In an unpredictable manner, Olivier Giroud’s spectacular overhead kick gave Chelsea an outstanding victory against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 first leg in Bucharest.
Though the linesman’s flag was instantly raised, the ball had deflected off Mario Hermoso rather than Mason Mount, which was spotted by VAR, and after three minutes of deliberation the goal was awarded.
Giroud’s overhead kick – awarded by VAR – handed Chelsea a vital 1-0 away win against Atletico Madrid, putting Thomas Tuchel’s men in control of the last-16 tie.
La Liga leaders Atletico were forced to play their home leg over 3,000 kilometres from Madrid due to Spanish restrictions on arrivals from Britain to control the spread of COVID-19 infections.
Thomas Tuchel was facing his toughest test since joining Chelsea but set up his team shrewdly in Bucharest, keeping a lid on Luis Suarez while controlling possession throughout. Atletico didn’t manage a shot on target as Chelsea put themselves in pole position to reach the quarter-finals.
Chelsea have now gone eight matches unbeaten since Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard while Giroud is emerging as their Champions League talisman after scoring all four goals in the group-phase victory against Sevilla and a last-minute winner away to Rennes.
Tuchel will be without Mason Mount and Jorginho in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 17 as they will be suspended after being booked.