Champions League Semi-Finals Preview: Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid

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Updated: April 24, 2014
Mourinho

Match Date: 30 April 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stamford Bridge

(Featured Image: Mourinho | Source: thinkfootball.co.uk)

 

Their first leg in the Champions League semi-finals ended in a goalless draw. Atletico Madrid and Chelsea battled out a very defensive display capped by very few chances and a couple of good saves from the teams’ keepers. The result gave the English squad a gust of relief (considering that they were touted as the weaker side prior to the match) while the Spanish side had to succumb to frustration. It was Atletico’s first time to not score in 11 fixtures of this season’s competition.

 

The Blues lost goalkeeper Petr Cech to injury but substitute Mark Schwarzer did pretty well to deny Atletico’s attacks, especially the one from Mario Suarez. Los Colchoneros meanwhile, capitalized more on their defense rather than on goalkeeping—a post owned by on-loan Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois.

 

Chelsea went to Madrid with a deficit from a loss to Sunderland in the Premier League, a surprise result that had their supporters thinking whether Mourinho is shedding off some of his expert tactics. The draw with Diego Simeone’s men—and in spite of team captain John terry being sent off to injury—would quite redeem the coach’s stance especially that they were able to put the prospective La Liga Champions at bay.

 

The Spanish side had a perfect record for four consecutive matches before their frustrating welcome of Chelsea.  The current Primera Division leaders, they have to launch all their most powerful weapons to dominate the second leg and win on aggregate scoring. The current Champions League season is especially significant for Atletico in that it is giving them a very good chance at earning their first ever EUFA title. Their best finish was in the 1973-74 season when they ended up as runners up to current defending Champions Bayern Munich.

 

Champions League betting tip: Atletico Madrid will strive to further strengthen their defense but Chelsea will ultimately earn all the spoils through a penetrative attack.