While Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory against Atletico Madrid was a great result for Chelsea, the suspension of Mason Mount for the return leg could hurt the London side. The 22-year-old picked up a yellow card in the first minute of the game, meaning he will be suspended for the return leg.
Chelsea dominated the game, having the lions share of possession while limiting Atletico to very few chances. It gives Thomas Tuchel’s men a great chance to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Chelsea Dominated Atletico But Mason Mount Suspension Could Cost Them
A Perfect Away Performance
Before Tuesday’s match, few gave Chelsea hope of coming away from Bucharest with a positive result. Although Chelsea were unbeaten under Tuchel leading up to the game, they had not faced a team with the quality or experience of Diego Simeone’s Atletico side. However, Chelsea were excellent. Apart from an early scare by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Atletico were played off the park.
Atletico set up extremely defensively, at times dropping to a back six to create an almost impenetrable low block. Chances were hard to come by for Chelsea and it seemed as though the crucial away goal would not come. However, Olivier Giroud scored an outstanding acrobatic bicycle kick to hand the advantage to the Blues.
Chelsea now take a 1-0 advantage back to Stamford Bridge, meaning Atletico will have to be much more proactive in the second leg, something they are not accustomed to. This puts Tuchel’s men in the perfect position to beat the La Liga leaders.
Mount Irreplaceable In Chelsea Team
The England international has arguably been Chelsea’s best and most consistent player this season. He has become one of the first names on the team sheet and is crucial to how Chelsea play. His versatility, determination and skill make him one of England’s most exciting youngsters. However, his suspension means that Tuchel will have to look elsewhere in his squad.
Mount was excellent against Atletico. He was innovative and creative in possession and looked like the player that could open up the stubborn Atletico defence, which he did on a few occasions. Mount was also energetic off the ball, pressing the Spanish side and winning the ball high up the pitch. He will be a tremendous loss in the return fixture.
Tuchel has a huge decision to make on who will replace Mount. He has a vast number of options but Mount’s blend of skill and aggression makes him a hard man to replace. The likes of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech give a touch of flair that Mount doesn’t possess but they lack the physical presence. Christian Pulisic is the obvious replacement. His pace and skill can hurt any defence but also lacks the defensive side of his game. Whoever Tuchel opts for, they have some big shoes to fill.