Boy, did this match want this. Today’s Champions League round-of-16 first leg between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid was a chore. Atletico can all the time be that, as their identification for the previous decade has been to be defiantly, sneeringly obstinate. Chelsea are nonetheless discovering their toes underneath new supervisor Thomas Tuchel, so being expansive isn’t excessive on their record of priorities but both. With Atletico particularly cautious of giving up an away goal, the match boiled right down to filling out a Happy Meal puzzle in a ready room.
The Olivier Giroud goal that determined it won’t fairly have been well worth the hike by means of purgatory it took to get there, however it was shut:
Going with the theme, there was really an interminable wait to see if this could depend, as Giroud was initially dominated offside and the goal dominated out. VAR noticed that the contact earlier than Giroud’s got here off an Atletico defender, making Giroud onside. The goal was Giroud’s sixth of the competitors, which is sort of the feat contemplating he’s solely began two of Chelsea’s seven video games. Helps whenever you rating 4 within the different, as he did towards Sevilla.
Making it even higher was that Atletico’s Joao Felix tried the identical simply minutes earlier:
The 1-0 win provides Chelsea a significant away goal and result in take into the second leg at dwelling, with Atletico needing to attain a minimum of twice to undergo. Maybe, simply possibly, that’ll result in the match being something aside from one thing outlawed by the Geneva conference. Maybe.