Chelsea emerged 2-0 winners in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash against Atletico Madrid last night, as goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri were enough to secure their qualification to the next round of the tournament on aggregate.
It was a dominant defensive performance over two legs by last night’s hosts, as Chelsea managed to keep Diego Simeone’s La Liga leaders at bay for the entirety of the clash. Chelsea continued to frustrate the team from the Spanish capital, and as the clock ticked towards the end of the game at Stamford Bridge last night, tempers flared between the players of both sides – but it was the Chelsea players who came out on top during the argument.
Stefan Savic was awarded a straight red card when he hit Antonio Rudiger with his elbow during a corner late in the game. As the Atletico centre back was given his marching orders by the referee, tempers started flaring between the players of both camps in a heated moment.
It was Mario Hermoso who squared up to Rudiger after he had recovered from the incident, but the Atletico defender started tracking back away from Rudiger once Kurt Zouma looked to enter the discussion.
Zouma entered the frame to defend his fellow central defender, almost as if to assert his dominance over the situation. Hermoso backtracked from the discussion almost at once when the French defender entered the frame, in a clip from the contest that has gone viral amongst fans on social media after the game.
Zoooumaaaaa!!!— DonkeysOut (@CarvalhoJTElite) March 17, 2021
I don’t think I’ve ever seen grown men run away as quickly on a football pitch, as the moment Zouma enters the screen here. https://t.co/uBkCt4Yhjm— Tweeds (@JoeTweedie) March 17, 2021
The clip sums up the tie in its own way as well, as it also represents the Chelsea rear guard’s dominance over their opponents in the tie – over two legs where Atletico hardly ever threatened to breach the Chelsea backline.
Their physical dominance and defensive superiority over both legs ensured that Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea outplayed Atletico at their very own game.
Hermoso was right to backtrack, as Zouma is known to put out some of the crunchiest tackles in world football, check out a compilation below –