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Taremi's injury-time winner only dent in Chelsea's aggregate victory
Kante makes impressive return
Will play winner of Liverpool vs Real Madrid in last four
In a defining 12 day-period for Chelsea, and for Thomas Tuchel, it is one down and two to go. A place in the semi-finals of the Champions League against either Real Madrid or Liverpool was earned with an ease not usually associated with this high-level stage of the competition as Porto were denied any real hope of mounting an unlikely comeback.
They scored, in the 93rd minute, and they won through an extraordinary overhead kick by substitute Mehdi Taremi from 12 yards out and how Porto must rue not starting the Iranian striker. It was a great goal but it was just too late for them.
Then again it was always going to take something special to beat this Chelsea defence, with its vice-like grip and clear organisation, and with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante such a formidable shield in front of them. “N’Golo is incredible. He is like one and a half or two players,” Tuchel said. Further forward Christian Pulisic helped out with his ability to run with the ball, for which he was fouled no fewer than 11 times, and came closest to scoring late on.
In the end Chelsea lost for only the second time since Tuchel took over 11 weeks ago but the result was immaterial. The 2-1 aggregate victory meant Chelsea reached the last four for the first time since 2014 and, also, that Tuchel is on course to become the first manager in Champions League history to take two different teams to the final in consecutive seasons having gone so close last year with Paris Saint-Germain. He could of course meet them in Istanbul at the end of May. How sweet a revenge it would be for him after his Christmas Eve sacking.
But first Chelsea turn to Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City – also a potential Champions League Final opponent – before a Premier League fixture the following weekend, after they host Brighton, away to West Ham who they need to overhaul to finish in the top four. Certainly Tuchel has fulfilled the brief of any Chelsea manager – make sure the club is in contention towards the end of a campaign. Can he now go further and win the biggest prizes?
Given the occasion this was about as straightforward as it could get from Chelsea who were never in any serious danger. Their game-management was impressive. It may not be the most thrilling football, and in fairness this was a tie they were expected to come through, but it is controlled, winning football. It is tournament football. It is the kind of football that strangles the life out of the opposition, that demoralises them, that wins trophies.
“I can imagine both games were not the nicest games to watch on the television for spectators who look for entertainment,” Tuchel conceded. “But it is very hard to play your best game against Porto. It’s also part of performance to not let your opponent perform.” No-one would argue with that. It is what winners do.
Tuchel will now kick back and watch Wednesday’s second leg at Anfield between Liverpool and Real. "It is a pleasure to watch it as a semi-finalist which is a great achievement. We will watch these games and everything is possible. Liverpool are very strong at home so we take what we get. It is a good situation for us."
It certainly is. As with last week’s meeting the second leg was played in Seville, due to coronavirus restrictions, and on a pitch where Chelsea had already played twice this season, departing with two wins and a 6-0 aggregate (having beaten Sevilla 4-0 in the group stages). It felt like home. And they looked comfortable.
Porto tried. They had to. They were stronger with the return of their talisman Sergio Oliveira, so influential in knocking out Juventus, but strangely left out their other goal-threat Taremi. Instead it was winger Jesus Corona who was the danger and he had a shot deflected wide by the alert Jorginho after a poor, intercepted pass by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy inside his own area and then half-volleyed over when he had more time after getting the better of Ben Chilwell to reach a high ball.
But that was it. Chelsea did not threaten either but they did not have to. It was a compliment to their assuredness that there was no panic, no haste, no need to chase a goal. Maybe, also, a little belief drained from the Portuguese who had exerted a lot of effort without any return.
Little wonder that Tuchel clapped his hands at half-time. Porto regrouped. As with the first-half they started the second period with purpose. There were fine clearing headers from Reece James and Antonio Rudiger and time and again it was a blue shirt that made the first contact.
Chelsea had three opportunities to end any doubt. Firstly Chilwell ran onto Mount’s pass and cut the ball back to Pulisic who sliced his shot across goal and then Kante slid the ball to Mason Mount whose goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner. Later on Pulisic was through on goal only for his shot to be saved.
Before that Porto coach Sergio Conceicao had – finally - turned to Taremi who, like Oliveira, was suspended for the first leg, and the Portuguese suddenly had an attacking focus. Taremi delivered a header on target, their first effort to test Mendy, which the goalkeeper held and deep into injury-time there was an even more spectacular involvement as another substitute, Nanu, delivered a cross from the right. Taremi set himself and executed overhead kick high to Mendy’s left for, quite possibly, the Champions League goal of the season. Tuchel called it “lucky” but that was a little mean.
