FULL TIME: Chelsea win! First leg in the book.
90+6min: Ziyech called for a foul at halfway. Atleti launch it forward, but it’s over the head of everyone for a Chelsea throw.
90+5min: Alonso called for a foul throw to gift the ball back to Atletico.
90+4min: Chelsea keep the ball. Ziyech goes for an ill-advised pass, but Chelsea win the ball back high, to keep it as far away from our goal as possible.
90+3min: Lemar into the book after hacking down Pulisic.
90min: Chelsea with a chance for a 3-v-2 counter, but Ziyech chooses the wrong option.
89min: Azpi with a crucial clearance.
86min: Pulisic and Havertz on for Werner and Giroud
83min: Werner in behind, but wide and with no support. He fires goalwards from the tight angle and forces a save from Oblak. Ziyech takes the corner long for some reason and Werner’s called for a foul in the second phase of that.
82min: Atleti with a triple change, Torreira, Dembele, and Rena Lodi on. Vitolo follows soon after as Simeone throws on more fresh attackers.
80min: James on for Hudson-Odoi. Alonso heads clear a corner.
79min: Rudiger and Suarez get into it and get a talking to from the referee.
78min: Alonso and Werner combine excellently, with the latter’s ball in finding Giroud but he lays it back to Alonso instead of forcing a shot. Alonso doesn’t have a shot and Chelsea pass it around. Ziyech eventually does take a swing, but it’s blocked. Hudson-Odoi then has a chance to cross, but he overhits it.
76min: Chelsea block a couple shots, from Koke and Correa, as Atleti starting to mount a response.
74min: Ziyech, Kanté on for Kovacic and Mount.
71min: GOALLLLLL GIVEN!! We haven’t seen a replay yet but 1-0, CHELSEA!
68min: Giroud knocks a ball down for Kovacic and Chelsea can counter against Atleti’s high press. Kova plays to the overlapping Alonso, who hits it early to Giroud. He can’t quite control the ball, but as Hermoso and Mount go for the ball, it somehow rebounds to Giroud, who turns the ball home with some overhead acrobatics. The linesman’s flagging, but VAR’s flagging as well...
64min: Jorginho takes out Felix to prevent a counter and he earns a yellow as well. Jorginho will also thus miss the second leg.
62min: Atleti corner after a lucky bounce off Alonso. They take it short and Werner out quickly to pressure and win the ball. Llorente drags him back to prevent a free run through, and earns a yellow.
60min: Oblak restarts quickly to find Suarez matched 1-v-1 against Kovacic. Kova does just enough to prevent the immediate danger. Saul finds the loose ball and tries to chip Mendy from the halfway line, but his effort falls harmlessly wide. Mendy probably had it covered.
59min: Hudson-Odoi wins a corner, which Mount takes, just over the head of Giroud.
58min: Felix shows up for a minute, with a silky touch in midfield sending Lemar clear down the left. Lemar’s cross is half-cleared by Christensen, but only as far as Felix, who tries a spectacular overhead kick. Well wide.
56min: Atleti with a rare foray forward, find Suarez in the area. His shot is blocked by Christensen. Correa takes the corner, but it’s poor and CHO hacks clear at the front post.
55min: Kovacic bursts through the middle, plays wide to Alonso. His ball in doesn’t reach Giroud. On the other flank, Hudson-Odoi cuts inside and tries his luck with his left foot. It’s partially blocked and loops high to provide some catching practice for Oblak.
53min: Mount with a delicious turn in midfield, finds Werner with a perfect through ball. Werner tries to pick out Giroud in the middle, but Felipe makes a great sliding interception.
51min: Alonso’s corner blocked for a corner, which Mount takes short to Hudson-Odoi, who puts in a good-looking cross, but Giroud can’t win the header and Atleti clear. Alonso and Mount press high to win the ball back, but the former’s called for a foul.
50min: Mount cuts inside from the right and shoots with his left, blocked.
49min: Suarez screams loudly a couple times to win a couple fouls on the left flank, first off Azpilicueta, then off Hudson-Odoi. Fortunately the referee keeps his cards in his pocket.
47min: Azpi concedes an unnecessary corner after a brief miscommunication with Mendy, but Chelsea clear and the referee calls a foul anyway.
SECOND HALF: No changes for either side as Atleti resume proceedings.
HALF-TIME: 1 minute added on. Nothing much happens, as in most of the half.
45min: Hudson-Odoi and Mount link up excellently on the right, but Mount’s final ball towards the middle is blocked for a corner. Mount takes, outswinging. Azpi called for a foul as a body falls to the ground.
43min: Through ball looking for Giroud, who claims that he was being held. No call from either referee forthcoming.
42min: Suarez and Correa play a two-man game and find room down the right. The ball back in from Correa is a bit behind Suarez however, and Rudiger’s on hand to clear.
41min: Chelsea with an opportunity to counter, work it wide to Alonso, who swings in a deep cross to Mount arriving on the far post. He tries to cushion the ball back into the middle, but hits it over the bar instead.
