Hard on defense and precise in attack, Chelsea took a big step towards returning to the last four of the Champions League, defeating Porto 2-0 in the first match of the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Mason Mount and Ben Chillwell scored their first goals in the Champions League to give Chelsea a great chance to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in seven years.
Mount scored after a nice turn past a defender on the border of the zone in the 32nd minute, and Chillwell added the second after a blunder by Portus Jesus Corona in the 85th. The goals were the result of the only three attempts for the purpose of Chelsea in Seville, where the game was played due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Mount said. “We know how difficult it is to play against. We went on and secured a good victory, but that’s only half the draw. The job is not done, we will fight next week and we will have to do our best again. “
Next week, the second match will be played at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizuan Stadium in Seville. Porto was considered the hosts on Wednesday.
The winner will face Real Madrid or Liverpool. Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 at home in their first match on Tuesday.
In the other quarterfinal on Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain won 3-2 at Bayern Munich.
After eliminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the round of 16, Porto entered the final eight to upset another top European team.
It was an equal start in Sevilla, but Porto seemed to take control before Chelsea opened the scoring with the team’s first attempt to score. The 22-year-old Mount received a pass from Giorgino and deviated from a defender before entering the zone and shooting with a low shot into the far corner to become Chelsea’s youngest goal scorer in the knockout game of the Champions League.
“It was time to come,” Mount said. – I waited patiently, it was a good pass from Georgie and I was very pleased with him. I’m always working on finishing, this is part of my game that I can improve. “
Moments after Christian Pulisic hit the woodwork from inside the area, Chillwell sealed the victory, taking advantage of Corona’s mistake shortly after the Porto player moved to the back line. He let the ball slip, and Chillwell pounced on it and passed goalkeeper Agustin Marcesin before finding the open net.
“It’s hard to accept that result because we had eight shots on goal in the first half,” said Porto midfielder Marko Gruic. “We showed that we have quality and in the second game we will try to reverse the draw.”
Porto finished the match with twice as many attempts as Chelsea, 12-6, but struggled to get closer to the goal. Edouard Mendy of Chelsea became the first goalkeeper to retain seven Champions League leaves this season.
“It was a tough match against Porto’s strengths,” said Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel. “There were many moments when we suffered, but we accepted it. It’s like that at this stage. The spirit was good and it’s a great result.”
Chelsea have played in the last eight for the second time since winning the European title in 2012. They last reached the semi-finals in 2014, losing to Atletico Madrid.
Porto was a quarterfinalist in 2019, losing to eventual champions Liverpool. He is trying to reach the semifinals for the first time since winning the race in 2004.
Tuhel made five changes to the team, which lost 5-2 to relegation-stricken West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, a result that ended the team’s unbeaten run of 14 games. Thiago Silva was among those who did not start against Porto.
Chelsea had seven straight clean sheets before Saturday’s loss.
Porto were without midfielder Sergio Oliveira due to a yellow card. He scored two goals to help Porto beat Juventus in the last 16, including one in overtime. The Portuguese club also lost Mehdi Taremi, who was sent off in the rematch against Juventus.
Veteran’s central defender Pepe made his 103rd appearance in the Champions League, bringing him to the level of all time in the list of Portuguese players with Luis Figo. Both follow leader Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 176 appearances.