UEFA Champions League – Chelsea-Atlético – Atlético face must-win Chelsea finale
Club Atlético de Madrid are up against it as they stake a claim for a top-two finish in Group C, needing victory at Chelsea FC – who booked their round of 16 place in the penultimate fixture – and for the other result to go their way.
• Atlético lost 2-1 to Chelsea on matchday two in the first European game played at their new Estadio Metropolitano home, and had to wait until their fifth fixture, a 2-0 home victory against AS Roma, to get their first win on the board in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
• Diego Simeone’s Atlético therefore have six points, two behind Roma and four adrift of Chelsea. The Spanish side therefore need to win and hope Roma fail to do so at home to bottom side Qarabağ FK to finish second; if both finish on nine points, Atlético have the superior head-to-head.
• Chelsea made sure of progress with a 4-0 victory at Qarabağ last time out. They will take first place if they win, or if Roma fail to win.
• The teams’ last encounters before this season came in the 2013/14 semi-finals, when the first game in Spain finished goalless.
• The following week at Stamford Bridge, José Mourinho’s Chelsea looked on course for the final when former – and now current – Atlético striker Fernando Torres gave them a 36th-minute lead. However, Adrián López levelled a minute before half-time, then Diego Costa (60pen), who joined Chelsea three months later, and Arda Turan (72) gave the visitors victory.
• The line-ups at Stamford Bridge on 30 April 2014 were:
Chelsea: Schwarzer, Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Cole (Eto’o 54), Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Ramires, Willian (Schürrle 77), Hazard, Torres (Ba 67).
Atlético: Courtois, Juanfran, Godín, Miranda, Filipe Luís, Mario Suárez (Sosa 79), Koke, Gabi, Raúl García (Villa 86), Diego (Arda Turan 60), Costa.
• These sides also met in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup when Radamel Falcao’s first-half hat-trick gave Atlético a 4-1 success in Monaco and their second triumph in the competition in three years. Gary Cahill got Chelsea’s consolation after Miranda had made it 4-0 on the hour.
• The line-ups at the Stade Louis II on 31 August 2012 were:
Atlético: Courtois, Juanfran, Godín, Miranda, Filipe Luís, Mario Suárez, Gabi, Koke (García 81), Adrián López (Rodríguez 56), Arda Turan, Falcao (Emre Belözoğlu 87).
Chelsea: Čech, Ivanović, David Luiz, Cahill, Cole (Bertrand 69), Ramires (Oscar 46), Lampard, Mikel, Mata (Sturridge 81), Hazard, Torres.
• That defeat ended Chelsea’s 15-match unbeaten run against Spanish opponents (W6 D9).
• The teams’ only other meetings came in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage when Chelsea collected four points from their Spanish rivals to finish top of Group D. Atlético came third and transferred to the maiden edition of the UEFA Europa League, which they eventually won.
• Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea prevailed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, Salomon Kalou scoring twice (41, 52) before Frank Lampard (69) added another and Luis Perea (90+1) headed a Florent Malouda free-kick into his own net. The defeat prompted the departure of Atlético coach Abel Resino, Quique Sánchez Flores taking over.
• The game in Spain two weeks later ended 2-2, confirming Chelsea’s knockout place and ending Atlético’s hopes. Substitute Sergio Agüero (66, 90+1) earned a point despite Didier Drogba’s double (82, 88).
• The Blues have the record of W9 D4 L2 at home to Spanish visitors. The sole defeats were that Atlético reverse in 2014 and a 2-1 loss against FC Barcelona in the 2005/06 round of 16 first leg (2-3 aggregate).
• Champions of England for a sixth time in 2016/17, Chelsea were not involved in European competition last term for the first time since 1996/97. They had appeared in every UEFA Champions League group stage going back to 2003/04.
• European champions in 2012, Chelsea got to the round of 16 on their last UEFA Champions League appearance in 2015/16, losing to Paris Saint-Germain at that stage for the second year running.
• The Stamford Bridge side lost 2-1 at home to Paris in the 2016 round of 16, their sole defeat in their last ten matches in west London (W6 D3).
• The Londoners have won their UEFA Champions League group on their last three appearances, and 11 times overall. The only time they have failed to progress to the last 16 was 2012/13, when they became the first holders to go out in the group phase; they went on to win the UEFA Europa League.
• Atlético have managed just three victories in their last 11 UEFA Champions League away matches (D4 L4).
• Simeone’s charges had a six-game unbeaten against Premier League clubs (W4 D2), home and away, ended by Chelsea on matchday two.
• Atlético got the better of English opposition last term, beating Leicester City FC 1-0 at home and 2-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. The 1-1 draw in that second leg gave the Rojiblancos the record W2 D5 L4 in England, that 2014 Chelsea triumph coming after a run of four defeats in five visits.
• The Madrid club have reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals or better in each of the last four seasons.
Coach and player links
• Simeone faced England four times during his international playing career with Argentina (W1 D2 L1).
• Matchday two was Simeone’s first loss to English opposition as coach (W3 D2).
• The Atlético boss was in the FC Internazionale Milano side that lost to Manchester United FC in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, going down 2-0 away before a 1-1 home draw. His overall record as a player against English clubs was W2 D3 L2.
• Thibaut Courtois was loaned to Atlético by Chelsea between 2011 and 2014, making 111 league outings. He was part of the Atleti team that won the UEFA Europa League in 2012, the Copa del Rey the following season and the Spanish Liga in 2013/14, when Atlético also reached the UEFA Champions League final.
• Fernando Torres scored 20 goals in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea between 2011 and 2014, winning the UEFA Champions League in 2011/12 – when he netted in the semi-final second leg at Barcelona.
• Filipe Luís made 15 outings for Chelsea in 2014/15.
• Stefan Savić made 11 appearances during his time in England with Manchester City, but never faced Chelsea.
• Pedro notched 58 goals in 204 league matches for Barcelona between 2008 and 2015, with a record of W10 D4 L2 against Atlético.
• Cesc Fàbregas faced Atlético nine times during his Barcelona career (W3 D5 L1), and got 28 goals in 96 Liga games for Barça between 2012 and 2014.
• Álvaro Morata never scored against Atlético for Real Madrid (W3 L3) but managed 25 goals in 63 league fixtures for the Merengues from 2010 to 2014 and in 2016/17.
• César Azpilicueta took on Atlético five times with CA Osasuna (W3 D1 L1), making 99 league appearances in Spain.
• Willy Caballero mustered one win in six attempts against Atlético with Málaga CF (D3 L2), making 117 Liga appearances for the club in all.
• International team-mates:
César Azpilicueta, Cesc Fàbregas, Álvaro Morata, Pedro & Juanfran, Koke, Saúl Ñíguez, Fernando Torres (Spain)
David Luiz, Willian & Filipe Luís (Brazil)
N’Golo Kante, Tiemoué Bakayoko & Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro (France)
Thibaut Courtois, Michy Batshuayi, Eden Hazard & Yannick Carrasco (Belgium)