Chelsea are through to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2014, despite defeat to FC Porto.
From minute one, the Portuguese side were piling the pressure on and threatened to break the Blues’ strong backline.
With that being said, throughout the ninety minutes, Porto rarely threatened Chelsea’s backline.
Chelsea will play the winner of Real Madrid or Liverpool.
In the second half, Porto won the game with a last-minute goal from Mehdi Terami, but the Blues still progress.
Here’s our five things we learned from Chelsea’s defeat:
1) Perfect game management from the Blues
On a night where the onus was on Porto to peg back the tie, Thomas Tuchel set up his side perfectly. From defence to attack, the team was well-drilled and each individual knew what they were doing. The Portuguese giants had no answer for the Blues’ organisation and really struggled to break through Chelsea’s firm backline. Thomas Tuchel’s man-management deserves to be praised in what was a solid display from Chelsea.
2) Jorginho exceptional in midfield
Many people have criticised the Italian international in recent weeks. With that being said, Jorginho performed well against Crystal Palace and followed that up with another good performance in the Champions League against Porto. Mateo Kovacic was ruled out through injury. That meant that Jorginho had to fill in for the Croatian. His performance against Porto was outstanding. Jorginho was influential everywhere. When he was needed, he stepped up. The way in which he broke down Porto’s play and asserted himself deserves to be noticed.
3) N’Golo Kante with an inspirational display in midfield
Leading up to the game, the Blues faithful were wondering whether or not N’Golo Kante would actually start. Thomas Tuchel stated in the pre-match conference that N’Golo Kante would struggle to last the full game. However, the Frenchman was simply sublime in the showdown with Porto. In typical Kante style, he was everywhere and covered the pitch well. As soon as Porto broke through into the final third, Kante was ready to pounce and sweep up in what was a great performance from the World Cup winner.
4) A Semi-Final appearance for the first time since 2014
With a 2-0 win going into the second leg, the pressure was on the Blues to keep hold of their lead. Throughout the game, Chelsea deserves a lot of credit for their determination. The way in which the Blues kept Porto at bay and frustrated the Portuguese side to minimal chances was one to be praised. The last time Chelsea reached a Champions League was in the 2013/14 season. Tuchel deserves the plaudits for what he has done in the short few months he has been at the Bridge.
The Blues were composed throughout the whole game.
5) Christian Pulisic doing his job for the side
In what was a quiet night for Chelsea’s frontline, they still had to be instrumental in holding the Blues’ lead. The young American was coming off a sensational performance against Crystal Palace. In the showdown with Porto, Pulisic had to do his job at the back. Pulisic deserves the praise for the way in which he picked possession back up and get the Blues up the pitch.
Next up for Thomas Tuchel’s side is Manchester City in the FA Cup.
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