Atletico Madrid 0-1 Chelsea: Olivier Giroud's sensational bicycle kick gives Blues advantage

by 24USATVFeb. 24, 2021, midnight 26
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Olivier Giroud's second-half bicycle kick handed Chelsea the advantage in their last-16 Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid as they edged a 1-0 win over Diego Simeone's men on Tuesday night.

A dominant performance on the ball from the Blues saw them take a 1-0 lead heading into the second-leg, and also clinch a very important away goal.

Giroud gave Chelsea the lead in the 71st minute with an incredible bicycle kick past Jan Oblak which proved to be the difference in Romania.

It was a frantic start to the game in Romania and within the first minute, Chelsea already received their first blow. Mason Mount was booked for a foul which ruled him out of the second-leg.

It was a nervy beginning from Thomas Tuchel's side and it was evident. Trying to play out from the back nearly saw Edouard Mendy give away a penalty after a heavy touch in his box.

Chelsea's passing was off as was there defending. The story of the early beginning to the game. Lots of the ball but shaky. Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger failed to deal with a simple in-behind ball, but fortunately Luis Suarez didn't take advantage of the Blues' poor defending.

In the 15th minute, Chelsea should've been ahead. Mount delivered a fine ball across the box but Timo Werner couldn't get any contact. Had he have done and guided it on target, it was an almost certain goal for the visitors. Werner went down in the box shortly after but no penalty was given.

At times, Atletico sat in a 6-3-1 formation. It was more than a low block, and they looked to capitalise on any Chelsea error. They did so in the 34th minute when they broke through Thomas Lemar. But he tried to lift it over the Blues defence to find Suarez, instead of playing Joao Felix in which saw the move break down.

Werner was quiet, but Chelsea offered a glimpse of spark. Mason Mount nutmegged the defender; Werner spun Stefan Savic and fired at goal, but it was comfortable enough for Jan Oblak to parry away his effort six minutes before the break.

It was a shocking half for Chelsea in terms of quality. They had much of the ball, but as usual couldn't quite do anything with it. Plenty of overhit passes. They looked scared at points.

Mendy continued to show signs of shakiness, taking extremely heavy touches forcing him into unforced errors.

Mount showed his quality the 53rd minute as he danced through, over, and round two Atletico players to set up a Blues break to feed Werner through, but his cross to find Olivier Giroud was cut out and cleared.

Joao Felix went for the spectacular in the 58th minute as the ball fell to him in the box but he blazed his acrobatic effort well over the bar.

Marcos Llorente was booked in the 63rd minute for dragging back Werner, who looked to be in on goal.

Jorginho joined Mount in the book for a foul on Felix, and he is also now out of the second leg.

And in the 71st minute Chelsea went ahead. Olivier Giroud's outstanding acrobatic bicycle kick found the corner and after a lengthy VAR check following an initial offside decision, the goal was awarded.

Tuchel made his first changes in the 74th minute as Jorginho and Mason Mount who had both been booked, were replaced by N'Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech.

Hudson-Odoi was replaced with 10 minutes to go for Reece James as Tuchel looked to shore his side up defensively to close out the game. But Chelsea continued to push for the second.

Tuchel made his final two changes three minutes from time as he introduced Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz for Werner and goalscorer Giroud.

And Chelsea managed to hold on to earn an important narrow advantage heading into their second-leg which is currently scheduled to be played at Stamford Bridge.

A clean sheet, an away goal - it wasn't pretty from the Blues and they were far from their best but they got the job done in Romania.

Tuchel extends his unbeaten start to eight games and half of Chelsea's biggest week so far under the German is done.

Next up is Manchester United in west London on Sunday in the Premier League.

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