Olivier Giroud’s bicycle kick gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory away against Atletico Madrid in Tuesday’s first leg match of the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.
The fifth placed English Premier League side beat the Spanish La Liga leaders in the match played in Bucharest, Romania following stringent COVID-19 restrictions in Spain.
The Chelsea – Atletico Madrid match ended goalless in the first stanza with Atletico registering just a shot on target in a half that was massively dominated by the Blues.
Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid’s coach, opted for a much defensive tactic as the back line was occasionally filled up with 5-6 players and striker Luis Suarez isolated upfront.
Chelsea’s Azpilicueta and Christensen however silenced the Uruguayan striker for most part of the match. Suarez currently tops the goal scoring chart in La Liga with 17 goals.
Giroud’s goal against Atletico is his Sixth goal in five appearances in the UCL this season. The Frenchman have also now scored 18 European goals for the Blues making him the third highest after Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.
The duo of Jorginho and Mason Mount will miss the second leg of the fixture having collected three yellow cards successively in the competition.
Chelsea will now approach the second leg of the fixture at Stamford Bridge with the away goal advantage and an aggregate of 1-0.
Thomas Tuchel will be much more boosted with this victory coming as his major litmus test since signing as the club’s manager last month. Tuchel is currently on an unbeaten run in eight games across all competitions after the sack of the club’s legend. Frank Lampard.
In the other Champions League match on Tuesday, defending champion Bayern Munich mauled Italian team SS Lazio 4-1 in the first leg of the knockout stages .
The goals came from FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, Robert Lewandoski, Leroy Sane , 17-year-old Jamal Musiala and an own goal from Acerbi while Lazio replied with just a goal from Andrea Correa.
The German giants have now scored a record 55 goals in their last 18 UCL games . English youngster Musiala is now the youngest player to score in the UCL for Bayern Munich on his debut.
Allianz Arena will now host Lazio in two weeks time for the return leg of the fixture. Lazio will be expected to pull up a miracle of at least 4-0 or 5-1 to proceed or get eliminated from the tournament.