For those expecting an exciting blow out between Chelsea FC and Atlético Madrid, they were no doubt disappointed at the 0-0 result at Estadio Vicente Calderon. However, an event-less meeting it was not.
The first half saw goalkeeper Petr Cech escorted from the field following what could be a serious injury.
During an early opportunity for the Atlético team to score, Cech was inside his own goal, wary of a successful corner cross. The ball came in and the goalkeeper forced the ball up and over the bar.
When he came down, Cech had Atlético player Raul Garcia accidentally shoved under him by Chelsea teammate David Luiz.
It appeared from replays that it was Garcia’s head in Cech’s ribs that did the damage.
Cech stayed down, signalling for the medical staff members that soon rushed on the field. After a tense couple of minutes of careful examination, the Chelsea goalkeeper was helped from the field.
The great irony is that the man most suited to replace him is serving as the Atlético goal keeper, having been sent to the Spanish team on loan. He was actually to face off against Cech during this very game, but the comparisons would be cut short.
The stand out moment of the second half was again an injury.
This time it was Chelsea’s captain John Terry and again, the accidental culprit was David Luiz. Luiz is thought to have trampled on the foot of his skipper. Terry was forced to hobble off the field with about twenty minutes of game play left, replaced by Andre Schürrle.
Adding to the drama of next week's second leg is the potential implications of certain yellow cards picked up during the first leg.
Atlético Madrid will be without their leader Gabi, who picked up one too many yellow cards and will be forced to miss the away leg. Also missing out through yellow card accumulation are Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel.
Should Chelsea also find itself missing its team captain and main goalkeeper, it’s hard to say how the London team will cope, even with home field advantage.
It's unlikely a draw will aid the London team, as enough away goals by the Spanish visitors could end their Champions League run. Both teams are decidedly defensive, but at some point goals need to happen. It's just a matter of which side will open up to opponents.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 22, 2014
Manager Jose Mourinho will have to plan well for the next meeting with the Madrid tean while at the same time keeping an eye on Liverpool FC. No doubt friend and rival manager Brendan Rodgers was paying attention to this scoreless match up ahead of the Blues’ much anticipated trip to Anfield.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 22, 2014
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