Chelsea FC and Atletico Madrid went to battle at Stamford Bridge today with everything on the line. Chelsea knew if they won, they would advance to the UEFA Champions League final. Atletico would advance with a win, or draw, due to the away goals rule. With both teams proving to be rock solid defensively, this would surely be a nervous matchup.
Atletico got things started in the 4th minute when Koke got hold of a cleared corner, and sent the ball back in towards the far post. Chelsea keeper Mark Schwarzer was caught off guard, but was saved by the crossbar.
Early in the game the Blues would dominate possession, and David Luiz tried to capitalize with what surely would have been a spectacular goal. Bransilav Ivanovic put in a long throw, which Luiz controlled, then attempted to utilize the bicycle kick. While Thibaut Courtois dove, the ball was always sailing wide.
Chelsea would open the scoring in the 36th minute, behind former Madrid star Fernando Torres. Willian did well to beat two defenders down the right-wing, and laid the ball off for Cesar Azpilicueta. Azpilicueta then hit a pass first time, which Torres was able to put past Courtois via a deflection. This made the game 1-0, with Chelsea earning the crucial first goal.
Just as Chelsea thought they would be able to end the half with a lea, Atleti struck. Chelsea could not clear the ball out of their area, and Adrian Lopez converted from close range after receiving a cross to the far post. With the score being 1-1, Atletico Madrid would advance to the final if that scoreline held to the final whistle.
With the score being as it was, the pressure was all on Chelsea do outperform Atletico in the second half. Most would say two goals would be needed to totally see away the opposition.
With the game seemingly in the balance after 45 minutes, Atletico Madrid put all doubt away over the course of a dominating second half performance.
In the 59th minute, substitute Samuel Eto’o conceded a penalty, which unfortunately for Chelsea fans happened just inside the box. Star forward Diego Costa stepped up, and finished well, making the score 2-1. Chelsea would then need two more to advance.
Arda Turan would then finish off the game with his goal in the 72nd minute. He found some space to get a shot off, but his effort came bouncing off the crossbar. As it would be, the ball actually fell right into his path for an easy tap in making the score 3-1. Following this, Atletico did what any good team would do, and killed clock while also frustrating their opponents.
With the season coming to an end Chelsea can focus all of their efforts towards a potential league championship. Though unlikely, a slip up from Liverpool and Manchester City, plus maximum points from their remaining games could see the Blues lift the trophy at season’s end.
Man of the Match- Adrian Lopez, Adrian took his goal well, and had an overall decent game, passing and being an effective offensive weapon.
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