Hakim Ziyech was on target as Chelsea booked a spot in the Champions League quarter finals with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Atletico Madrid following a dominant second-leg performance.
The Morocco international netted his first goal at Stamford Bridge on 34 minutes as the Blues went on to seal a 3-0 win on aggregate and maintain Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start as manager.
Atletico will point to a penalty appeal turned down eight minutes prior to the opener when Cesar Azpilicueta was fortunate not to be penalised for appearing to pull back Yannick Carrasco in the area.
Why Olivier Giroud should start against Porto
6 HOURS AGO
- Bayern Munich cruise past Lazio to Champions League quarter-finals
- FA ‘did not do enough to keep children safe’, damning report says
- Aubameyang faces a test of his mettle in Arsenal’s blockbuster season finale
However, the visitors rarely threatened and their misery was compounded nine minutes from time when Stefan Savic was given his marching orders for elbowing Antonio Rudiger. In added time substitute Emerson slammed home Chelsea’s second to rub salt in the away side’s wounds.
Chelsea can now look forward to Friday’s draw for the last eight before hosting Sheffield United in the FA Cup sixth round On Sunday. Atletico are at home to Alaves in La Liga on the same day.
No chance of unlucky 13 for Tuchel as Chelsea march on. The Tuchel effect continues to reap early rewards. Chelsea were without some key men under the German in the shape of the suspended Mason Mount and Jorginho, while Andreas Christensen was ruled out with illness. It mattered little in the end as the Blues moved beyond the last 16 stage for the first time since 2014. That’s 13 games unbeaten under Tuchel and this was a ninth win. There were plenty of positives on show, including another clean sheet. Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Ziyech combined for a goal that many Chelsea supporters would have been expecting to see from a trio of their summer signings many months earlier. Still, better late than never, and it was a crucial one in the context of the tie as Atletico had showed much more purpose in the early exchanges at the Bridge. Diego Simeone will rue a strong penalty appeal being turned away, but in truth his team were clearly second best over the two legs. Chelsea look like a tremendously efficient outfit now and just the type of team you’d want to avoid in the latter stages of this competition.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Timo Werner (Chelsea). There were several candidates in blue shirts, including the tireless N’Golo Kante. However, the German gets the nod for notching up his seventh assist of the campaign and arguably his most valuable too. Led the line well and sparked fear into the Atletico defence with his pace. Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet on the break.
CHELSEA: Mendy 7, Azpilicueta 6, Zouma 8, Rudiger 8, James 8, Kante 8, Kovacic 8, Alonso 7, Ziyech 8, Werner 8, Havertz 7. Subs: Pulisic 7, Hudson-Odoi n/a, Emerson n/a, Chilwell n/a,.
ATLETICO MADRID: Oblak 7, Renan Lodi 6, Trippier 6, Gimenez 6, Savic 5, Saul 6, Koke 6, Llorente 7, Carrasco 6, Felix 6, Suarez 5. Subs: Hermoso 6, Dembele 6, Correa 6, Lemar 6.
26’ – ATLETICO PENALTY SHOUT! Carrasco chases Suarez’s pass into the area. Azpilicueta looks to tidy up but his back pass is weak and he appears to fell the Atletico man. There was certainly contact there but the referee isn’t interested in the penalty appeals and VAR doesn’t even check it. That’s a big call!
34’ – GOAL! – Chelsea 1-0 Atletico. Ziyech finishes off Werner’s low ball from the left after Havertz had led a Chelsea counter attack at speed. – (Chelsea lead 2-0 on aggregate).
49’ – CHELSEA CHANCE! Werner darts beyond Atleti’s high line and surges into the right side of the box. It’s a narrow angle but he still stings the palms of Oblak with a low drive the keeper does well to parry.
80’ – ATLETICO CHANCE! Joao Felix spins into a yard of space just inside the area but his deflected shot flies just past the far post.
81’ – ATLETICO RED CARD! Savic is shown a straight red card for elbowing Rudiger off the ball. That’s so daft.
90’ – ATLETICO CHANCE! Joao Felix cuts inside but sees his thumping shot pushed over the bar by Mendy.
90+4’ – GOAL! – Chelsea 2-0 Atletico. Pulisic surges clear and feeds Emerson, who fires a low shot into the far corner. He’s literally just walked on to the pitch. What a substitution! (Chelsea lead 3-0 on aggregate).
‘A concrete hypothesis’ – Ronaldo return to Man Utd hyped up – Euro Papers
Werner (10 goals, 7 assists) has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions this season than any other player for Chelsea.
Four of Ziyech’s seven goals in the CL have been scored against Spanish opponents: two vs Real Madrid in 2019, one vs Valencia in 2019 & one vs Atlético.
Chelsea have never been eliminated in a European two-legged knockout tie after winning the first leg away from home (progressed from all 14).
Chelsea are unbeaten in their 13 games under Thomas Tuchel in all competitions, the longest ever unbeaten start by a manager for the Blues in the club’s history.
Savic received his third UEFA Champions League red card; only Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edgar Davids and Sergio Ramos (all four) have had more in the competition’s history.
Chelsea’s Rudiger, Kepa won’t be punished for scrap in training – Tuchel
11 HOURS AGO
Kepa may have sparked Rudiger clash – reports
YESTERDAY AT 11:05