39min: Mount with a nutmeg finds Werner, who turns wonderfully in the area against Savic and powers one at goal with his left foot, but Oblak’s got his angles covered and sticks a couple strong hands up to block the shot.
That is naughty Mason Mount pic.twitter.com/2gXqoSavDD— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) February 23, 2021
36min: Atleti make some inroads down the left, but Jorginho covers well to step in and prevent the danger. At the other end, Jorginho looks for Hudson-Odoi with a switch, but it’s just out of his reach as he cut in from the flank.
35min: Mount looks for Giroud, Atleti on hand to stoop low to clear the cross.
34min: Atleti with a rare foray forward, but Lemar’s ball towards Suarez bounces out of his reach.
33min: Koke down with a head injury after Alonso runs into him. No one seems overly worried about it of course because why would they. We play on.
29min: Chelsea keeping possession, with all 11 Atleti players back in their defensive third. Jorginho tries to pick out Giroud, but Savic clears. Azpi then tries find Hudson-Odoi, but the through ball is overhit once again.
27min: Kovacic tries to play into Giroud, but the pass is mis-hit and Oblak gathers.
26min: Alonso found by Kovacic in plenty of space and time to cross. Three converge on Giroud however to block his header and the loose ball doesn’t quite fall for Werner.
25min: Alonso tries his luck from 25 yards, hit low and hard, but Oblak saves without too much fuss.
24min: Mount with some good work in the middle, but his pass through for Werner is intercepted well by a defender.
22min: A bit of harmless possession in midfield ends in Kovacic overhitting a through ball for Mount. Chelsea not able to break Atleti down at all at the moment.
19min: Werner wins a corner on the left, which Mount takes short to Hudson-Odoi, who plays it to Jorginho, who’s return ball for Mount is well overhit.
18min: Another low cross from the right for Chelsea, but defended well once again.
17min: Chelsea passing, probing but making no real inroads down either wing. Giroud and Werner do eventually combine well, with the latter bursting into the area and going to ground. Referee unmoved.
15min: CHO and Mount combine well on the right, and Mount replicates Suarez’s ball across the area. Werner gets a toe to it, but not able to divert it on goal from a tight angle, and it goes harmlessly wide of the far post.
14min: Suarez bodies off Rudiger and Alonso and puts a fantastic ball across the six-yard box. Fortunately, Lemar arrives just a bit too late to put the ball into the empty net.
13min: Atleti with some slick passing through midfield, but Rudiger defends the cross well.
12min: Chelsea probe on the right, then go left, then go central where Christensen steps up. His touch is a bit heavy, which panics him into a 30-yard shot that goes well high and wide.
10min: Atleti find Lemar running off the back of Hudson-Odoi, but his first-time cross is gathered low by Mendy after giving Christensen a leave it shout.
9min: Jorginho gives the ball away and Atleti attack the short field. Cross towards the far post is defender very well by Alonso to head clear for a corner. Atleti take it short, but don’t make much inroads.
7min: Chelsea pass it around, then work it wide to Hudson-Odoi, who lays it back to Mount. His cross is blocked, but Chelsea retain possession and win a corner. Mount takes the corner, but it’s easily cleared at the near post, much to the arriving Giroud’s displeasure.
5min: Azpi lofts in a typical Azpi ball from deep, but it’s over the head of Giroud and Atleti can head out.
3min: Chelsea pass it around, but Mendy’s heavy touch gifts possession to Atleti in the area. Fortunately, Mendy avoids a penalty by not tackling the player, and Rudiger helps out to win a goal kick.
2min: Mount with an early foul, gets a harsh booking and will thus miss the second leg. Slightly ominous start.
KICK OFF: As the anthem blares out echoingly in the empty stadium, the players walk out for the non-handshakes and the team photos. Koke & Azpi share a couple hugs, the rebels. Atleti, technically the home side, in their usual white and red stripes, Chelsea in the away baby blues. No symbolic knee-taking in Europe, so Chelsea get the ball rolling.
After the frustration of the weekend, Chelsea have a chance for a big result on a grand European stage as we take on Atlético in the away leg of our Round of 16 match-up. We don’t have to win, but it would certainly be nice if we did ... or at least grab an away goal. Keeping those expectations low!
Tuchel’s gone for most of his expected starters, with Giroud getting the nod up front, Hudson-Odoi at wing-back, and “Jovacic” in the pivot.
Here we go!
Atlético Madrid starting lineup (3-4-3):
Oblak | Hermoso, Felipe, Savic | Lemar, Saul, Koke (c), Llorente | Joao Felix, Suarez, Correa
Substitutes from: Grbic, San Roman, Kondogbia, Torreira, Renan Lodi, Dembele, Vitolo, Camello, Garcia, Sanchez
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Mendy | Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta (c) | Alonso, Kovacic, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi | Werner, Giroud, Mount
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Caballero, Zouma, James, Chilwell, Emerson, Kante, Gilmour, Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic, Abraham
Date / Time: Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 20.00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania
Referee: Felix Brych (on pitch); Marco Fritz (VAR)
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); CBS Sports Network, UniMás, TUDN (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); SuperSport Máximo 1, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
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Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!