Olivier Giroud scored a fantastic bicycle kick to give Chelsea an early advantage in their UEFA Champions League match Round of 16 first leg against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
The match which was initially scheduled to be played at Atletico’s stadium Wanda Metropolitano took place at National Arena in Bucharest, Romania due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Chelsea new manager Thomas Tuchel was facing his biggest challenge since his arrival in the Premier League, replacing club legend Frank Lampard at the helm.
Ahead of the Champions League game, Tuchel had led the Blues in a seven-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
The tactician was desperate to bring the West Londoners back to winning ways after a disappointing 1-all draw against Southampton in the domestic league.
The win puts the Blues in pole position to proceed to the quarter-finals on the European competition and extending their perfect run of form to eight unbeaten matches.
German coach Tuchel heaped praise on the French World Cup winner after the win saying, “If you see him on a daily basis, you cannot be surprised. He is totally fit, his body is in shape and his physicality is on the top level.
“He trains like a 20-year-old, like a 24-year-old. He is a guy who has a good mixture of serious and joy in training. He is always positive and it is a big factor for the group.”
The former Borussia Dortmund manager added, “Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved.
“We wanted to dominate in the opponents’ half, to never lose concentration, not to do any easy mistakes and always be aware of quick counter-attacks for all their quality.
“It was a very disciplined performance – a deserved shut-out. This is the hard work, a team effort – the basis for a big win.
“We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high. This is what we did very good. We never let them breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We have a big reward with this result.
“This is one of the toughest challenges to open a defence like Atletico,” the ex-Paris-Saint Germain told BT Sport.
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