogue, with a bit of assist after all from VAR. At 34-years-old, he stays on the high of his sport.
“If you happen to see him each day you can’t be stunned,” Tuchel mentioned.
“He’s completely match, his physique is in form, his physicality is on a high degree and mentally I’ve the sensation he enjoys day-after-day. That is the extent he must be.
“He trains like a 20-year-old, he’s a man who’s critical and a mixture of pleasure.”