Chelsea are through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in seven years. The Blues disposed of Atletico Madrid over the course of the two legs. Thomas Tuchel’s men played out one more professional yet memorable game of football as they defeated Diego Simeone’s men 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. This means that Chelsea are through to the next round while the Madrid side are out of yet another competition.
Atletico’s defeat to the English side leaves them with only the La Liga to fight for and they are slipping up even there as well. Here are three points we can take away from the fantastic Chelsea win:
1) Chelsea were the better team over the two legs.
One place where there is no argument is who deserved to win. The Blues were on top of the Spanish giants from the first minute of the first leg. They pressed Atletico, who were content on sitting back and absorbing the attack. This gave Chelsea the hold of the midfield and with amazing talents in the midfield such as Jorginho, Mason Mount, N’golo Kante, and Mateo Kovacic, the London side was able to dominate possession and the attack.
The first leg was a bit tighter than the second one and the Blues needed a wonder goal from Olivier Giroud to find the win. In the second leg, however, the Spanish side was a bit more attacking as they were chasing the game. This left them vulnerable to quick counter-attacks and that is how Chelsea exploited them. All in all, the English side was the better team no doubt and Simeone will have to reconsider his tactics after their shock exit.
2) Hakim, the wizard gave a magical performance.
The second leg was a bit tough for Tuchel as the manager had to omit a few important names due to injury or suspension. This, however, gave the out of favor players a chance to prove themselves. One of the players who needed to prove his worth was Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan was brought in from Ajax for about 40 million euros and he had not done a lot to prove that price tag. However, he was fantastic against Atletico, carrying the ball with ease and making some fantastic runs to leave the defenders helpless.
He scored his first goal at Stamford Bridge last night through a move that was created by all the three new players, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Ziyech. It was a well-placed goal by the wizard, who will now hope that his tough days at Chelsea are behind him and this could be a new start to his career with the Blues.
3) The Tuchel project is coming to life in a brilliant fashion.
When Frank Lampard was sacked back in January, there was outrage by the Chelsea fans. The fans believed that the English coach could have turned things around had he been given some more time however, we all know that these were due to the sentiments that the fans had for their legend. Tuchel was not very well accepted by the fans due to this situation however, the German coach has managed to completely change the team. He has turned the London side into a solid defensive unit that can consistently win matches.
Under Tuchel, the Blues have played 13 games, won nine, drawn four, and lost zero. They have also only conceded two goals under the new manager’s regime. That is a success whether the fans like the manager or not. Tuchel has proven that he is the man for the job and now we must see how he strengthens the attack with the plethora of players at his disposal.
Image Credit- Chelsea FC Twitter