Chelsea and Atletico Madrid tied 0-0 in a dull first leg of their Champions League semifinal at the Vicente Calderon in Madrid.
It’s the result Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho wanted. He put out a deeply defensive-minded starting lineup with three holding midfielders and Fernando Torres as a lone striker.
Chelsea were content to get 10 men behind the ball, and were largely comfortable defending for most of the 90 minutes.
The lone scare came in the 76th minute, when Gabi near put Atletico ahead on a free kick. Chelsea goalie Mark Schwarzer — who came in for the injured Petr Cech in the first half — got down nicely and saved it.
He had a tricky sight line through the wall:
Here’s the Cech injury, which pressed Schwarzer into action in the 15th minute:
Atletico had all of the ball and all of the chances, but couldn’t break down the packed-in Chelsea defence.
It’s not a terrible result for Atletico. They will advance to the final if there’s a scoring draw at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday.
It wasn’t a great game. These are two of the best defensive teams in Europe, and their styles didn’t exactly complement each other. Hopefully things get more interesting next week. Check out our full live blog below for more screenshots and commentary.
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