Chelsea took home the three points and with it a crucial away goal as Olivier Giroud’s beautiful bicycle kick ensured that the Blues stay in the driving seat, securing a 1-0 win over La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in their Round-of-16 tie. From an entertainment standpoint, this wasn’t the best game ever, but it had its moments, more for Chelsea than for Atletico. The Blues kept the ball in their hands for the majority of the game, and through their excellent counter-press they won it back when they lost it. There were some low-points from this game, but rest assured, Chelsea fans: The win and the clean sheet are the two things that matter most in the first leg away from home, and Chelsea got both.
So, what all stood out from this game?
1. All Olivier Giroud needs is one touch
Olivier Giroud is something else. This guy can change the game on his own even if he’s having the worst game. Well, it wasn’t the worst game at all from Giroud, but he wasn’t seeing the ball that often. Whenever someone from deep played a long ball towards him, he had trouble winning the aerial duels against the likes of Felipe, Hermoso, etc. He did win a bunch of them, but Atletico did a very good job of making sure that he doesn’t see the ball all that much. When he was inside the box, there were so many crosses that came towards him but either they were overhit, or they were cleared by an Atleti defender. It was looking as if it’ll be a tough night for Giroud. Until, until that one moment. That one moment where he thought that he should take matters into his own hands.
He was standing with his back to the goal, just behind the defensive line in an offside position. Mario Hermoso flicked the ball in the air towards his own goal, and Giroud was thinking, “Alright, this is going in”. You already know what happened next — the French striker latched onto the ball, and hit a beautiful bicycle kick and scored the goal for Chelsea. This proves that the man doesn’t need a few things to go his way so that he can gain some confidence and have a good game. All he needs is one touch — one moment of brilliance. Wow.