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Atlético Madrid v Chelsea Live Commentary, 23/02/2021

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O. Giroud (68)
Arena Naţională


Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.
Atletico Madrid have four days to recover for their next outing on the road to Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday. Chelsea are also in action on Sunday, taking on Manchester United in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea secure a vital 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash. Olivier Giroud's sublime overhead kick was initially disallowed for offside. However, VAR spotted that Mario Hermoso nudged the ball to the forward rather than Mason Mount. The Frenchman's impressive goal was awarded, and the Blues held out comfortably to take a lead back to Stamford Bridge. It was a night to forget for Diego Simeone and his men in Bucharest.
90' + 5' Chelsea are edging their way towards a vital win here in Bucharest. Atletico seem to have missed their home comforts.
T. Lemar
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
90' + 3' Lemar chops down Pulisic in a desperate attempt to win the ball. The Frenchman goes into the book.
90' + 2' There's no way through for Atletico amid a stubborn performance from the Chelsea defence. Tuchel will be thrilled with their performance.
90' There will be six minutes of added time.
88' Atletico try to find space in the right inside channel, but Suarez fouls Christensen in the process of trying to cross the ball.
C. Pulišić
T. Werner
87' Werner is withdrawn for Pulisic for the closing stages.
K. Havertz
O. Giroud
87' Havertz replaces Giroud in the final third for the Blues. The Frenchman has made the decisive impact this evening.
86' Aged 34 years and 146 days, Giroud is the oldest player to score in the knockout stages of the Champions League for Chelsea, and the oldest to do so for an English side since Ryan Giggs (37) in April 2011 vs Schalke.
Atlético Madrid
84' Hermoso is withdrawn at the back as Simeone adds another attacker into the mix in Vitolo.
83' SAVE! Werner raids down the right flank and surges into the box. He takes on a strike from a tight angle that Oblak has to help behind.
L. Torreira
Atlético Madrid
82' Saul makes way for Torreira in the middle of the park.
Renan Lodi
João Félix
Atlético Madrid
82' Renan Lodi comes on to the field in place of Joao Felix.
M. Dembélé
Á. Correa
Atlético Madrid
82' Dembele replaces Correa in the final third for Atletico.
R. James
C. Hudson-Odoi
80' Tuchel looks to tighten up at the back as James replaces Hudson-Odoi.
79' Suarez and Rudiger collide in the right inside channel as Atletico win a corner. The two players have to be separated before the set-piece.
76' BLOCKS! Rudiger throws his body in the way of efforts from Koke and Correa in the box to protect the Chelsea goal. There's still no way through for the Spanish side tonight.
N. Kanté
M. Mount
74' Kante makes his way on to the field for Mount.
H. Ziyech
M. Kovačić
74' Kovacic makes way for Ziyech in the Chelsea midfield.
73' Joao Felix works an offload through to Correa in the left inside channel, but he loses the ball behind for a goal-kick. Atletico need to up the ante.
72' Giroud has scored six Champions League goals this season, his best return in a single campaign in the competition
70' The VAR decision took two minutes to award the goal, which is a massive moment in the tie. Atletico have to hit back here.
O. Giroud
68' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! GIROUD PUTS CHELSEA AHEAD WITH A SUPERB OVERHEAD KICK!!!! 1-0!!! The Frenchman latches on to a miscued clearance from Hermoso and produces a brilliant acrobatic finish to beat Oblak. The referee initially rules out the goal for offside, but VAR overturns the decision. Hermoso slices his clearance behind into the path of Giroud, who delivers a super effort for the Blues to find the bottom-left corner. It's a vital away goal for Chelsea.
66' Both teams are struggling to carve out clear-cut opportunities. It has not been a classic contest in the National Arena.
Yellow Card
64' Jorginho pulls back Joao Felix on the charge and goes into the book. He will now miss the second leg of the contest.
Marcos Llorente
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
63' Llorente makes a simple error as he sees his pass charged down by Werner. He has to drag down the German to prevent him breaking away on goal.
62' Correa battles down the right flank to win a corner off the legs of Rudiger as the Spanish outfit continue to grow into the game.
