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Atlético Madrid’s Women’s Champions League match against Chelsea also moved to neutral venue

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Spain’s COVID restrictions continue

Chelsea Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Similarly to how Atlético Madrid’s home (men’s) Champions League Round of 16 match against Chelsea had to be moved to Bucharest, Romania, due to Spain’s COVID-19 restrictions on travelers from the UK, Atlético’s home Women’s Champions League Round of 16 match against Chelsea will not be able to be played in Spain either.

What will be the second leg of that encounter will actually take place in Monza, Italy at the Stadio Brianteo (home of second division AC Monza) on March 10. Exact kick-off time has not yet been confirmed.

The first leg of the tie will still take place as originally scheduled at Kingsmeadow (March 3), just like the second leg of men’s tie will still take place as originally scheduled, at Stamford Bridge (March 17). That might be a slight unfair advantage for both the Chelsea women’s and men’s teams, but without fans in attendance, the effects of home field advantage are nowhere near as pronounced as they used to be.

This is one of several adverse effects (a minor nuisance, comparatively) of a pandemic that’s killed almost 2.5 million people around the world and has caused massive socioeconomic problems whose complete impact will only be known in a few years, if not decades from now. At least football is here to take our minds off these issues, if only for a couple of hours.