Atletico de Madrid lost 1-0 to Chelsea at home in the first leg of round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League, the goal coming from Olivier Giroud in the 68th minute. The Frenchman has scored six Champions League goals this season, his best return in a single campaign in the competition. The team had to wait for the celebrations as the flag was raised for off-side but the VAR saw it and realised that the ball was deflected off Hermoso and hence the goal was given.
This was Tuchel’s toughest test since coming to England, maintaining his unbeaten record as Chelsea manager with the win. The team has put themselves at an advantage with the away goal, and Simione has some work to do. Atletico Madrid failed to land a single shot on target against Chelsea – the first time they’d failed to register a shot on target in a UEFA Champions League game since March 2019 versus Juventus.
🎙Oliver Giroud 🇫🇷: “I didn’t know what to think about the goal. I just tried to focus on hitting the ball well. I love overhead kicks. I was pleased to see the ball in the back of the net!” [BT sport] #CFC #UCL pic.twitter.com/ymZvuPirUe— Ticket Huddle (@TicketHuddle) February 24, 2021
Olivier Giroud in the 2020/21 Champions League:— Ticket Huddle (@TicketHuddle) February 24, 2021
👕 5 apps
⏱️ 214' played
⚽️ 6 goals (35.7 mins p/goal)
Olivier Giroud in all other club competitions in 2020/21:
👕 17 apps
⏱️ 772' played
⚽️ 5 goals (154.5 mins p/goal)#ATMCHE #UCL pic.twitter.com/w3mTpR06YW
César Azpilicueta vs Atlético Madrid:— Ticket Huddle (@TicketHuddle) February 24, 2021
⏱️ 90' played
👌 117 touches (most)
🔑 2 key passes
👟 88/103 acc. passes (85%)
⚔️ 9/11 duels won (most)
🚀 4 clearances
🚷 0 times dribbled past
📈 8.1 SofaScore rating#ATMCHE #UCL pic.twitter.com/rvllS9wgeh
Callum Hudson Odoi who was brought on but subbed off in 20 minutes against Southampton was a starter for this one, while Mason Mount got a yellow card in 55 seconds of the game and would miss the second leg at Stamford Bridge, maybe giving Kai Havertz a start. The closest Atleti came to scoring in the first half was due to a mistake by Eduard Mendy in the box, but Saul couldn’t make the most of it.
They did look lively in the second half, with Suarez having a chance, and Joao Felix’s overhead kick going just wide. Chelsea controlled the possession the entire game, Atleti were mostly outplayed by the blues. The overhead kick by Giroud hit the bottom corner and put them in a great position heading into the second leg. Tuchel became the third Chelsea manager to win his first Champions League game in charge when the game took place in the knockout stage after Roberto Di Matteo and Guus Hiddink.
Tuchel post match : “If you see him on a daily basis you cannot be surprised,” Tuchel said.
“He is totally fit, his body is in shape, his physicality is on a top level and mentally I have the feeling he enjoys every day. This is the level he needs to be. He trains like a 20-year-old, he is a guy who is serious and a mix of joy. Mentally I have really the feeling he enjoys every day being a professional soccer player on this level and this is the level he needs to be.
“He starts, when he comes from the bench, he has all these qualities and it is good like this. I am super happy for my players and the team for such a big reward. We actually can read it on the scoreline that we have the result against top opponents.
“It was very important that we are absolutely concentrated over all 96 minutes and that we also accept that it’s very hard to create chances, but we did all that and it was a very good team effort.”
Diego Simione : “I understood we had to play like this.
“I think the main problem was we didn’t have a lot of precision about taking back the ball.
“It was a hard game, no one had a lot of chances of scoring but also it was very difficult with their attack because they have really strong and quality players.”
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