Chelsea 2-0 Atletico Madrid
Hakim Ziyech and Emerson score for the Blues as Thomas Tuchel’s side go through 3-0 on aggregate over Atletico Madrid in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Olivier Giroud’s stunning overhead kick gave the Blues a crucial away goal and win in Madrid that put Chelsea firmly in the driver’s seat going into the second leg.
Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech made it 2-0 on aggregate by scoring in the 34th minute, which meant that Atletico needed 2 goals unanswered to go through.
The Stamford Bridge side extended its record of never having been eliminated from a European knockout tie after winning the first leg away from home to an incredible 14 times.
Atletico’s frustration was clearly evident as they toiled to find a way back but failed to do so. Stefan Savic’s anger peaked in the 81st minute as he was sent off for elbowing German defender Antonio Rudiger.
This made it almost impossible for the La Liga leaders to mount a comeback being 1 man down. Emerson came on for Chelsea and scored in the 4th minute of stoppage time to finish off the job for the Londoners.
This is the first time that Chelsea have reached the Champions League quarterfinals in 7 years!
They are also yet to lose under new manager Thomas Tuchel, whose side are now unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions.
This is now the longest unbeaten start to a tenure by any Chelsea manager in the club’s history, overtaking the legendary Luiz Felipe Scolari’s 12-game unbeaten run back in 2008.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was extremely please with his side’s performance saying, “It was a very good performance. Unbelievable team effort from the guys on the pitch, the guys on the bench, even the guys in the stands. You could really feel that we totally wanted it. We go through deserved. It’s a big win for us.
“The amount of effort and intensity, and the team work over both legs was fantastic. We missed four or five key players today in Andreas [Christensen], Thiago [Silva], Mason [Mount] and Jorginho. But the guys are totally reliable and the intensity is incredible. We played very bravely and can adapt to any system the opponents played today. It’s a deserved win and a big win as we’re now in the quarter-finals. I’m really happy for my players.
“The most important thing is that we give feedback to the guys in terms of their quality and that they feel it. They need to feel it from the manager and they play with a certain bond. Results like this you can only do with a special atmosphere. I’m sure no one wants to play against us. We’re in the last eight which is already a big step but there’s no need for us to be afraid. We’ll prepare for it in the best way possible.”
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone was gracious in defeat saying, “We worked hard to disrupt their rhythm but every time we regained the ball we couldn’t impose ourselves on them. There were many elements of our game that pleased me, and there was an improvement in our game in the second half. I was pleased with the character but we ultimately fell short.
“I’m really well. We have to accept this reality. We have to keep improving and growing. We gave our best effort tonight but it wasn’t enough.
“The fans will be feeling pain and disappointment but they will recover to think of the future. With work, we will get stronger and recover from this defeat. We had not one sense of fear. This is the Champions League. It’s difficult and we came up against a superior team.
“Always, it’s better to win and to advance. We aren’t thinking of this as allowing us to focus on the league. We will continue with the same application and energy that we take into the game with Alaves.”
Chelsea reach the @ChampionsLeague quarter-finals for the first time since 2014 ??
Not conceded in almost 10 hours of play (597 minutes) ⛔
6 successive clean sheets for ????? ???? ?? ??? ??????? (since 2008) ? pic.twitter.com/dmNCowFmpy
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) March 17, 2021
Hakim Ziyech scored his first home goal for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 12 appearances and said, “There were some difficult moments in the game but for most of the time we had it under control. It was an important goal and I had to wait a long time for it.
“It is always good when you go 1-0 up, especially when you make it by yourself. Timo’s (Werner) delivery was good as well. It was a bit like seeing how the game would go for 10 minutes and after that we had control. We did well.
“They didn’t create a lot. We can be happy about the performance. Hopefully it will be a good opponent for the last eight.”
Chelsea are yet to concede a goal in 6 home games under Thomas Tuchel in all competitions.
The Blues have kept an incredible 11 clean sheets in 13 games under the German, which is more than any other Premier League club since his first game in charge in January 2021.
Chelsea have become the first English club to eliminate Atlético Madrid from the knockout stage of a major European competition since the Bolton Wanderers did so in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup Round of 32.
Chelsea join FC Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.