Soccer-Acrobatic Giroud gives Chelsea advantage over Atletico

Joao Felix had attempted an overhead effort earlier in the second half but missed the target in one of few chances for Atletico, who were forced to play their home leg over 3,000 kilometres from Madrid due to Spanish restrictions on arrivals from Britain to control the spread of COVID-19 infections. Chelsea looked more likely to find a second goal than Atletico did an equaliser but Thomas Tuchel's side will be without Mason Mount and Jorginho in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 17 as they will be suspended after being booked.

Reuters | Updated: 24-02-2021 03:45 IST | Created: 24-02-2021 03:45 IST
Soccer-Acrobatic Giroud gives Chelsea advantage over Atletico

A spectacular Olivier Giroud overhead kick gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg in Bucharest.

The French striker broke the deadlock in the 68th minute with an outrageous bicycle kick which was flagged offside but eventually given following a lengthy VAR review as the ball had come off Atletico's Mario Hermoso before Giroud hit it. Joao Felix had attempted an overhead effort earlier in the second half but missed the target in one of few chances for Atletico, who were forced to play their home leg over 3,000 kilometres from Madrid due to Spanish restrictions on arrivals from Britain to control the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Chelsea looked more likely to find a second goal than Atletico did an equaliser but Thomas Tuchel's side will be without Mason Mount and Jorginho in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 17 as they will be suspended after being booked. Atletico have led the La Liga standings for most of the season but have experienced a dip in form in February and went into Tuesday's match smarting from a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Levante after drawing two of their previous three games.

Deprived of the usual raucous atmosphere they would normally expect for a European knockout game at the Wanda Metropolitano and forced to take a four-hour flight to the game, there was little sense of them having a home advantage. They played with little ambition or intensity and could not manage a single shot on target to bother Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea played with more confidence and purpose and were only let down by their final pass. Luckily for them, they could count on the improvisation of Giroud when Hermoso's attempted clearance sent the ball looping backwards and within range of the Frenchman.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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