60' Saul spots Mendy off his line and goes for an ambitious strike from halfway, but his effort travels comfortably wide of the post.
58' OVER! Joao Felix sends Lemar down the left flank, but Rudiger gets a header away from Suarez. Joao Felix latches on to the loose ball in the left inside channel and attempts a spectacular overhead kick, only to send his effort over the bar.
56' BLOCK! Christensen has to get across to block a strike from Suarez after Correa tees up the Uruguayan in the box.
55' Hudson-Odoi cuts in from the right flank to open up space to fire at goal on his left foot. However, his effort deflects off Lemar and loops into the hands of Oblak.
53' Mount and Giroud combine to send Werner down the left flank. The German delivers a low ball towards the near post, but Felipe makes another important intervention.
52' Felipe produces a vital header in the box to clear Hudson-Odoi's dangerous cross from the left flank away from Azpilicueta.
51' Alonso finds space on the left flank, but his slight delay in crossing the ball allows Correa to divert his delivery behind for a corner.
50' BLOCK! Mount makes a neat turn on the edge of the Atletico box, but he sees his left-footed strike charged down by Hermoso.
47' Azpilicueta heads a cross back to Mendy, but it allows Suarez to pounce amid a miscommunication. However, he just cannot reach it and the ball travels behind for a corner.
46' Atletico Madrid had just one shot in the first half, their lowest total after 45 minutes in a Champions League match since the 2016-17 semi-final first leg against Real Madrid (also one).
46' We're back under way at the National Arena.
Diego Simeone will be the more concerned of the two managers. His side have not been at their best this evening in the final third. Chelsea have dominated possession and have restricted Atletico's opportunities in the final third. Los Rojiblancos need to improve.
It's goalless at the break at the National Arena between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea. It has been a half of few chances as neither side have been overly active in the final third. Timo Werner has come the closest when his blast was saved by Jan Oblak, while at the other end Edouard Mendy survived a mistake after being closed down by Saul Niguez. Both managers will want to see more from their teams in the second half.
45' There will be one minute of added time.
45' Mount and Hudson-Odoi combine down the right flank, which sees Saul come across to divert a cross from the former behind for a corner.
42' CHANCE! Suarez sends Correa into the right inside channel and the Argentine sends a cross back into the middle. Suarez tries to connect first time, but he slips and Chelsea are able to scramble the ball away.
41' Chelsea build down the left and have the overload on the right flank. Mount has space to direct a shot at goal, but he goes for a cross and sends it well over the bar.
39' SAVE! Werner goes for the blast from the left inside channel, but he sees his effort saved by Oblak. Mount offloads towards the German, who turns away from Savic. He opens up space for a strike, only to be denied by the Atletico keeper.
37' Jorginho sends an accurate ball over the top for Hudson-Odoi, but he just overhits his pass by a fraction as it travels out for a goal-kick.
34' Atletico have space to attack as Lemar takes possession in the middle of the park. However, his clip over the top for Suarez skips off the surface, away from the Uruguayan and out for a goal-kick.
33' Alonso rises and catches Koke with a stray arm. The Atletico skipper goes down clutching his head, but is okay to continue.
31' Atletico are penned back in their own half at the moment. The Blues are dominating possession.
29' Azpilicueta sends Hudson-Odoi down the right flank, but the England international just cannot reach the offload before it travels behind.
27' Jorginho tries to thread the needle with a pass for Giroud, but his offload goes straight through to Oblak.
25' SAVE! Chelsea probe once more and Kovacic almost finds Werner. However, the home side clear the danger as far as Alonso. The Spaniard lines up a drive that is saved low to his left by Oblak.
24' Savic has to turn and stretch to deflect Mount's dangerous throughball towards Werner away from danger on the edge of the box.
22' The visitors are edging their way into the contest in terms of possession, but Atletico have looked dangerous on the counter.
20' Chelsea win a corner down the left flank and Mount offloads short to Jorginho. He looks for the return offload, but the Italy international places his pass out for a goal-kick.
