Mason Mount scored with Chelsea’s first attempt on target for his maiden Champions League goalChelsea bounced back from a testing few days to earn a commanding first-leg quarter-final away win over Porto in the Champions League.
Mason Mount’s clever turn and finish in the first half helped bring some welcome relief to Blues manager Thomas Tuchel after his side’s heavy defeat to West Brom on Saturday, which was followed by a training ground incident between team-mates Kepa Arrizabalaga and Antonio Rudiger.
Ben Chilwell added a late second after a mistake by Corona, moments after substitute Christian Pulisic had hit the bar.
Having conceded five goals against West Brom, Chelsea produced a dogged defensive performance to earn a seventh clean sheet in nine European games this season.
Skipper Cesar Azpilicueta’s vital block denied Corona before Edouard Mendy kept out Pepe’s header.
With both legs of this tie in Spain at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium because of coronavirus travel restrictions between Portugal and the UK, this was Porto’s ‘home’ game, meaning Chelsea’s two away goals put them in pole position before next Tuesday’s second leg.
Mount has made ‘big step’ – TuchelReaction from Wednesday’s Champions League gamesResilient Chelsea show gritThis was the perfect response by Chelsea after last weekend’s embarrassment – a resilient, determined and professional performance against a team that had eliminated Juventus in the previous round.
Tuchel reacted to the West Brom shambles by making five changes, with Rudiger among those recalled despite his ‘heated’ row with Arrizabalaga.
Rudiger played his part in an impressive Chelsea rearguard display, Porto carving out several chances without managing to find a way through.
Ben Chilwell scored his first goal since 7 November 2020Mendy used his legs to keep out Moussa Marega while Luis Diaz, who scored against Manchester City in the group stage, went close from outside the penalty area.
At the other end, Timo Werner and Azpilicueta missed headed chances to extend the lead after Mount scored before Chilwell’s crucial second – a composed finish after bursting into the penalty area and taking it past the keeper – gave his side a handsome win.
Mount impresses againMount continues to flourish, his goal the highlight in what was for long spells a closely-fought contest.
Having received a pass from Jorginho following a patient build-up, the midfielder turned sharply and beat Agustin Marchesin with an instinctive low finish from an angle.
Mount has scored more goals in all competitions than any other Chelsea player since Tuchel was appointed in January.
In 2020-21, he has found the net for club and country in the Premier League, Nations League, FA Cup, World Cup qualifying and now Champions League.
Having dropped out of the top four, Chelsea will hope this result can propel them to a strong finish to the season.
The winners of this tie face Real Madrid or Liverpool in the semi-finals – Real lead 3-1 after the first leg – and the Blues also have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on 17 April.
Tuchel praises Mount’s ‘quality’ but admits Chelsea needed a bit of luckMendy’s impressive clean sheet record – the statsHaving won at Atletico Madrid in February, Chelsea have won consecutive away knockout games in the Champions League for the first time since April 2004 under Claudio Ranieri.No side has conceded fewer goals (2) or kept more clean sheets (7) in this season’s Champions League than Chelsea (level with Man City on both counts).Since Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea in January, no goalkeeper playing for a top five European league side has kept more clean sheets in all competitions than Edouard Mendy (10).For the first time since March 2012 against Napoli (John Terry & Frank Lampard), Chelsea have had two different English players score for them in the same Champions League match (Mason Mount & Ben Chilwell).Porto defender Pepe (38 years 40 days) became the oldest outfield player to appear in a Champions League quarter-final since Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs (40 years 123 days) back in April 2014.What’s next?Chelsea have a London derby at Crystal Palace on Saturday (17:30 BST) to negotiate before the return leg with Porto next Tuesday (20:00).
Line-upsFC PortoFormation 4-5-1
1Marchesín18Manafá JancóSubstituted forConceiçãoat 83’minutes19MbembaBooked at 63mins3Pepe12Sanusi17JM Corona8Uribe16GrujicBooked at 79mins25OtávioSubstituted forVieiraat 83’minutes7Díaz11MaregaSubstituted forMartínezat 83’minutesSubstitutes4Monteiro Pinto Leite6Loum14Morais Ramos21Silva Baró23Neto Lopes28Felipe Anderson29Martínez30de Lima Barbosa31Chipela Gomes32Sarr50Vieira85ConceiçãoChelseaFormation 3-4-2-1
16Mendy28Azpilicueta4Christensen2Rüdiger24JamesSubstituted forThiago Silvaat 80’minutes5Jorginho17KovacicSubstituted forEmersonat 90+2’minutes21Chilwell19MountSubstituted forKantéat 80’minutes11WernerSubstituted forPulisicat 65’minutes29HavertzSubstituted forGiroudat 65’minutesSubstitutes1Arrizabalaga3Alonso6Thiago Silva7Kanté9Abraham10Pulisic13Caballero15Zouma18Giroud20Hudson-Odoi22Ziyech33EmersonLive TextMatch ends, FC Porto 0, Chelsea 2.
Second Half ends, FC Porto 0, Chelsea 2.
Offside, FC Porto. Fábio Vieira tries a through ball, but Chancel Mbemba is caught offside.
Foul by Andreas Christensen (Chelsea).
Luis Díaz (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Chelsea. Emerson replaces Mateo Kovacic.
Goal! FC Porto 0, Chelsea 2. Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Mateo Kovacic with a through ball.
Substitution, FC Porto. Fábio Vieira replaces Otávio.
Substitution, FC Porto. Toni Martínez replaces Moussa Marega.
Substitution, FC Porto. Francisco Conceição replaces Wilson Manafá.
Substitution, Chelsea. Thiago Silva replaces Reece James.
Substitution, Chelsea. N’Golo Kanté replaces Mason Mount.
Marko Grujic (FC Porto) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Marko Grujic (FC Porto).
Foul by Ben Chilwell (Chelsea).
Corona (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mateus Uribe (FC Porto).
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