Chelsea moved into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in seven years with a 3-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid.
Having established a slender first-leg lead, Emerson Palmieri’s late strike sealed the win after Hakim Ziyech had earlier put the hosts firmly in control with a low effort after good work from Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
Until then their dominance in possession had not translated into chances in front of goal and in a nervy opening, they also appeared fortunate to survive a penalty appeal after visiting winger Yannick Carrasco was pulled back by Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
But Italian official Daniele Orsato waved away the claim and the incident was not examined by VAR.
Atletico knocked Liverpool out of the competition in dramatic fashion at the same stage last term, but the La Liga leaders rarely looked capable of recovering after Ziyech’s goal.
Instead Chelsea, who remain unbeaten in 13 games since Thomas Tuchel took charge, had opportunities to extend their lead before Emerson’s stoppage-time effort and deservedly progressed against an Atletico side that had Stefan Savic sent off late on for elbowing Antonio Rudiger.
The Blues join fellow English clubs Liverpool and Manchester City in the draw for the quarter and semi-finals on Friday at 11:00 GMT.
Summer signings set the tone
Efficient rather than entertaining has been the mantra since Tuchel took charge at Chelsea, with the club’s defensive solidity contributing to 11 clean sheets in their 13 matches in all competitions.
And while this performance can also be filed away under that description, it delivered a fine result against seasoned European campaigners.
Diego Simeone’s side may not be known for their flair or invention but they showed at Anfield just over a year ago how dangerous they can be.
However, Tuchel set his side up perfectly with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic stifling the space in midfield and using the ball intelligently when in possession.
Forwards Ziyech, Werner and Havertz were also integral in that regard, with one of the trio often triggering the Chelsea pressing game and setting the tone as they stifled their opponents.
Werner, 25, who has endured a difficult time in front of goal since his switch to Chelsea, was particularly impressive.
Exhibiting pace and composure, the German forward accelerated onto a Havertz pass before superbly playing the ball into Ziyech’s path for the opening goal.
It proved a pivotal moment on the night and laid the platform for the assured way in which the Blues saw out the tie.
More to follow.
- 3AlonsoSubstituted forChilwellat 90+4′minutes
- 22ZiyechSubstituted forPulisicat 77′minutes
- 29HavertzBooked at 30minsSubstituted forEmersonat 90+3′minutes
- 11WernerSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 83′minutes
- 23TrippierSubstituted forLemarat 69′minutes
- 15SavicBooked at 81mins
- 2GiménezBooked at 60mins
- 12Lodi dos SantosBooked at 31minsSubstituted forHermosoat 45′minutes
- 6KokeBooked at 72mins
- 8SaúlBooked at 51mins
- 21CarrascoSubstituted forDembeleat 53′minutes
- 9SuárezSubstituted forCorreaat 59′minutes
- 20Machín Pérez
- 31San Román
- Daniele Orsato
Match ends, Chelsea 2, Atletico Madrid 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Atletico Madrid 0.
Foul by Ben Chilwell (Chelsea).
Ángel Correa (Atletico Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Chelsea 2, Atletico Madrid 0. Emerson (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Pulisic following a fast break.
Substitution, Chelsea. Ben Chilwell replaces Marcos Alonso.
Substitution, Chelsea. Emerson replaces Kai Havertz.
Attempt blocked. Saúl Ñíguez (Atletico Madrid) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Thomas Lemar with a cross.
Corner, Atletico Madrid. Conceded by Édouard Mendy.
Attempt saved. João Félix (Atletico Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Atletico Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté.
Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
Moussa Dembele (Atletico Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ángel Correa (Atletico Madrid).
Attempt saved. Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mateo Kovacic.
Substitution, Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi replaces Timo Werner.
Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid) is shown the red card for violent conduct.
Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.