Atletico Madrid is going to Atletico Madrid, and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s man is proud that his Blues handled the trouble and head back to England with a 1-0 lead after 90 minutes of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.
Atleti failed to get a shot on target and Tuchel ran his Chelsea record to six wins and two draws in eight outings, this win his very best yet (with apologies to the slim win over Spurs).
More impressive? Chelsea showed patience and resolve against a team which wore down Liverpool at its very best last season.
But there’s a lot more to do in two weeks time, and Atleti may need a goal but still knows how to pack it in like it did on Tuesday.
“We knew that it could happen,” Tuchel said. “We told the guys if it happens, maybe it’s our quality and their respect that they will do it. We want to be brave and courageous and play in the opponents’ half but we knew that they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high with runs. We did this very good. We never let them breathe and we never let them come out with counterattacks.”
A massive overhead goal from Olivier Giroud helped and Atleti’s seen that before when the Frenchman was with Arsenal.
“We analyzed well their game and knew how we could give them trouble offensively,” Giroud said. “We were very strong at the back with defensive shape. … We know the importance of the away goal in European cups and that’s what I was very pleased to win this game. We were confident. We faced a great team and we were very very committed and we know their main strength. We dealt with that and we just need now to stay focus and finish the job at home.”
Chelsea’s next month is absolutely horrendous on the eyes. Sunday finds the Blues home to Manchester United before the following run: Liverpool away, Everton home, Leeds away, Atletico Madrid home.