Chelsea secures a vital 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash.
Olivier Giroud’s sublime overhead kick was initially ruled off for offside. However, VAR spotted that Mario Hermoso pushed the ball to the forward rather than Mason Mount.
The Frenchman’s impressive goal was awarded, and the Blues held out comfortably to take a lead back to Stamford Bridge.
It was a night not to forget for Diego Simeone and his men in Bucharest.
Still, after a very shaky start, this was a strong performance from Chelsea.
They saw a lot of the ball and could have grown frustrated with Madrid’s massed ranks, but they held firm to beat a team that has dominated La Liga this season.
Chelsea celebrated as a team, and VAR be damned. They celebrated as if the goal had been scored three seconds, not three minutes, ago. And Madrid? They reverted rather swiftly to tetchy type. Well, one of them did.
What would cause Antonio Rudiger to react so furiously to a clash with Luis Suarez? Ah, it was that sneaky pinch on his inner thigh, caught on camera in the replays.
Suraez was later booked for a foul on Andreas Christensen. He won’t be banned from the second leg, though. Atletico’s threat remains.
Sure, there is much work to do. But they have shown Atletico can be beaten, even at their own game. Very impressive stuff.
Atletico Madrid has four days to recoup for their next outing on the road to Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday.
Chelsea is also in action on Sunday, facing Manchester United in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.