Chelsea defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 thanks to Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri’s goals in each half.
After Olivier Giroud’s spectacular overhead finish gave them a 1-0 lead in the first leg, the hosts came into this match with a slim lead.
The game got off to a tense start, with few chances provided between the two teams. On the other hand, Chelsea had the majority of possession in the first half, with 75% of the ball under their influence at the 10-minute mark.
N’Golo Kante took advantage of Atletico Madrid’s defensive lapses but failed to capitalize on his opportunity, though Marcos Alonso also missed a good chance.
After Yannick Carrasco went down in the box, the Atletico Madrid players demanded a penalty, but referee Daniele Orsato was uninterested and waved play.
Cesar Azpilicueta briefly had his hands around Carrasco on replays, but the VAR did not see any Chelsea captain’s touch and agreed with the referee’s decision.
Soon after, Chelsea broke the deadlock. Kai Havertz released Timo Werner down the left flank after a lightning-quick counter-attack. The Germany international moved the ball quickly and deftly to Hakim Ziyech, whose shot just snuck past Jan Oblak.
Thomas Tuchel’s team now leads the series 2-0. They had another chance to extend their advantage in the first half, but Oblak saved Ziyech with a fine save.
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thiago Alcantara was called into action once more in the 47th minute, this time by Timo Werner. He then denied Ziyech 15 minutes later with another spectacular save.
Diego Simeone responded to his team’s lack of attacking bite by removing the ineffective Luis Suarez and replacing him with Angel Correa. The substitutions, however, had no impact because Chelsea continued to ask all the questions.
The visitors’ task was even more complicated when Stefan Savic was sent off in the 82nd minute for a petulant elbow on Antonio Rudiger.
In the second minute of injury time, Joao Felix came close to equalizing, but Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save from point-blank range to hold Chelsea ahead.
Tuchel made two substitutions late in the game to break Atletico Madrid’s momentum, and one of them scored with his first touch of the ball.
Atletico Madrid was caught off guard when they thrust men forward in search of an equalizer. Christian Pulisic teed up Emerson in a three-on-one situation, and the Italy international made no mistake with a one-time finish from 12 yards.
Chelsea has qualified for the Champions League quarter finals for the first time since Atletico Madrid beat them in 2014.