Last chance Tuesday in UEFA Champions League Group C. Last chance for Atletico de Madrid to avoid joining Arsenal in Europe’s second tier. Last chance for AS Roma to claim top spot in one of this season’s toughest CL groups. Last chance for Chelsea to duck a January clash with Barcelona or PSG in the first knockout stage.
All three clubs needed a win to secure their objective, but Roma were the most likely to get that result in their home game v FK Qarabag.
Yes, Chelsea had beaten Atletico the last time these two teams met. But after a difficult run of seven low-scoring draws in nine games, including two shock draws with Qarabag, Atletico had rediscovered their touch in front of goal. They’d now scored twelve goals and conceded only one in four consecutive wins against Roma, Levante, Elche and Real Sociedad.
Chelsea had experienced troubles too, but they were back in form now with five wins from six games since the start of November, fourteen goals scored and only two conceded. This was going to be a quality game between two great football clubs. […]
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Chelsea travelled to Spain for their second Champions League match of the season, this time versus Atletico Madrid. It was a special occasion for the hosts, the first ever Champions League game at their brand new Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Atleti and Chelsea have had some interesting shared history in terms of personnel recently: Thibaut Courtois spent a few years on loan in Madrid, and three of Atletico’s current squad had left the club, spent time as Chelsea players, before cycling back to Madrid – Filipe Luis, Fernando Torres and of course latest repeat signing Diego Costa.
Both clubs have also experienced a degree of success in this competition: Atletico were Champions League finalists in 2014 and 2016 (and also twice in the seventies). Chelsea were finalists in 2008, and actually won the thing in 2012. […]