3. What result is acceptable at this point?
The first leg of any Champions League tie is tricky. Home teams want to take advantage of their stadium but they don’t want to overextend and concede vital away goals. Away teams know the value of away goals, but they also don’t want to overextend and find themselves down in the first leg. So, the first leg of any Champions League match is usually a highly calculated dance between two sides wondering how much they can risk while putting themselves in the best position for the second leg.
So, given Atletico Madrid’s form this season, what is an acceptable result for Chelsea? This is a team that is nullifying nearly every opponent as they bombard them at the other end. Chelsea has been nullified often in recent matches with goals and chances being few and far between. Mostly, Chelsea has found a way through but they haven’t faced a team like Atletico Madrid.
In that sense, a draw might be an acceptable result before the second leg, especially a scoring one. That would theoretically give the Blues the lead before the second leg and then, all they would have to do in most circumstances is win or draw again (provided it is a lower scoring draw of course).
All of that would make sense if Atletico Madrid wasn’t in a bit of a personnel crisis. They have players suspended, injured, and recovering from or outright out because of Covid. It is hard to say they are there for the taking but they are surely weakened. If Chelsea settles for a draw in the first leg, they’ll also know that the Spanish side will surely be stronger by the second. That gives an incentive to take the full advantage now and anything less might be a wasted opportunity.
A draw, under normal circumstances, might be a great result but Chelsea could push for more. Would a draw still be acceptable regardless? We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.
What are you looking for in this one? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!