Live Commentary: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Chelsea

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Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole‘s live coverage of the match in the Champions League between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

After their 6-0 victory over Qarabag FK in their opening fixture, Chelsea head to the Wanda Metropolitano looking to take full control of Group C.

Two weeks ago, Atletico were only able to claim a goalless draw against Roma but that result has put Diego Simeone‘s side into a position where they can leapfrog the Blues with a win in Spain.

This evening’s contest takes place just 24 hours after Diego Costa left Stamford Bridge to rejoin his former club.

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89 minAtletico have more confidence to build from the back now that they have seen the back of Morata. Batshuayi does not offer the same work-rate. The home side are shading it heading into the final minute of normal time.

86 minSUBSTITUTION! The final switch for Chelsea sees Christensen replace Fabregas. That may mean Luiz moving into midfield.

85 minThere’s an end-to-end feel to this contest now. I thought both teams would be shutting up shop but they both want the three points. There is going to be one more clear-cut chance. I’m sure of it.

82 minSUBSTITUTIONS! It’s a double change for Chelsea, with Morata and Hazard being withdrawn for Batshuayi and Pedro.

81 minMaybe I was wrong with that assumption…

Back to the action and Atletico are matching Chelsea for ambition here. Courtois is having to remain alert before crosses are beginning to be delivered from all angles.

79 minMorata is starting to look exhausted on the halfway line. However, given Conte’s opinion of Batshuayi’s hold-up play, I’m not so sure he will be withdrawn!

77 minSUBSTITUTION! Final change for Atletico sees Gimenez replace Partey. Still nothing from Conte.

76 minSHOT! The Torres of old may have done better with this. A direct run from the halfway line ends with the veteran forward sending a poor shot straight at Courtois from distance.

74 minCHANCE! It’s one-on-one at the back and Morata has the beating of Hernandez. However, despite getting ahead of the defender, he dinks his final effort wide of the post after running too close to Oblak. It’s a huge opportunity.

73 minSHOT! On more than one occasion this evening, Kante has popped up down the right and the Frenchman manages to get another shot away. However, his low attempt on his weaker left foot was never going to beat Oblak.

72 minThere are already signs that Atletico believe that they can exploit some tiredness in the Chelsea defence but the Blues are having none of it. They are now back on the ball and looking to create another chance.

70 minSUBSTITUTION! Here comes that influx. Moments after Torres’s introduction, Gaitan comes on for Correa.

69 minSUBSTITUTION! It is Torres time. The former Chelsea forward replaces Carrasco.

68 minStill no alterations from either side. I’m not that shocked before it has been difficult to take a breath! There is probably an influx of changes to come at some stage.

66 minWhat Chelsea cannot afford to do is go too gung-ho. They would take a draw – probably – but Atletico want the win and the tables will turn should they sit back.

64 minPeople sometimes question whether Hazard is capable of reaching the level of Ronaldo and Messi but based on this performance, he is. The winger has run rings around the Atletico defence. He wins a free kick in a threatening position, but the home side survive.

62 minCHANCE! How haven’t Chelsea taken the lead?! Hazard moves his feet to set up Fabregas straight in front of goal but the Spaniard cannot sort his own feet out and sends the ball wide from six yards! What a game.

59 minThere is the equaliser that Chelsea deserve and it comes from an Hazard assist and Morata’s head. Hazard whips in an inswinging cross and the summer signing is there to glance the ball into the far corner. Oblak had no chance.

59 minGOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-1 Chelsea (Alvaro Morata)

57 minThe first Chelsea change cannot be too far away. We would put money on it being either Willian or Pedro. Not sure who will be first to make way, however. Maybe Moses.

55 minWe still have 35 minutes of this game to go but Atletico already look prepared to play on the break. Partey and the two full-backs have started to sit much deeper in an attempt to encourage the likes of Azpilicueta and Cahill to throw more caution to the wind.

53 minChelsea have definitely worked on the diagonal ball through Luiz. Kante has just made a late run to try to steal a march on the Atletico defence but Luiz’s effort wasn’t accurate enough on his left foot.

51 minWe have picked up where we left off in the first half. Chelsea are having more of the possession but Atletico are an increasing threat going forward. There should be more goals in this match…

49 minCHANCE! Much like Luiz set up Morata in the first half, Saul has just been set up in similar circumstances, only for his header to be glanced wide of the near post from 12 yards.

47 minBOOKING! The tackles are soon flying in at the start of this second half and it takes just 64 seconds for Partey to go into the book for a late challenge on Morata.

