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 Atlético Madrid. In the second leg on March 17th at their home country Stamford Bridge, the Londoners have the best chance of advancing.
“We wanted to move the game into the opposing half and not make any slight mistakes,” said a visibly satisfied Tuchel DAZN. “We only wanted to take the risk in the last 20 meters – that was the challenge. At the same time, we watched out for the counterattacks, overall it was a very good performance from us.”
For Tuchel, the victory was the result of an extremely disciplined performance by his team. “The fact that we did not concede is due to our hard work. Those were the basics for a big win, but we are only at half time.”
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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. (The game for reading in the ticker)
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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.
Atlético only thinks about defensive
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.
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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.
The Spaniards had the best chance in the first half: Luis Suarez prevailed on the right against Rüdiger and pulled in, but Thomas Lemar couldn’t use his cross to lead (14th). For Chelsea, on the other hand, there was hardly a gap with 70 percent possession of the ball, Werner rarely got a move, once he was able to prevail before the break, but failed to goalkeeper Jan Oblak (39th). (Schedule and results of the Champions League)
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.