Chelsea’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech (R) vies with Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian defender Renan Lodi through the UEFA Champions League spherical of 16 second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on March 17, 2021. (Picture by Ben STANSALL / AFP)
Thomas Tuchel stated “tremendous hungry” Chelsea have their sights set on reaching the Champions League ultimate after Hakim Ziyech ended his aim drought to encourage a 2-0 win in opposition to Atletico Madrid within the last-16 second leg on Wednesday.
Morocco ahead Ziyech grabbed his first aim since October to place the hosts forward within the first half at Stamford Bridge.
Emerson got here off the bench to attain the late aim that sealed a snug 3-0 combination victory over the lackluster La Liga leaders.
Including to Atletico’s distress, Stefan Savic was despatched off within the closing phases for elbowing Antonio Rudiger within the abdomen.
Whereas Chelsea had been the superior aspect for lengthy intervals, Atletico might justifiably declare they need to have had penalty for Cesar Azpilicueta’s problem on Yannick Carrasco when the rating was nonetheless 0-0.
Tuchel admitted it might have been a penalty, saying “Azpi received a bit frightened as a result of his ball was brief, I used to be a bit frightened as properly.”
However Atletico boss Diego Simeone added “we aren’t in search of excuses. We had been overwhelmed by a greater staff. We tried to press them up the sector, however couldn’t assault the way in which we like.”
That was the one main scare for Chelsea as they prolonged their unbeaten run to 13 matches since Tuchel changed the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
Tuchel boasts the longest ever unbeaten begin by a Chelsea boss after shifting previous Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Revitalized by Tuchel, Chelsea have conceded simply two objectives in his temporary reign and are on a run of six consecutive clear sheets in all competitions.
“An excellent efficiency, unbelievable effort. I might really feel we completely wished it,” Tuchel stated.
“We loved the battle. The blokes had been completely on and sharp. We had been tremendous hungry to undergo.”
Main Chelsea into the final eight for the primary time since 2014 is one other feather in Tuchel’s cap because the German eyes a return to the Champions League ultimate following his defeat with Paris Saint-Germain in opposition to Bayern Munich final season.
“They play with a particular bond. Fixtures and outcomes like this offer you a sure edge to realize particular issues. I’m fairly positive no-one needs to play in opposition to us,” Tuchel stated.
“Quarter-final means there’s solely 4 video games (till the ultimate). It’s a giant step and feels wonderful.”
Chelsea, Champions League winners for the one time in 2012, had been eradicated within the first knockout stage of their final 4 appearances.
However they by no means seemed in peril of shedding the 1-0 lead given to them by Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick within the first leg in Bucharest.
Crucially, Azpilicueta escaped with out punishment when the defender’s under-hit back-pass allowed Carrasco to nip forward of him within the penalty space.
Azpilicueta responded with a panicked tug that despatched Carrasco tumbling however Atletico’s penalty enchantment was controversially rejected by referee Daniele Orsato, with VAR bizarrely opting to not intervene.
Simeone’s anger solely elevated as Chelsea made essentially the most of their success to take the lead within the thirty fourth minute.
Timo Werner now has simply two objectives in his final 27 appearances for Chelsea.
However Tuchel backed Werner to return good this week and the Germany ahead repaid his supervisor’s religion with a robust efficiency capped by the important thing contribution to Ziyech’s opener.
Breaking at tempo after Werner blocked Kieran Trippier’s cross, Kai Havertz fed his team-mate on the left flank.
Werner accelerated away from the out-of-position Atletico protection earlier than clipping a perfectly-weighted cross into Ziyech’s path.
Unmarked 10 yards from aim, Ziyech completed Chelsea’s thrust with a scientific strike.
Savic’s frustration boiled over within the 81st minute as he was dismissed for a pointless elbow that drew a theatrical fall from Rudiger.
With Chelsea’s injured defender Thiago Silva roaring on Emerson from the stands, the left-back blasted residence from Christian Pulisic’s cross in stoppage-time, sparking a wild celebration that encapsulated the feel-good issue fueling the Blues at current.
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