Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 win over Atletico Madrid is one of Thomas Tuchel’s best results since being appointed head coach.
When the draw was made last December, the La Liga outfit will have been considered slight favourites to reach the quarter-final given their performances in the top-flight of Spanish football.
In addition, Chelsea were beginning to go off the boil at the time having suffered back-to-back losses against Everton and Wolves.
But in the two months between the last-16 draw and the first-leg, plenty had changed at Stamford Bridge with Tuchel replacing Frank Lampard and instilling a new-found defensive resolve in the side.
Clean sheets have been a key feature for Chelsea under the German tactician so far and his side kept two in both legs against Atletico.
That’s despite coming up against the likes of Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, Moussa Dembele, and Yannick Carrasco.
More importantly, the Blues scored three times across both legs with Olivier Giroud’s spectacular overhead kick sealing a 1-0 leg in the away tie.
Back in west London for the return leg, Hakim Ziyech settled any nerves by extending the advantage in the first-half and Emerson Palmieri added gloss to the scoreline in second-half injury time.
In regards to Ziyech’s goal, many Chelsea fans loved the fact that two of the club’s big signings from last summer in Kai Havertz and Timo Werner were heavily involved.
Yet whilst Blues supporters were delighted with that goal, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone felt it could have been avoided.
As spotted in UEFA TV’s touchline audio – uploaded to Chelsea Reddit – the Argentine was animated as ever and could be heard shouting “Stop him now!” and “Stop him!” as Havertz broke through.
The closest player to the German at the time just so happened to be former Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier who was full of praise for Chelsea afterwards.
The summer transfer window is just around the corner.
And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.
New Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will surely be looking to strengthen the squad he was given when he took over from Frank Lampard and there have already been a number of top players linked with a move, including Erling Haaland.
The striker is thought to be the Blues’ number on transfer priority.
But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.
“Chelsea have shown, since the manager came in, that they are defensively strong,” he told BT Sport. “It is about taking your chances when you get them, and you don’t get many away at Chelsea. It is a disappointing night for us, the best team won.
“Every team in the Champions League is strong, but you have got to give a lot of credit to the manager, they are strong defensively and they have only conceded a couple of goals.
“You see the squad they have got and the players they have got coming off the bench. The best team won on the night and good luck to them.”