An elegant goal from Mason Mount on Wednesday helped Chelsea secure a 2-0 first-leg victory over Porto, the squandering of which could have dashed their hopes of creating another upset Champions League in the quarter-finals. Mount’s slippery turn and shot in the first half would have been painful enough for Porto, who were the best team for big spells in Sevilla but repeatedly lacked the precision to take advantage of it. Instead, their misery was compounded by Ben Chilwell capitalizing on a mistake at the back to score a late second that gave Chelsea another away goal and leaves them on the brink of the semi-finals.
They were away goals only in name given that these two teams played in stranger Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where they will meet again next week, just with the home and away roles reversed.
Porto were in the home dugout, wore their home equipment, had a large club banner in the empty stand and their anthem was the one that played before kick-off.
Chelsea played the part as well, delivering a classic away performance of absorbing pressure and hitting their opponents on the counterattack, with their quality in the final third proving decisive.
Real Madrid could wait for the winners, having beaten Liverpool 3-1 on Tuesday.
“There is a good atmosphere in the dressing room, we are happy but not too happy, excited but not too excited,” said Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel. “We have to have a high level mentality and a high level performance next Tuesday.”
Mount’s goal makes him Chelsea’s youngest Champions League scorer at 22 years and 87 days, while Chilwell’s second meant the club boasted of two England scorers in a Champions League game for the first times since 2012.
Chelsea’s victory also helps soften the shock of Saturday’s 5-2 home defeat to West Brom in the Premier League, which ended Tuchel’s 14-game unbeaten start as a manager.
“After losing such a strange game, we said the best situation would be to produce a clean sheet right away and that makes that result very valuable,” said Tuchel.
Tuchel ruled that Thiago Silva’s 29 minutes before being sent off in this game was not enough to sharpen his sharpness, meaning Andreas Christensen was picked in the final three.
And Antonio Rudiger also returned, despite his training ground clash with Kepa Arrizabalaga on Sunday, which Tuchel called a “serious situation”.
Porto were considered the draw, despite seeing Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the last 16 games, their task made more difficult this time by the suspensions of Mehdi Taremi and top scorer Sergio Oliveira.
But they were the aggressors from the start, Chelsea giving up the ball and the chances.
Porto had six shots against Chelsea’s before half-time, with Mateus Uribe grazing the top of the net with a quick recovery and the excellent Otavio almost catching Edouard Mendy with a corner kick, Zaidu Sanusi crushing the rebound.
Chelsea, however, showed them what cruelty looked like when Jorginho fired a pass into Mount on the edge of the area inside the right channel. Mount picked him up on his back foot and turned away from the sliding Zaidu, before shooting a cool finish in the far corner.
Porto continued to come in the second half and also missed. Moussa Marega snuck up but his shot was saved by Mendy’s feet before Jesus Corona got Luis Diaz past, but it took too long. Diaz curled up after a good run from Wilson Manafa.
Chelsea absorbed them then hit them with a final punch, Mateo Kovacic’s ball over the top poorly controlled by Corona, allowing Chilwell to escape, bypass the goalkeeper and finish.
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