Chelsea: Three things to look for as Champions League returns

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Southampton’s Malian midfielder Moussa Djenepo (L) vies with Chelsea’s French midfielder N’Golo Kante during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on February 20, 2021. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea will be dissatisfied they settled for honors even with Southampton but they have no time to dwell on that. The Blues are now immediately thrust into a brutal run of strong teams starting with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Pound for pound, Atletico might be the best team in the world this season (though surely Bayern Munich would have something to say about that, hiccups they have aside) and the Blues will have their work cut out for them. Can the Blues get out of the first leg in a good position?

1. Rebounds from dropped points

Chelsea made one error and allowed Southampton to score one goal. They also struggled to create much of anything on the other end with only a penalty bringing the Blues level. Thomas Tuchel was obviously not happy with what he was seeing given he made two tactical subs and he will want a reaction against Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish side also dropped points this weekend with a 2-0 loss at home to Levante. They are still in the driver’s seat in La Liga but that loss does bring things closer than they wanted it to be. Atletico will also have the excuse of injuries, suspensions, and Covid related absences. Diego Simeone won’t play any of those cards though as all he’ll do is demand a result from his team as they look to bring home some rare silverware for a team not called Barcelona or Real Madrid in Spain.

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