46 minChelsea get us back underway.

8.47pmThe two teams are slowly making their way back out for the second half. It doesn’t look like any changes have been made.

8.42pmA defeat for Chelsea would not necessarily be a disaster, but it would leave the West Londoners heading into two matches with Roma facing a deficit. Qarabag are going to be the whipping boys of Group C so points need to be gained elsewhere.

8.39pmThere has been a lot to like about the Chelsea display but equally, their lack of ruthlessness will rile Conte. The Italian has been animated on the touchline and he will ensure that his players are aware that they should be ahead in this game. Morata has been the main guilty party.

8.37pmAntonio Conte will have mixed emotions when speaking to his players. There is no doubting that the Blues have been the better side but that one moment of stupidity from Luiz has left the visitors with an uphill task.

8.33pmThe half-time whistle goes in Spain and Atletico lead thanks to that Griezmann spot kick. They could have easily doubled their lead but at the same time, the hosts were fortunate to be on level terms when opening up an advantage. It has been a terrific game.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Chelsea

45+1 minCHANCE! Atletico should be two ahead! Courtois makes a solid save from Koke but the ball falls straight to Saul, who sends the rebound from 12 yards wide of the post. What a let-off for the Blues.

45 minThere will be one minute of added-on time.

44 minLuiz was also booked for his challenge which led to the penalty. He can have no complaints.

42 minCHANCE! Chelsea almost find an immediate equaliser. The ball falls fortuitously for Alonso but his half-volley is deflected marginally wide of the post with Oblak beaten.

40 minAtletico open up a lead they don’t deserve but Chelsea can blame Luiz, who pulled down Hernandez at a corner. Griezmann sent the resulting spot kick straight down the centre.

40 minGOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-0 Chelsea (Antoine Griezmann)

39 minPENALTY TO ATLETICO MADRID!

39 minAs we approach half time, Atletico have beginning to have more success in the final third. Carrasco gets away from a Chelsea player around 35 yards from goal but after advancung forward, his shot is deflected wide.

37 minChelsea have got away with one here. Juanfran has plenty of time to pick out a teammate after reaching the by-line but he puts his delivery too close to both Courtois and a defender, who combine to clear the ball.

36 minThe one negative of this Chelsea display is the amount of silly free kicks they are conceding. It is allowing Atletico to regroup and ease the pressure on themselves.

34 minThe jeers coming from the Atletico fans will be music to Chelsea’s ears. They are having all of the ball and the hosts haven’t got much of an answer. We remain level, however. That’s remains the important stat.

32 minUnfortunately for Chelsea, Fabregas’s delivery is poor and easily cleared by a grateful backline.

31 minI’m literally dumbfounded with how sharp Hazard looks. Sure, he has made a few cameos and started against Nottingham Forest, but he is on another level tonight. More wizardry earns Chelsea a free kick in a threatening position.

29 minIt is still very early days but Chelsea will probably see this as points dropped if they don’t win this game. They have the beating of what is normally a more solid Atletico defence.

27 minCHANCE! Atletico are scared of Hazard every time he receives the ball. On this occasion, the returning winger forced the defenders to take a step back before he drilled a low shot too close to Oblak.

25 minCHANCE! This would have been a sensational goal. Luiz’s 50-yard pass picks out Morata, but the Spaniard’s header is tipped over the crossbar by Oblak.

24 minSince that early flurry of chances, we are yet to have a shot on goal. That’s not to say it doesn’t remain an intriguing battle, because it does, but the game has started to develop into the tighter battle we anticipated.

22 minAnother high boot from Kante but he has little choice but to challenge for the ball. It is a similar height to that of Luis so all things being equal, play should have been allowed to continue in the penalty area.

20 minAtletico win a free kick for the harshest of fouls against Alonso. It gives Griezmann the chance to cross from the right but his inswinging delivery is over-hit and straight out for a goal kick.

18 minStill no more chances to speak of, but Morata should have just been awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after a shove in the back. I’m not sure how the referee hasn’t given it. There isn’t much coming back from Atletico.

16 minKante has just attempted his best Hulk Hogan impression on Partey but fortunately withdrew from the challenge just before making connection. It was a definite yellow had he not had the awareness to pull out.

14 minWOODWORK! Hazard hits the post with an absolute howitzer of a shot from 25 yards out. I’m not sure if it took a deflection of it was the sheer swerve on the ball but Oblak was beaten. Hazard has picked up like he has never been away.

