How enact you fracture down a group that shapes up in a 6-3-1 formation out of possession?
It be a test of Chelsea had been forced to aim and rep an reply to once they travelled to Bucharest to expend on Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening.
Even by Diego Simeone’s obsessively excessive standards of defensive solidity, his group had been in an extraordinarily stingy mood in Romania. That opening gambit will not be a misprint. Whenever Atletico lost the ball, a flurry of Rojiblancos shirt retreated to their have 18-yard line.
Centre backs Mario Hermosa, Stefan Savic and Felipe, hasten backs Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente, and apt forward Angel Correa would reply to El Cholo’s raspy screams, teaming up to gain one of primarily the most imposing low blocks in world football.
Collectively, the machine would pose issues to any space of attackers. On the opposite hand, the excellent talent of each of its composite substances – even with the absences of Kieran Trippier and Jose Gimenez – made Chelsea’s process even more difficult. Each member of this reputedly impregnable defensive wall has contributed enormously to an Atleti group that has conceded apt 16 dreams in La Liga this season and shipped apt eight in a Champions League community containing the irrepressible Bayern Munich.
No topic all of this, the Blues peaceable managed to earn away from the contest with a remove and, presumably more importantly, a mandatory away objective. They had Olivier Giroud to thank for this, a participant who has reputedly been on the cusp of being shipped out of Stamford Bridge for the past two years.
The once unwanted Frenchman netted one of Chelsea’s astronomical European dreams. Latching onto Marcos Alonso’s diverted frightful, he produced an overhead kick that used to be almost as beautiful as his chiseled jawline.
Taking a see at things more widely, Thomas Tuchel can expend a range of positives from his aspect’s efficiency as a total.
Earlier than Giroud’s freakishly splendid strike settled the game in the 2nd half of, there had been a range of signs that Chelsea had been slowly piecing together the apt combinations to fracture down their joy-sapping opponents.
Many aspects comprise registered frightful amounts of possession when going by map of Atletico in a European knockout tie, but Chelsea had been share of a assume out few that primarily managed to threaten their opponents.
Key to this had been the displays of supporting forwards Timo Werner and Mason Mount. Their approaches to breaking down the dwelling aspect’s defence assorted, but each had been efficient at facets. Werner opted for lightning quickly exchanges on the threshold of the box with Giroud. This tactic paid off on quite lots of occasions as wisely, with the German having a see the sharpest participant on the pitch by a ways.
Mount, in the meantime, drifted spherical in the half of spaces, having a see to replace the play quickly with a deep frightful or space free his teammates with an incisive pass. These pair of young upstarts had been supported by Chelsea’s hasten backs whose runs helped to power overloads in huge areas. Jorginho’s prolonged, crossfield passes had been crucial as wisely.
This contest used to be billed as a litmus test for Tuchel’s unique investigate cross-test aspect and the consequences had been extraordinarily toddle. Breaking down Atletico is without doubt one of many toughest duties any European aspect will be posed however the Blues rose to the ache, showcasing invention in the last third to place themselves as favourites to progress when the pair meet for the 2nd leg on 17 March.