Olivier Giroud produced another Champions League special to hand Chelsea the advantage in their last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid after a 1-0 first-leg win in Bucharest.
The Blues forward grabbed his sixth goal in the competition this season with an overhead kick in the 68th minute but it was only awarded after a lengthy VAR review.
It was thoroughly deserved for Thomas Tuchel’s side, who dominated for large parts and extended their unbeaten run under the German to eight games since his arrival on January 26.
A negative was bookings for Mason Mount and Jorginho, which rules them out of the second leg and will force a midfield reshuffle from Tuchel.
That’s a remarkable win for Chelsea. It wasn’t the prettiest, but you can’t blame them for that. They controlled possession and did the most to try to break the deadlock, even if the quality in the final third was lacking.
Still, it ended up being a wonderful goal that settled it and might just have put Chelsea on course for the quarters.
However, Atletico boss Diego Simeone knows his team will need to score at least twice next month to go through in normal time, and Chelsea look odds-on to reach the quarter-finals.
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