12 minThere is already a sense of frustration from the home supporters, probably due to witnessing their team start so strongly. Chelsea are in charge now, even when not having the ball.

10 minFinally, the tempo of this game calms down. It is the first time in which Chelsea are having to build from the back. They may be better equipped playing more directly and on the break.

8 minCHANCE! This has been such a strong response from Chelsea. Hazard’s clever flick to Morata gives the former Real man another chance to aim for the far post with a shot but again, it is dragged wide.

6 minCHANCE! Hazard is well up for this match. The playmaker jinks inside onto his right foot before lashing an effort into the side-netting. I think Oblak had it covered.

5 minCHANCE! Much more positive from Chelsea, who break rapidly through Hazard. The Belgian takes the ball past one player before teeing up Morata, who drags a weak shot wide of the far post.

4 minChelsea have already settled into a system where they are prepared to watch Atletico have the ball in non-threatening positions. The problem is that Atletico are able to quickly spring into gear and a cross from Carrasco needs to be claimed by Courtois.

2 minIt takes just 26 seconds for Atletico to win their first corner, which Morata does excellently to clear with his head. It only leads to a second attack from the hosts who have quickly gained control of this encounter.

1 minAtletico get us underway.

7.43pmIt is quite the spectacle as the Champions League music is played to the crowd, although with plenty of jeers from a section of the fans.

A reminder of a few keys bits of team news. Fabregas and Hazard start for Chelsea, with Willian and Pedro on the bench. Torres is among the Atletico replacements.

7.41pmIt is time for the two teams to make their way out. This new arena is rocking! Few of the fans would have wanted to say goodbye to the Vicente Calderon, but it is moments like these which will ease the persuasion to accept their new home.

7.40pmStaying on the subject of Simeone, this is his 50th European game in charge of Atletico. The former defensive midfielder holds the best defensive record of any manager who has coached over 20 fixtures in this competition, with an average of 0.65 goals being conceded.

7.38pmAs we have already mentioned, tonight’s match is the first European fixture to take place at the Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico will be hoping to build a daunting record at the 67,703-capacity stadium having won 18 of their 23 home European fixtures under Simeone.

7.36pmPREDICTION! We cannot back anything other than a low-scoring draw this evening. Atletico deserve to be regarded as the favourites given that they are on home territory but we would be surprised if Chelsea didn’t find the back of the net. Tentatively-speaking, we are only to sit on the fence and go for 1-1.

7.34pmChelsea’s two previous visits to Madrid to face Atletico have been to play in games at the Vicente Calderon. Back in 2009, Sergio Aguero and Didier Drogba both scored doubles as the teams played out a 2-2 draw, while in 2014, a goalless draw was played out in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.

7.32pmHEAD TO HEAD! Tonight’s match will represent the sixth time in which these two clubs have faced each other in a competitive match, with Chelsea claiming one win in comparison to two victories for Atletico.

7.31pmAs far as the ever-presents are concerned, Chelsea also have three players who have featured for every minute in six league matches – Courtois, Azpilicueta and Kante. It was no coincidence that the two outfield players were rested during the closing stages of the match with Qarabag, highlighting their importance to the team.

7.29pmSince arriving at Chelsea, Morata has kept up the goalscoring record which left him such a sought-after target. Six goals have already been netted in the Premier League – including a hat-trick against Stoke last weekend – while the Spaniard will be increasingly desperate to make an impression having been rested for the group opener against Qarabag.

7.27pmOn his return to his former rivals, Morata will be in the spotlight this evening and it probably doesn’t come a moment too soon for the attacker. Last season while at Real, Morata was on the pitch for just two minutes against Atletico. That was effectively a token performance when Real had already wrapped up the Champions League tie between the two clubs at the semi-final stage.

7.26pmThe Premier League side have conceded just two goals on their travels, both of which have come from set pieces. Michy Batshuayi headed into his own net from a free kick against Spurs, while Jamie Vardy scored a penalty for Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

7.24pmChelsea have only played three games on the road this season but they have emerged victorious from each of them. The 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur was somewhat fortuitous, but the West Londoners were largely convincing in seeing off Leicester City and Stoke City.

7.22pmLet’s turn our attention to Chelsea, who have arguably been as impressive as Atletico if you discount the opening-day setback at home to Burnley when they had two men sent off. Thirteen points have been registered from six games, leaving the club in third place behind the two Manchester clubs.

