Chelsea tops Atletico in Champions League with Giroud’s bicycle-kick goal


After his nice overhead kick discovered the online to interrupt the impasse in a troublesome match, all Olivier Giroud may do was wait.

And wait and wait.

Giroud’s 68th-minute bicycle-kick goal in opposition to Atlético Madrid was initially disallowed for offside and it took almost three minutes for video overview to reverse the decision and safe Chelsea the 1-0 away win in the primary leg of the spherical of 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Giroud was clearly in entrance of the defenders when he pulled off his acrobatic shot and few Chelsea gamers complained when the linesman raised his flag, however VAR decided that the ball got here from Atlético defender Mario Hermoso as a substitute of Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, thus annulling the offside.

“I did not know what to think about the goal, I just focused on hitting the overhead kick and was pleased to see it go in the back of the net, I had no clue about being offside,” Giroud mentioned. “Mason Mount said he did not touch the ball. Good for the team, good for me.”

The end result stored Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel unbeaten in eight matches since he took over the squad to exchange Frank Lampard.

“Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved,” Tuchel mentioned. “It was a very disciplined performance — a deserved shutout.”

Atlético was the house staff however the match was performed in Bucharest, Romania, due to journey restrictions stopping guests from Britain coming into Spain.

The second leg will probably be on March 17 in London.

In the opposite round-of-16 match on Tuesday, Bayern Munich defeated Lazio 4-1 in Italy.

It was the second consecutive loss for Atlético after a seven-match unbeaten streak in all competitions. It was additionally the eighth straight recreation in which the Spanish membership has conceded a goal, extending its worst run and not using a clear sheet since coach Diego Simeone arrived in late 2011.

“It’s been a difficult week but we have to keep competing,” Atlético midfielder Koke Resurrección mentioned. “We have to raise our heads and try to win the second leg. There’s no other option for us.”

It had been a lackluster match till Giroud’s goal, with neither staff managing to create many important scoring alternatives and with the goalkeepers not having to work too laborious. Chelsea managed possession and seemed a bit extra harmful, however either side seemed to be glad with the scoreless draw and didn’t take too many dangers.

“We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box,” Tuchel mentioned. “The intention was to keep the intensity high. This is what we did very good. We never let them breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We have a big reward with this result. This is one of the toughest challenges to open a defense like (Atlético’s).”

Atlético was outshot by Chelsea and completed the match with no makes an attempt on track.

“We know the importance of the away goal in Europe so that is why I was pleased to help the team win the game,” Giroud mentioned. “We managed it well and we were confident but faced a great team and I think we were very committed and knew their main strengths. We dealt with it, but we have to stay focused and complete the job.”

Hermoso was attempting to clear the ball from the world whereas underneath stress from Mount and kicked it backward. Giroud reached up excessive with his left foot to ship the ball towards the nook previous Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

“The game was decide on details,” Koke mentioned. “It didn’t look like a dangerous play but they ended scoring a great goal.”

Mount and Jorginho have been proven yellow playing cards and can miss the second leg due to accumulation of playing cards.

Simeone needed to improvise with midfielder Marcos Llorente without any consideration again in opposition to Chelsea due to a number of absences on protection, together with Kieran Trippier following an English betting investigation.

The groups had performed in the group stage of the Champions League in the 2017-18 season, with Chelsea successful 2-1 in Spain earlier than a 1-1 draw in London. Atlético eradicated Chelsea in the semifinals in 2014.

It was in Bucharest that Simeone received his first title with Atlético, the 2012 Europa League.


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