Chelsea started brightly and certainly full of plenty of intent to make right the weekend’s debacle, but after the first 10 minutes or so, it were Porto who took control of the game and began dominating positive play. Chelsea may have edged possession throughout, but for a good 20 minutes or so, Porto looked far more likely to score.
Then, almost against the run of play, Chelsea found a brief period of control, set up shop in the final third, and unlocked Porto’s defense thanks to a good entry pass from Jorginho and a magnificent turn and precise finish from Mason Mount. That was Chelsea’s only shot of the first half, on target or otherwise.
HT: Porto (0.94) 0-1 (0.05) Chelsea— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) April 7, 2021
Chelsea also began the second half on a good note, and a couple half-chances went begging for extending the lead. At one point, Kai Havertz appeared to miss an open net after Timo Werner squared a loose ball for him, but Werner had actually been well offside from Rudiger’s initial piledriver that was spilled by the goalkeeper.
At the other end, Mendy was called into action briefly, but Chelsea were largely able to stay comfortable in the second half, even without extending our lead.
And just when it looked like we would settle for the 1-0 “away” win, Ben Chilwell nicked the ball away from Jesus Corona on a loose touch and finished with seasoned aplomb as he rounded the goalkeeper 1-v-1 to make it 2-0 on the night to Chelsea.
That’s more like the Tuchel’s Blues we’ve come to know!
- Plenty of changes from the weekend’s disaster, with usual suspects Rudiger, Christensen, Mount, and Havertz all restored. Chilwell instead of Alonso on the left as well, though with Werner and Jorginho retaining their spots (Kanté fit enough only for the bench).
- Thiago Silva and Christensen on together for the last 10 minutes. Azpi at wing-back. Three-man midfield for the same period as well, with Kante added. (Giroud & Pulisic, on for Havertz and Werner earlier, up front.) Emerson on for the final few seconds as well.
- Mason Mount’s first ever goal in European competition, in his 15th Champions League match. He had also played 6 times without scoring in the Europa League for Vitesse a few years ago. It’s also his fifth goal under Tuchel, making him the leading goalscorer under the new head coach. He also becomes the youngest ever Chelsea goalscorer in a Champions League knockout game.
- Jorginho’s first ever assist in the Champions League, in his 21st game.
- Chilwell’s third goal for Chelsea. Also his first ever in the Champions League.
- That’s two “away” goals, too, technically.
- Next up: Crystal Palace away, on Saturday. Second leg of this game next Tuesday.