47 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Atletico corner after a misunderstanding between Mendy and Azpilicueta. Lemar will take, bending it away from goal to the edge of the six-yard box. Mount stoops to head and is kicked on the forehead, a glancing blow, as he tried to clear. Free-kick.
46 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Unfortunate phrasing from Glenn Hoddle who says if it’s 0-0 here and Atletico score first at Stamford Bridge, it’s leg-over time.
Stalemate so far – which is just the way Simeone likes it. Chelsea are doing OK, though, both wing-backs are playing well, Mount is as impressive as usual and it is Jorginho’s passing, if anything, that is letting them down. Atletico squeeze the opposition and even when players find some space in the box, they get enough players between him and the passer that they exploit any imprecision by forcing him to play the most difficult of balls.
45 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Bayern are flying against Lazio in the other game, 3-0 up at half time. No goals here as Mount hits the first defender with his cross after another decent move with Hudson-Odoi.
43 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Atletico break at pace and Suraez links with Joao Felix and Correa to work a shooting opportunity in the box from an angle but they can’t beat Mendy with Suarez’s final near-post flick. Incisive ball, though, cut a path through Chelsea’s hitherto solid defence down its left.
41 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Marcos Alonso, whose form is a rebuke to Frank Lampard, whips over a cross from the left, picking out Mount who has done well to get away from Saul but he is caught in no man’s land with his decision, hooking neither cross nor shot harmlessly back across the box and Atletico spring free.
39 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Lovely nutmeg pass from Mount down the left into the box, Werner spins Savic and thunders a shot at Oblak from a very acute angle that the keeper bats away forcefully. Giroud was open.
37 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Ach! Hudson-Odoi makes the perfect run, exploiting Rip Van Lemar’s evening nap, to bomb clear down the inside right. Jorginho pings the diagonal but once again overhits it and it whistles past CHO’s lunge and out for a goalkick.
34 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Atletico match Chelsea in overhitting the ‘release’ pass over the defence. Suarez makes the run down the inside-forward channel but the scooped pass has too much boot leather on it and skips away from him and into touch after it lands.
32 min ATL 0 CHE 0
And then Atletico snap into the high press, particularly when Chistensen tries to play out and Suarez gives him and Mendy the hurry-up.
30 min ATL 0 CHE 0
So while they’re holding their own, they’re not really threatening Atletico.
27 min ATL 0 CHE 0
This is what Atleti do. They stifle you and make the opposition force the play in very tight spaces. Hudson-Odoi makes the run down the right between Hermoso, operating as the left centre-back in a trio, and Lemar. But there’s not enough room for him to get on to the ball unless the pass is immaculately timed and this one isn’t, rolling out of play before he can reach it.
25 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Excellent again from Alonso to get behind both Correa and Alonso to whip over an outswinger but Felipe cuts it out before it can reach the diving Giroud.
23 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Chelsea are playing well but when faced with a defensive shape of 5-4-1 they are being forced into too intricate/high risk passing routines or taking long shots. Alonso opts for the latter but scuds it straight down Oblak’s gullet.
21 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Tuchel is knocking back water on the bench. Thirst work this head coaching. Chelsea try an intricate left-sided triangular passing routine 20 yards inside their half between Rudiger, Alonso and Werner and lose possession when Werner is eased off the ball. But Atletico do not commit enough men forward when Mount halts their probing with a trip on Lemar.
18 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Chelsea corner on the left after Werner’s cross is blocked by Koke. Mount takes it short to Hudson-Odoi who squares it to Jorginho and he tries to slide the ball down the left vertical line of the box to pick out Mount’s stealthy run from the corner flag. But Jorginho, preferred to Kante who is on the bench, overcooks the pass.
16 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Good play by Kovacic 10m in front of the D, shifting the ball out to the right and they work it back across via a one-two with Giroud to Werner who goes over on the left of the box. The referee signals that he doesn’t consider it a penalty and a few seconds later VAR backs him up.
14 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Suarez writhes free on the right, turns Alonso, eludes Rudiger and whips over a left-foot cross from the byline that arcs around Mendy and beats him and Hudson-Odoi has to be vigilant by sticking diligently to Lemar to stop him stepping in at the far post for a tap-in. Great defending from Hudso-Odoi,
11 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Christensen advances through midfield, watches Atletico retreat and decides to have a crack from 30 yards and sends a shot into orbit. It was almost as if Atletico were inviting him to give them a goalkick, sitting back and saying, ‘Go on, then.’
9 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Atletico snap into the high press and win possession on the left. Lemar links with Joao Felix and the Portuguese sensation fires over a dangerous, bending, dipping cross that Marcos Alonso watchfully defends.
7 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Not so much a low block from Atletico as underwater. Chelsea have a corner on the right but there’s some delay for the referee to sort out some argy-bargy in the box. Atletico defend it solidly eventually and Llorente bombs up the right until Christensen runs into him and strongarms him, illegally, off the ball and off his feet. Free-kick on halfway.
5 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Chelsea have the ball 30 yards from the Atletico goal but they find a bank of six and one of three between them and goal and they are eventually squeezed out of place by the Simeone smother-defence.
3 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Error by Mendy after Azpilicueta is given a horrible back-pass, too powerful and on the half volley as he’s closed down by Suarez. He hooks it hastily across to his keeper whose first touch is heavy but he manages to recover and stab it away before he’s closed down and manages to avoid conceding a penalty, too.