18' Werner plays a one-two with Giroud to break into the box. He goes down under pressure from Correa, but the referee waves play on amid claims for a penalty.
16' CLOSE! Mount surges down the right flank and places a dangerous low ball towards the post. Werner sticks out a boot, but cannot make contact to divert it towards the net.
15' WIDE! Suarez wins the ball from Rudiger at the back and he fires a low ball across the face of goal from the right inside channel. Lemar attacks the delivery at the back post, but the Frenchman cannot steer his effort towards goal under pressure from Hudson-Odoi.
13' Llorente probes down the right flank and fires a low cross towards the near post, but Rudiger reads the danger and clears with authority.
12' OVER! Christensen takes a step out of defence and lines up a drive at goal, but he sends his effort well over the top.
10' Hermoso floats a ball over the top for the run of Lemar, but the cross from the Frenchman towards the near post is gathered by Mendy.
9' Joao Felix angles a cross from the left flank towards the back post aiming for Suarez, but Alonso is on hand to head behind for a corner.
8' Llorente tries to escape the attention of Christensen, but gets brought down by the defender on the half-way line.
6' Hudson-Odoi finds space down the right flank and he wins a corner off the legs of Joao Felix.
4' Chelsea need to settle into the contest after a nervy start amid errors from Mount and Mendy.
2' CLOSE! Mendy takes a heavy touch at the back and is closed down by Saul. Fortunately for the Blues, the deflection travels away from goal and Alonso clears the danger.
M. Mount
Yellow Card
1' Mount goes into the book for his tackle on Joao Felix and will now miss the second leg.
1' Mount brings down Joao Felix on the charge and hands Atletico a free-kick in the Chelsea half.
1' We're under way at the National Arena.
Atletico Madrid prevailed in their only previous UEFA Champions League knockout tie with Chelsea – it was in the 2013/14 semi-finals (3-1 on aggregate).
Chelsea have made four changes to their side from their draw against Southampton at the weekend. Christensen is recalled in the defence to replace Zouma, who drops to the bench. Hudson-Odoi was withdrawn after coming on as a substitute against the Saints, but Tuchel has shown faith in the youngster by starting him tonight in place of James. Kante drops to the bench for Jorginho, while Abraham also makes way for Giroud.
Simeone has made three changes to his side that were beaten by Levante last time out. Savic slots into the back three in place of Jose Gimenez, who misses out due to injury. Saul is preferred in the middle of the park to Kondogbia, who drops to the bench. Lemar starts on the left flank as Renan Lodi also makes way.
CHELSEA SUBS: Kepa Arrizabalaga, N'Golo Kante, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Willy Caballero, Kurt Zouma, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Billy Gilmour, Reece James, Kai Havertz, Emerson.
CHELSEA (3-4-3): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso; Mason Mount, Olivier Giroud, Timo Werner.
ATLETICO SUBS: Ivo Grbic, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Lucas Torreira, Renan Lodi, Moussa Dembele, Vitolo, Sergio Camello, Alvaro Garcia, Ricard Sanchez, Miguel San Roman.
ATLETICO (3-4-3): Jan Oblak; Felipe, Stefan Savic, Mario Hermoso; Marcos Llorente, Koke, Saul Niguez, Thomas Lemar; Angel Correa, Joao Felix, Luis Suarez.
Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw in their last outing by Southampton in the Premier League. Thomas Tuchel's men had won five games in a row before the stalemate at St Mary's Stadium. The Blues have been impressive under the tenure of the German, but the stakes are raised tonight. They didn't lose a game in the group stage, winning four of their contests. Atletico will be a tough opponent for Chelsea on the road this evening.
Atletico have not been in great form of late, dropping four points in back-to-back games against Levante to allow Real Madrid back into the LaLiga title race. Diego Simeone's men were beaten 2-0 last time out, and drew their previous contest against Levante. Los Rojiblancos now turn their attention to the Champions League where they were not outstanding in the group stage, but did enough to advance. Atletico will need to be flawless tonight away from Madrid due to a Covid-19 ban on foreign travellers.
Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Champions League round-of-16 clash between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at the National Arena.