After a great header from above, he found the net to overcome the dead end in a difficult match, Olivier Giroud could only wait.
And wait and wait.
Giroud’s 68-minute strike against Atletico Madrid was initially banned for offside and took almost three minutes for a video review to reverse the call and secure Chelsea’s 1-0 victory in Tuesday’s first leg of the Champions League round on Tuesday.
Giroud was clearly in front of the defenders when he took out his acrobatic shot and few Chelsea players complained when Linson raised his flag, but VAR determined that the ball came from Atletico defender Mario Hermoso instead of Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, thus canceling offside.
“I didn’t know what to think about the goal, I just focused on the header and was happy to see it in the back of the net, I had no idea offside,” said Giroud. “Mason Mount said he didn’t touch the ball. Good for the team, good for me. “
The result left Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel undefeated in eight games since taking over from Frank Lampard.
“Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Deserved, ‘said Tuhel. “It was a very disciplined performance – a well-deserved exclusion.”
Atletico was the host, but the match was played in Bucharest, Romania, due to travel restrictions that prevent visitors from the UK from entering Spain.
The rematch will be on March 17 in London.
In the other match of the round of 16 on Tuesday, Bayern Munich beat Lazio 4-1 in Italy.
This was the second consecutive loss for Atletico after a series of unsurpassed matches in all competitions. This was the eighth match in a row in which the Spanish club conceded a goal, extending its worst move without a clean sheet since the arrival of coach Diego Simeone at the end of 2011.
“It was a difficult week, but we have to keep competing,” said Atletico midfielder Coke Resource. “We have to raise our heads and try to win the rematch. There is no other option for us. “
It was a weak match until Giroud’s goal, as no team was able to create very significant opportunities to score goals, and the goalkeepers did not have to work too hard. Chelsea controlled possession and looked a little more dangerous, but both sides seemed pleased with the fruitless draw and did not take too many risks.
“We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box,” Tuhel said. “The intention was to keep the intensity high. We did this very well. We never allow them to breathe or go out to counterattack. We have a great reward with this result. This is one of the most difficult challenges for opening a defense like Atletico. “
Atletico was overtaken by Chelsea and finished the match without trying to reach the goal.
“We know the importance of visiting Europe, so I was happy to help the team win the match,” said Giroud. “We did well and we were confident, but we faced a great team and I think we were very dedicated and we knew their main strengths. We’ve dealt with it, but we need to stay focused and get the job done. “
Hermoso tried to clear the ball from the area while under pressure from Mount and kicked it back. Giroud stretched high with his left foot to send the ball to the corner past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
“The game was decided in detail,” Koke said. “It didn’t look like a dangerous game, but in the end they scored a great goal.”
Mount and Jorgeninho were shown yellow cards and they will miss the rematch due to the accumulation of cards.
Simeone had to improvise with midfielder Marcos Llorente as a right back against Chelsea due to several absences in defense, including Kieran Tripier after an English betting investigation.
The teams had played in the group stage of the Champions League in the 2017-18 season, with Chelsea winning 2-1 in Spain before a 1-1 draw in London. Atletico eliminated Chelsea in the semifinals in 2014.
It was in Bucharest that Simeone won his first title with Atletico, Europa League 2012.