Mount will miss the second leg – that card means a suspension.
1 min ATL 0 CHE 0
Chelsea kick off, moving forward before losing the ball on their left. Atletico swep it forward to Joao Felix who skates through the centre-circle, having bypassed the Chelsea midfield and Mount has to race back to trip him. Yellow card within a minute.
Out come the teams
Chelsea wearing the kit that has to have had one of the greatest load of old cobblers press releases of all time:
It’s Sky blue with some random-looking flecks
“Building on the theme of the club’s new home look,
the Blues’ changed colours celebrate the capital’s love affair with the craftsmanship of master tailors.“However,
the away kit adds an injection of millennial swagger – perfect for the confident, emerging talents lighting up Stamford Bridge under head coach Frank Lampard.“
Arctic blue provides a tasteful base colour for the jersey, with darker shades making up
a disrupted herringbone knit which covers the front and back of the shirt to create a compelling aesthetic.“A monochromatic club crest filled with a micro-herringbone pattern sits on the chest, alongside a dark blue Nike Swoosh.
Are you ready?
Ce sont les meilleures équipes
Es sind die allerbesten Mannschaften
The main event.
Les grandes équipes
We lack a little bit of precision and timing but maybe it is like an orchestra where you learn a new song and it becomes a habit to play it, on the way there is a lack of timing and rhythm.
It is normal, we are in the same situations often with a high number of touches in the box. Now is the next step in learning, to develop chances out of it.
Oli [Giroud] is the guy for the last 20 metres, we expect a higher game than against Southampton and we could find more space before the last line so we updated for faster strikers against them. Today we find our strengths, take the game to the opponents half and box and Oli is the guy for the last 20 metres.
And on Hudson-Odoi …
It was forgotten an hour later. This is how we behave and there was no need to make it bigger than it was. It was my decision, it was a hard decision yes, I had my reasons. There is absolutely no reason why not to trust Callum from the beginning.
Hudson-Odoi returns: Why Tuchel was right to hook him
Predictably Thomas Tuchel caused a stir when he substituted Callum Hudson-Odoi during Chelsea’s underwhelming draw at Southampton,
writes Jason Burt. But then in football substituting the sub is seen as taboo; a step too far by a callous manager; a humiliation of the player that upsets the dressing room.
Why is this so?
Hudson-Odoi had been on the pitch for 30 minutes after coming on as a half-time replacement and, in the head coach’s eyes, had not done enough even if others felt he had helped
turn the game back in Chelsea’s favour.
But Tuchel did not try and hide it as he accused Hudson-Odoi of lacking “energy” and “attitude”. He did not dodge the question; he did not sugar-coat the issue. In a game Chelsea were desperate to win it was not good enough.
Your teams in black and white
Atletico Madrid Oblak; Llorente, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Koke, Lemar, Saul, Correa; Joao Felix, Suarez.
Substitutes Grbic, Kondogbia, Torreira, Renan Lodi, Dembele, Vitolo, Camello, Garcia, Sanchez, San Roman.
Chelsea Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Giroud.
Substitutes Arrizabalaga, Kante, Abraham, Pulisic, Caballero, Zouma, Chilwell, Ziyech, Gilmour, James, Havertz, Emerson Palmieri.
Referee Felix Brych (Germany)
La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid take on Chelsea, fifth in the Premier League, in tonight’s Round of 16 first leg at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest, standing in for Atleti’s new Xanadudome because of Spain’s Covid-variant- driven ban on entry for UK visitors. Chelsea have won on their only two visits to the stadium, beating Steaua in successive seasons in the first two years of Jose Mourinho’s second spell at the club, the secnd one, in 2013-14, en route to semi-final defeat by Atletico, managed then, as now, by Diego Simeone.
El Cholo takes on Der Professor, still hankering after the club’s maiden European Cup/Champions League following two runners-up runs under his management. Twin agonisingly late defeats by of all teams Real Madrid in Champions League finals in the 2014 and 2016 finals have stung acutely and continue to spark a fire in Simeone, who said: “Every time we play that competition and hear the anthem, the music brings pain. That’s our motivation.”
They were less than impressive in qualification, winning only two of sic games and drawing three to finish runners-up to Bayern Munich in Group A and their lead at home, as they chase their first Liga title since 2014 has narrowed to three points following their defeat on Saturday by Levante who kicked off the match in 12th.
While their gilded veteran-gifted rookie forward partnership of Luis Suárez and Joao Felix has thrived in domestic competition, Suárez has added neither a goal nor an assist to his tallies by the end of his time at Barcelona which stood at 30 and 26, including qualifiers with Liverpool and Ajax, respectively. He has scored twice against Chelsea in the past, though not in this competition, both of them coming as Premier equalisers home and away in 2012-13, the latter shortly after he had gnawed at Bransilav Ivanovic.
Chelsea, by contrast, are unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel and won all three away games in Group E back in the day of ‘Frank Lampard’s Chelsea’, They will be without last year’s finalist Thiago Silva in Romania but are in better fettle than Atléti who cannot call on the suspended Kieran Trippier and the injured José Giménez, Sime Vrsaljko, Héctor Herrera and Yannick Carrasco. Chelsea have not quite clicked under Tuchel yet, despite impressive results, and one suspects they will not until he has a full pre-season and signs a centre-half he trusts, other than Thiago Silva. But given the state of Atlético’s injuries and absences,Chelsea have an opportunity that is too good to waste.
Join us for the team news at 7pm.