Chelsea might have missed Thiago Silva on the pitch in their Round of 16 clash against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League over two legs, but the veteran Brazilian defender made his presence be felt with a commandeering performance from the stands in last night’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.
As Chelsea hoped to defend an acrobatic Olivier Giroud away goal at Bucharest, they had to keep Diego Simeone’s La Liga leaders at bay for the entirety of the contest. That is what Thomas Tuchel’s side did on the night, as a first-half strike from Hakim Ziyech and a late Emerson Palmieri goal secured Chelsea’s progression into the quarter-finals – much to the delight of Silva, who also seemed to play his due role from the stands.
Silva was ruled out of both legs of the clash due to a thigh injury that he picked up against Tottenham Hotspur last month. But despite not being able to feature for his team on the field, the 36-year-old was seen to be orchestrating every move from the empty stands at the Bridge – pushing his team towards the finishing line with every passing second.
Silva acted as the 12th man of the team, showcasing his immense leadership ability which prompted the West London outfit to secure his services on a free transfer last summer. Silva almost paid no heed to his existing injury, and almost seemed to aggravate it when late substitute Emerson Palmieri scored with his first touch of the game in second-half stoppage time – a goal that triggered incredible scenes of celebration in the stands.
Silva was seen to be jumping up and down, accompanied by his suspended teammates Jorginho and Mason Mount – as the three were celebrating a 3-0 win on aggregate against the team from the Spanish capital.
Have a look at how football fans reacted to Thiago Silva’s performance from the stands below –
Thiago Silva is giving instructions to the players from the stands. What an incredible professional & leader. It’s easy to forget we got him for free. O Monstro.— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) March 17, 2021
Thiago Silva should be getting match allowance because man has burnt more calories than some players on that pitch— El mejor
(@gee_swill) March 17, 2021
Thiago Silva screaming at Chelsea’s players and trying to organise them, despite being 2 goals and a man up, with just 5 minutes left on the clock.— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 17, 2021
This is what you call elite mentality. pic.twitter.com/9qE01llJjE
Too many MOTM in one game.— PULISIÇATE (@Pulisicate) March 17, 2021
(@bright_aweh) March 17, 2021
In all fairness, we played with 12 men against a 10man Atletico Madrid today.— Kush Moore
Thiago Silva was a joy to watch. His positioning and off the ball movement were top-of-the-shelf IMO.
pic.twitter.com/Dy7CPq4lku (@kushtoby) March 17, 2021
Can we please give Thiago Silva MOTM award for tonight's performance on the sidelines— Penny (@penny___m) March 17, 2021
One of those matches anyone could get it, but my award goes to Thiago Silva!— Simon Phillips (@siphillipssport) March 17, 2021
Chelsea'sQueen(GBEMYTE) (@QueenOfDBlues) March 17, 2021
Thiago Silva didn't play tonight but had a 10/10 performance tonight.— Kwame Benaíah.
(@kwamebenaiah) March 17, 2021
— Nana Nyamekye (@NanaNyamekye__) March 17, 2021
Thiago Silva was telling him to get back after a while
Chelsea fans must absolutely love seeing this.— HLTCO (@HLTCO) March 18, 2021
Thiago Silva could be forgiven for going through the motions after the career he’s had but he’s still kicking every ball from the stands. Top class.
Also, let’s not forget that Thiago Silva has been monstrous while he has been actually on the pitch in his little time at Chelsea so far –