In the end it came down to Chelsea’s ambition. While Atletico Madrid were held back by Diego Simeone’s negativity, Thomas Tuchel told his team to play. Liberated, Chelsea stood up to be counted. They let their football do the talking instead of rising to Luis Suárez’s provocation, earning their reward when Olivier Giroud gave them a slender advantage to take back to Stamford Bridge with a special goal.
Tuchel could celebrate a perfect away display in Bucharest, where the tie was played due to Covid-19 restrictions. Chelsea, who have a wonderful chance to progress beyond the last 16 for the first time since 2016, were far more progressive than Atlético. It was a complete performance and the only disappointment is that Jorginho and the outstanding Mason Mount will be suspended for the second leg on 17 March.