The first leg of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final with Atletico Madrid set up an intriguing decider after a tense 0-0 draw.
In a match of few chances, Chelsea had an unexpected setback when Petr Cech fell awkwardly under the challenge of Raul Garcia. Having dislocated his shoulder, he was substituted for Mark Schwarzer, who impressed throughout. Schwarzer will now play out the remainder of the season, including the weekend’s crucial Premier League game against Liverpool, after Jose Mourinho confirmed the injury had ended Cech's campaign.
Frank Lampard’s lunge on Arda Turan saw him booked and suspended for the return game. John Obi Mikel and Atletico’s Gabi were also booked, and also suspended. John Terry was subbed after injuring his foot in an innocuous clash with Diego Costa and he, like Cech, willl miss the rest of the Premier League season, although Mourinho expects the defender to be fit again to play in the final, should Chelsea get that far. With Eden Hazard also out, Chelsea’s squad is being stretched to its limit.
It was a well earned draw for Chelsea, but the fact remains that they are vulnerable to the away goals rule, having failed to score tonight.
15’ - CECH INJURED. Koke swings in a corner from the right, Cech tips over the bar, and as he does so, Diego Garcia knocks him to the ground. He falls awkwardly, straight onto his elbow, and has to be substituted for Mark Schwarzer.
28’ - RAMIRES MISS! Willian breaks through from his own half, evading one challenge with good footwork and riding his luck with another. He lays the ball off to his right, and Ramires sends a fierce shot well wide of goal.
34’ - DIEGO RIBAS SHOT! Juanfran passes inside for Diego Ribas, who spreads play inside for Suarez. He sends his shot just wide of goal.
59’ - TORRES CHANCE! Fernando Torres does well to use his footwork to get into the box, cuts onto his right, but shoots straight at Courtois.
60’ - RIBAS CHANCE! Chesting the ball down outside the box, he takes one touch to shift the ball inside and sends a shot just wide of goal.
64’ - LAMPARD BOOKED! After a lunge at Arda Turan, Lampard is booked, meaning he will miss the return leg.
75’ - MIKEL AND GABI BOOKED! An undignified heated debate over Lampard’s handball sees both men booked and suspended for the next leg.
76’ - GABI CHANCE! Gabi fires low into the corner of the goal, but Schwarzer gets across swiftly to palm it away.
90+2’ - COSTA CHANCE! Costa has a free header from only a few yards out, but his shot is straight at Schwarzer.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 15 clashes with Spanish sides in the Champions League (W6 D10), their last defeat coming against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in February 2006. Their last five trips to Spain in the competition have all ended in draws.
Chelsea are unbeaten against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League (W1 D2); having met in the 2009/10 Group Stages.
Atletico Madrid have only conceded five goals in 11 Champions League games this season, the best defensive tally in the competition.
Atletico Madrid are the only team unbeaten in the Champions League this season (8 wins, 3 draws).
This is the first Champions League match this season that Atletico have failed to score in.
Will Chelsea’s squad survive the next two weeks? Having seen suspensions incurred for Lampard and Mikel, Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic cup-tied, and with injuries to Terry, Cech and Hazard, the games against Liverpool and the semi-final second leg will take the team to the full extent of its resilience.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gary Cahill (Chelsea): It was a disciplined team performance, particularly by the defence, but Cahill was the most impressive. He offered cover for Azpilicueta, and led the line when Terry went off injured, calming a defence suffering two key injuries.
Atletico Madrid: Courtois 6, Godín 6, Luís 6, Juanfran 6, Miranda 6, Suárez 6, Koke 6, García 7, Gabi 6, Diego 7, Diego Costa 6. Subs: Arda Turan 6, Villa 6, Sosa 6.
Chelsea: Cech 6, Azpilicueta 7, Cahill 7, Terry 7, Cole 7, David Luiz 6, Mikel 6, Lampard 6, Ramires 7, Torres 6, Willian 6. Subs: Schwarzer 7, Schurrle 6, Ba 6.
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Atletico Madrid
- Mark Schwarzer
- Petr Cech
- Frank Lampard
- Arda Turan
- John Obi Mikel
- Premier League
- Diego Costa