Thomas Tuchel remains unbeaten as team manager of Chelsea FC and can hope to make it to the quarter-finals in the Champions League. The former Bundesliga coach celebrated a 1-0 (0-0) victory with the Blues in the first leg of the first leg in Bucharest against Atletico Madrid. In the second leg on March 17th at their home country Stamford Bridge, the Londoners have the best chance of advancing.
The decisive goal was scored by French world champion Olivier Giroud with an overhead kick from offside position (69th). But because the ball had come from the opponent, referee Felix Brych recognized the hit after consulting the video assistant.
With national players Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger in the starting line-up, Chelsea dominated the game for a long time, but struggled against the defensive specialists from Madrid. Kai Havertz, who was recently injured, sat on the bench for 87 minutes.
Tuchel, who last year played in the premier class final with Paris St. Germain, succeeded the hapless club icon Frank Lampard on January 26th. Since then he has had four wins and two draws in the Premier League and has made it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The Spanish league leaders, whose lead in the Primera Division has shrunk to three points after just one win from the last four games, acted from a compact defensive and mostly left the initiative to Chelsea. But the Tuchel team didn’t know what to do with it at first, combining too slowly to undo the five-man chain of the Madrilenians, which repeatedly turned into a six-chain.
Atletico’s defense leaves Chelsea in despair for a long time
After the break, Chelsea increased the pace, but usually Tuchel’s team played around the opponent’s penalty area, as in handball. Atletico defended with nine players in a compact formation. A failed header by Mario Hermoso made it possible for Giroud to score.
The game had been relocated to Bucharest due to the entry restrictions due to the corona mutation, which occurred strongly in Great Britain.