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Atletico Madrid, Chelsea draw Champions League semi 0-0

English.news.cn   2014-04-23 06:28:47

MADRID, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Atletico Madrid and Chelsea drew a tactical Champions League semi-final first leg 0-0 in the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Tuesday night to leave qualification in the air ahead of next week's return leg in Stamford Bridge.

Atletico did nearly all of the attacking but were unable to break down Chelsea's packed defense and midfield in a match which was more interesting than entertaining.

A look at the starting elevens made it clear that this was to be a tactical and physical game as Eden Hazzard failed to recover from injury and Chelsea left Fernando Torres as a sole striker, while Atletico included Diego Rivas in their starting 11 along with striker Diego Costa and Raul Garcia, their midfield was based on the double pivot of Mario Suarez and Gabi Fernandez.

The first half was indeed a tactical affair in which Chelsea were quite happy to cede possession to the Spanish side, while getting virtually the entire side behind the ball and leaving Torres to plough a lone furrow up front.

The main incident of the first half saw Chelsea keeper Petr Cech forced out of the game after a collision with Garcia which caused him to fall badly and injure his elbow. 41-year-old Mark Schwarzer replaced Cech and one can only wonder what Atletico keeper, Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan from the English club, must have thought.

Cech was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder, but Schwarzer was untroubled apart from a Diego shot which went into his midriff.

The second half started in a similar fashion as Chelsea were happy to close Atletico out and after 15 more minutes of stalemate Atletico coach, Diego Simeone replaced Diego with winger Arda Turan.

Chelsea suffered another setback when John Terry was forced off with an ankle injury with 20 minutes remaining shortly before a midfield scuffle saw John Obi Mikel and Gabi receive bookings which will keep them out of the return leg.

Gabi tested Schwarzer with a free kick, while Turan headed a decent chance wide with 11 minutes remaining, while Chelsea were unable and also apparently unwilling to get out of their own half.

Atletico meanwhile seemed to be relying on crosses from right back Juanfran Torres and Gary Cahill did well to block a Costa header with three minutes left, but in the end tie will be decided next week in London.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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