Chelsea respond to troubled week with clinical Champions League showing to beat Porto

Porto 0-2 Chelsea: A clinical showing from the Blues gives them one foot in the semis

Melissa Reddy
Senior Football Correspondent
@MelissaReddy_
Thursday 08 April 2021 09:46
comments
<p>Mount and Chilwell give Chelsea a big first-leg win</p>

Mount and Chilwell give Chelsea a big first-leg win

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell sprinkled gold dust on Wednesday night’s sidebar, pushing Chelsea closer to the Champions League semi-finals despite Porto’s endeavour.

Bayern Munich’s hosting of Paris Saint-Germain was the major story, the relentless entertainment during that snow-capped encounter proving it was for good reason. 

There was an absence of icy flakes and not much final-third mayhem at at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but the painting of Porto as an easy draw for Chelsea was a Trojan Horse.

The West Londoners arrived in Seville fresh from a serious training ground spat between defender Antonio Rudiger and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, which manager Thomas Tuchel revealed had been resolved amongst the players. 

The German had also ceded his 14-match unbeaten streak since succeeding Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, a record that was shockingly surrendered in a 5-2 slap by relegation strugglers West Brom.

READ MORE:

How Chelsea would respond to the bust-up and humiliation was in the spotlight - and they were shaded for large stretches by the energetic hosts. 

Porto pressed them at every opportunity and were superior in carving out opportunities. 

A stunning volley from Mateus Uribe just cleared the crossbar and trickled across the top netting.  Otavio nearly scored directly from a corner, with Porto asking all the questions despite Chelsea hogging the ball. 

Just after the half-hour mark, Jorginho took possession between the lines and sprayed an angled pass to Mount. 

He anticipated it, adjusted his body ensuring a smooth take with his left before spinning and sending a low shot across goal and in. A fine way to collect a first Champions League goal.

Chelsea’s only effort of any kind in the first half came against the run of play, piercing Porto. 

Tuchel’s charges took more of an offensive initiative after the interval, but Sergio Conceicao’s side remained aggressive. Timo Werner sent a header over the bar at the far post, before Edouard Mendy thwarted Moussa Marega. 

Luis Diaz then generated space on the edge of the box and directed a curler just wide of the post. At the other end, Agustin Marchesin was stung by a Rudiger rocket from distance, which he spilled. 

Werner attacked the loose ball to roll Kai Havertz in, but he slid his shot off target. No matter, as the pass was supplied from an offside position.

READ MORE:

Porto were bewildered by a few instances - a heavy challenge on Zaidu Sanusi and push in the back on Marega - where Cesar Azpilicueta escaped action from the referee and VAR.

Substitute Christian Pulisic hit the woodwork in the closing minutes, before Chilwell crowned the night with wonderful individual play. 

He paced down the left, pouncing on a defensive error and approaching Marchesin one-on-one. He nonchalantly clipped the ball beyond the keeper, followed it and passed into the empty net. A fine way to collect a first Champions League goal.

Porto had managed double the shots, offered more on target and from inside the area, but were undone. You were transfixed on Bayern’s 3-2 defeat to PSG, though, weren’t you?

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments