Olivier Giroud’s magnificent bicycle kick broke Atletico Madrid’s resistance and earned Chelsea a vital purpose on Tuesday, a 1-0: victory that provides Thomas Tuchel’s workforce a meager benefit within the Champions League the final 16:
Giroud’s acrobatic shot was initially dominated out for the run, nevertheless it was since VAR confirmed that Mario Hermoso had had the completion, giving an enormous blow to Atletico’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
Diego Simeone’s aspect had put in a usually disciplined defensive efficiency up thus far however Giroud’s second of genius meant they needed to rating in London on March 17 to keep away from an early exit.
Chelsea, in the meantime, have handed their greatest check since Tuchel was appointed in late January, supporting a robust run towards the minor lights within the Premier League with a refined show towards one of many elite d ‘Europe.
Giroud’s purpose within the 68th minute was solely the third for Atletico to concede in 14 legs at residence within the Champions League elimination part beneath Simeone, even when that appointment was at residence solely in identify.
The restrictions imposed by the Spanish authorities meant the sport needed to be performed in Bucharest as a substitute of Madrid, regardless of the return match remaining at Stamford Bridge in three weeks.
Tuchel acknowledged that the change gave his aspect a bonus, however Simeone refused to complain Monday, insisting he felt fortunate to play in the course of the pandemic, “nonetheless a lot and the place he is perhaps.”
Their defeat means three residence losses for 3 for Spanish groups within the Champions League the final 16 till Barcelona have been crushed by Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla have been crushed by Borussia Dortmund final week.