The Champions League Round of 16 hasn’t been kind to Chelsea in recent years – the Blues have not made it beyond this stage of the competition since 2014.
Olivier Giroud’s second-half goal made the difference between the two sides, and what a strike it was. A lovely overhead kick which found the bottom corner of Jan Oblak’s net.
It wasn’t overly pretty but it’s job done for Chelsea who take a narrow advantage back to Stamford Bridge in March.
Thomas Tuchel and his players will be looking to change that this season.
The Spanish giants are having a good season; they lead La Liga by three points and have a game in hand over second-placed side Real Madrid.
But Atleti have key injuries – Jose Giminez, Hector Herrera and Yannick Carrasco were ruled out – while their previously impenetrable defence is no more, as explained in greater detail here.
That the match isn’t being played at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium due to Spain’s Covid-19 travel restrictions on visitors from the United Kingdom was a huge advantage for Chelsea.
Diego Simeone has never lost a home match as Atletico head coach in the Champions League. The La Liga side have also only conceded just once in their previous 12 home knockout stage games in the competition.
Chelsea played without the influential Thiago Silva but otherwise have a fully fit squad. Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are in contention to feature having recovered from injuries.