7.21pmSimeone is blessed with one of the strongest all-round squads in Europe and judging by the stats, the Argentine has made full use of it. Just three players have played every minute in La Liga – Oblak, Saul and Koke.

7.19pmTalking of the attack, Torres has yet to make any kind of impact this season. The 33-year-old has only made one start in domestic action but in 147 minutes, neither a goal or assist has been registered.

7.17pmAtletico have been superb in both defence and attack this season, although the fact that they have kept three domestic clean sheets in their last four games will leave Chelsea most fearful. Make that four in five if you include the trip to Roma.

7.15pmOnly two of their six outings have been staged at home due to the official completion of the Wanda Metropolitano. However, Atletico have won both fixtures without conceding a goal, with victories being recorded over Malaga and Sevilla.

7.14pmFORM! After six matches in La Liga, Atletico remain as one of three teams – the others being Barcelona and Valencia – who are yet to slip up in the league. Simeone’s men have registered an impressive 14 points although they are yet to face one of the “big two”.

7.12pmRESULT! The other match in this group has already taken place due to Azerbaijan being out of the way! It was Roma who prevailed by a 2-1 scoreline over Qarabag, thanks to two goals in the opening 15 minutes. It means that the Italian giants sit at the top of Group C ahead of kickoff in Madrid.

7.10pmYesterday – almost 24 hours to the minute – Diego Costa completed his controversial move from Chelsea to Atletico, but the forward will be unable to feature this evening. The transfer window does not re-open until January, while Atletico are banned from signing plans until the start of 2018. I’m sure that won’t stop Costabeing somewhere in the stadium this evening.

7.09pmAtletico are stacked with attacking alternatives on the bench, with Nicolas Gaitan, Lucas Vietto and Fernando Torres all in reserve should Simeone be required to make a change at some stage in the match. Torres always held a warn relationship with the Chelsea supporters, but he will be desperate to make an impact this evening.

7.07pmAt the back, former Chelsea defender Filipe Luis lines up at left-back, while Diego Godin takes his place in the centre having only featured in half of Atletico’s league games. Lucas Hernandez is preferred to Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic.

7.06pmIn the centre of midfield, Thomas Partey starts with Koke and Saul Niguez, with Gabi having to make do with a place among the replacements. Simeone certainly has options available to him to compete with Kante and Bakayoko.

7.04pmAs for Atletico, there are few surprises in Diego Simeone‘s side, which is led by the quartet of Antoine Griezmann, Yannick Carrasso and Angel Correa. The trio have netted over half of Atletico’s goals in La Liga this season.

7.02pmIn defence, Gary Cahill is given the nod over the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Both centre-halves have quickly settled into life in West London, but Conte has opted to go with experience by including the club captain. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois takes his spot in goal against his former side.

6.57pmIn central midfield, Tiemoue Bakayoko partners N’Golo Kante, with the pair remaining to take those two positions with Danny Drinkwater still suffering with a thigh injury. Bakayoko was able to net in Chelsea’s win over Qarabag two weeks ago, while Kante was given a rare half-an-hour off with the result already in the bag.

6.55pmJoining Fabregas and Alvaro Morata will be Eden Hazard, who makes his first start in a Premier League or Champions League fixture this season. Conte had already alluded to the fact that the Belgian would feature this evening, so Atletico would have had chance to prepare for the Belgian.

6.54pmAs Chelsea are representing the Premier League, let’s take a look at the Blues. There are few surprises with Antonio Conte‘s side, with the most notable addition being Cesc Fabregas being preferred to Willian and Pedro in Chelsea’s front three.

6.53pmCHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Caballero, Rudiger, Christensen, Zappacosta, Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi

6.52pmCHELSEA XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso, Fabregas, Hazard, Morata

6.50pmATLETICO MADRID SUBSTITUTES: Moya, Savic, Gimenez, Gabi, Gaitan, Torres, Vietto

6.49pmATLETICO MADRID XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, L Hernandez, Filipe Luis; Koke, Partey, Niguez, Carrasco; Correa, Griezmann

6.48pmAnyway, without further ado, let’s crack on with the team news, starting with the home side.

6.47pmWhen the draw for the group stages of this competition was made last month, there were numerous showdowns with whetted the appetite and the contest at the Wanda Metropolitano was one of them. There may be four fixtures to come after the one in Spain, but this encounter could easily decide who finishes top and second – or even misses out – come December.

6.45pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole‘s live coverage of this evening’s match in the Champions League between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

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