The Frenchman’s acrobatic effort was initially dominated out for offside however a near-three-minute VAR examine decided the aim might stand.
The magnificent strike handed Chelsea a deserved lead on the Enviornment Nationala in Bucharest as they restricted a toothless Atletico to zero pictures on course.
The Blues’ defenders loved a effective bodily battle with the Spaniard’s in-form ahead Luis Suarez, retaining the Uruguayan at bay all through.
Chelsea’s spectacular efficiency means they carry an combination lead and an important away aim into the second leg subsequent month, although their delight is tempered by two high-profile suspensions.
Listed below are 5 speaking factors from the Champions League last-16 tie.
1. Giroud’s golden aim
Two minutes and 50 seconds separated Olivier Giroud’s great bicycle kick hitting the again of the online and VAR awarding the aim.
Giroud leapt into the air and fired past Jan Oblak to make sure Chelsea carry an important aim into the second leg of their last-16 tie subsequent month.
It was one other exceptional aim for the Frenchman so as to add to a set which already consists of his 2017 Puskas Award-winning scorpion kick for Arsenal.
His celebrations have been momentarily postponed earlier than VAR officers dominated Atletico defender Mario Hermoso intentionally performed the ball as his scuffed clearance popped up for Giroud to pluck out of the air.
However that did little to dampen Giroud’s delight, who’s proving himself as sharp and majestic in entrance of aim as ever on the age of 34.
2. Chelsea defence on prime
For the primary 69 minutes of the last-16 tie, the match performed out as anticipated.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid have the joint-best defensive report in La Liga this season, whereas Chelsea have conceded two objectives of their six Premier League video games underneath Thomas Tuchel.
So the Champions League tie between these two sides was by no means prone to be a goalfest, particularly when bearing in mind the standard caginess of a primary leg within the knockout stage.
But when Atletico thought they’d proceed to the second leg with out conceding the essential away aim, Giroud had different concepts.
The Frenchman’s second of magic will probably be talked about for weeks to come back, however reward ought to go to Chelsea’s defence.
The Blues’ three-man backline restricted the Atletico to no pictures on course and Andreas Christensen did properly as he crammed in for injured veteran Thiago Silva.
3. Blues preserve Suarez ready
Luis Suarez has proved to be one of many signings of the season after arriving at Atletico Madrid on a free switch from rivals Barcelona final summer time.
The Uruguayan is stage along with his former teammate Lionel Messi within the race for the Pichichi Trophy with 16 objectives in 20 video games for Diego Simeone’s males.
However he his but to open his Champions League account for Atletico and endured a testing evening up towards bodily Chelsea defence.
Suarez frequently butted heads with Antonio Rudiger.
4. Hudson-Odoi recalled
After his controversial substitution on Saturday, it seems Callum Hudson-Odoi stays central to Thomas Tuchel’s plans.
The 20-year-old was introduced on at half-time in Chelsea’s conflict with Southampton, however taken off once more simply 31 minutes later.
Hudson-Odoi was visibly livid along with his remedy within the 1-1 draw and lots of pundits criticised the best way Tuchel dealt with the teen.
But it surely seems there isn’t a unhealthy blood between supervisor and participant, as Hudson-Odoi was restored to his berth on the fitting flank for the necessary conflict with Atletico Madrid.
The Englishman’s use as a wing-back has been one of many surprises of Tuchel’s reign thus far, with Reece James having to accept a minor position after starring underneath Frank Lampard.
Hudson-Odoi continues to justify his choice on the fitting flank and has struck partnership with Mason Mount, who operates inside and barely forward of him.
His defensive work additionally impressed and he coped with the specter of Thomas Lemar properly all through the primary leg, earlier than making method for James within the closing levels.
5. Two stars to overlook second leg
With lower than 35 seconds on the clock, Mason Mount’s identify was taken by the referee after he tripped Joao Felix, who was attempting to burst ahead from midfield.
Mount’s early yellow card meant he needed to be cautious along with his challenges for the remaining 89 minutes of the tie, and – arguably extra importantly – it means he’ll miss the second leg.
This can come as a serious blow to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, as Mount has performed a key position underneath the German, beginning the Blues’ final 5 Premier League video games and scoring twice in his final three outings.
In opposition to Atletico Madrid, the 22-year-old was deployed in a floating attacking midfield position, tasked with protecting loads of floor with out the ball and linking midfield to assault with it.
It is a distinctive place not many within the Chelsea squad are able to performing in, and Mount’s power and technical capacity will probably be sorely missed within the second leg.
The Blues’ choices for March’s tie have been additional depleted as Jorginho was booked simply after the hour mark, leaving Tuchel with out two of his key midfield operators.
Within the duo’s absence, the German might flip to N’Golo Kante, who remains to be working his method again to common begins after struggling a hamstring harm final month.
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