Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea
The Champions League returned to our screens on Tuesday evening.
In one of two ties taking place, Chelsea faced off with Atletico Madrid in Bucharest.
Just a month or so ago, Atletico would have been viewed as the clear favourites to secure a first-leg advantage tonight.
However, whilst Diego Simeone’s side are still sitting top of La Liga, their form has dipped a fair bit of late.
The Spanish outfit’s squad has been hit by both Covid-19 and injuries, forcing players such as Joao Felix, Yannick Carrasco and Thomas Lemar onto the sidelines. And though most have since returned to action, we are of course now well aware of the kind of impact that the virus can have on a player’s ability to rediscover peak fitness.
As for Chelsea, they have looked a much-improved side under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel, though their ability to carve out, and then finish clear-cut chances has been questionable under the German.
Regardless, an interesting affair was widely predicted, as Atletico aimed to knock an English side out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the second season in a row, after ousting Liverpool at this point last year.
Mount to miss second leg vs Atletico
At present, the score remains at 0-0, with Atletico having sat very deep throughout much of the first-half.
Chelsea have dominated the ball, but, as has often proven the case with the Blues in recent weeks, have managed very little with it.
Instead, it was a piece of action inside the opening two minutes which has since proven to be one of the major talking points of the game so far.
Ahead of kick-off on Tuesday, it was revealed that a quartet of Chelsea stars were a yellow card away from missing the return leg in three weeks’ time.
These players came in the form of Mason Mount, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech.
Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount and Ziyech are one booking away from a suspension.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) February 23, 2021
Three of those players – Mount, Kovacic and Jorginho – were in from the off on Tuesday. And it took Mason Mount less than two minutes to pick up a booking, after bringing down an advancing Joao Felix.
As a result, the English international, who has been a key figure since Tuchel’s arrival, is now suspended for the tie’s second leg.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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