Chelsea Advance while Atletico Crash Out


Week Six Preview


Chelsea had to settle for second place in Group C after drawing 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in their final Champions League group game.


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Saúl Niguez broke the deadlock at Stamford Bridge with his second-half header, but an own-goal from Stefan Savic meant it ended all square.

The result meant the Blues progress to the knockout phase of the competition as group runners-up while Atletico drop to the Europa League.

Full report

Chelsea started on the front foot with Davide Zappacosta firing in an early effort that flew well over the Atletico goal.

And after a period of loose possession from both sides, Fernando Torres pounced on a ball in the Blues box, and with his back to goal fired it over the crossbar off the foot of Cesar Azpilicueta.

A Cesc Fabregas free-kick on 15 minutes failed to test the Atletico back-line before Alvaro Morata so nearly opened the scoring with a shot on the turn. He had picked up an Andreas Christensen square pass that Eden Hazard dummied, but was just inches wide.

Morata should have done better with a 23rd minute shot that Jan Oblak got down well to save, after a quick free-kick found Victor Moses, who pulled his cross back from the right touchline.

Oblak tipped over a misplaced cross from Morata as Thomas Partey blazed over from an Atletico corner just before the half hour.

The visiting goalkeeper then denied Zappacosta with a fantastic fingertip save on 38 minutes as his deflected shot arrowed for the bottom corner of the net.

Atletico began to enjoy some of the ball but without really threatening as the half ended all square.

Antoinne Griezmann failed to test Thibaut Courtois with a free-kick early in the second half as Christensen could only header into the arms of Oblak after a great cross fro Hazard.

Oblak saved well from a Morata header on 50 minutes before Filipe Luis smashed a 53rd minute effort off the Chelsea woodwork, and Courtois saved Niguez's followed-up diving header.

Niguez then fired Atletico ahead, with 56 minutes played as an outswinging corner was flicked on by Torres at the near post, and he was perfectly placed at the back post to nod home.

Griezmann fired wide on 66 minutes as Christensen was again off target, this time with a header from a Fabregas ball.

Gimenez and Oblak somehow contrived to keep the ball out after Pedro's flick from a superb Moses ball looked to be heading into the bottom left corner of the net.

Astonishingly Chelsea were level from a 75 minute Savic own-goal, with the Atleti defender unable to get his boot out of the way of a Hazard shot.

Morata should have scored when being set up by Fabregas moments later before Willian missed an absolute sitter that he blazed over as Hazard cut the ball back for the attacker.

Griezmann came close to getting a boot to a Luciano Vietto delivery as late Blues substitute Michy Batshuayi hit his injury-time shot just wide of the target.

With Roma beating Qarabag 1-0, Chelsea surrendered top spot in Group C to finish second, with Atletico stuck in third, and transferring to the Europa League.

© TEAMtalk Media

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