Had Taremi scored a couple of minutes earlier then who knows? But the way that Chelsea had relentlessly hunted down danger suggested that it would have taken something equally as spectacular – or lucky – to force extra-time. “Use your body, work hard and make yourself sweat,” Tuchel simply said. Chelsea did just that.
Jason Burt's match report
Is imminent and will appear above.
Brilliant way to end the match with a sensational goal, a gold-leaf encrusted cherry on top of a stodgy, tasteless cake.
Chelsea did exactly what they needed to do and will take on Real Madrid or Liverpool in the semi-final.
90+4 min CHE 0 POR 1
A blinding overhead kick, in the Rooney shinner class from the left of the box by Taremi with seconds to go.
Too much, too little, too late.
Chelsea 0 Porto 1 (Taremi)
90+3 min CHE 0 POR 0
Giroud nods on a throw-in, his first touch, which sends Pulisic racing down the centre of the pitch, out comes Marchesin but Pulisic's shot, after a superfluous touch takes him too close, hits the keeper and dribbles towards goal. Nanu hacks it clear.
90+2 min CHE 0 POR 0
Chelsea eat more time by taking Havertz off and sending Giroud on.
90 min CHE 0 POR 0
Attritional midfield scrapping for possession and Pulisic is brought down by Uribe.
Four minutes of injury time.
88 min CHE 0 POR 0
Pulisic earns a free-kick when he turns Otavio and Luis Diaz has to grab him round the waist.
BT duo are saying Frank Lampard deserved credit for this and he will be very proud. Won't be long until he's back alongside Rio Ferdinand on BT SPort, I'd wager.
86 min CHE 0 POR 0
Chelsea send in Ziyech for Mount as the game peters out ... if it ever really got going.
84 min CHE 0 POR 0
Final sub for Porto: Fabio Vieira comes on for Sergio Oliveira.
83 min CHE 0 POR 0
Pepe gives us a blast from the past with a sarcastic smile and thumbs up for the referee after being penalised for a foul. Not sure whether it was that or what preceded it that earned him a booking.
81 min CHE 0 POR 0
Thiago Silva lands awkwardly when defending the latest corner. Zouma is stripped to replace him but he wants to go back on.
79 min CHE 0 POR 0
Rudiger wins a vital header from a corner on the left, knocking it out for another and then heads that one behind too. He's been indomitable in the air tonight. Right that up, Phil Collins.
77 min CHE 0 POR 0
Kante pokes away Nanu's right-wing cross and Oliveira fouls Pulisic as he tries to win the ball back.
75 min CHE 0 POR 0
Triple Porto substitution: Nanu, Evanilson and Luis Diaz come on and Manafa, Marega and Corona are withdrwan.
73 min CHE 0 POR 0
Mbemba goes on a good run down the right and whips over a cross but there are five blue shirts to one white in the middle and Thiago Silva has plenty of time to knock it behind. Sergio Oliveira hits the first Chelsea defender from the corner.
71 min CHE 0 POR 0
Mendy tangles with Taremi between the box and the left corner flag and gets the better of the forward with a good tackle that rebounds off his shins and out for a goalkick.
69 min CHE 0 POR 0
Havertz slips the ball from the right of the D to Pulisic who is making an incursion from the right. His first touch takes him away from goal and makes his shot even more difficult, which is why it didn't come off.
67 min CHE 0 POR 0
Stalemate. Chelsea have been very adept defensively, Jorginho is always in the right place and Porto just haven't been able to get men in the box or deliver menacing crosses.
64 min CHE 0 POR 0
Slick move from Porto. Otavio scoops a pass from 18 yards towards the byline, Oliveira hooks it back on the volley and Taremi heads it from 15 yards low to Mendy's left. The keeper makes a comfortable save. It was one of those that needed the header of the ball to impart all the power himself and even had he had tungsten reinforced neck muscles it would have been difficult to beat the keeper from there.
62 min CHE 0 POR 0
At last a reaction from Porto, off comes Grujic and on goes Taremi. Holding midfielder off, centre-forward on.
61 min CHE 0 POR 0
Chelsea happy to watch the clock tick round past the hour,
58 min CHE 0 POR 0
Excellent from Manafa to get across to block Mount's left-foot shot with his instep. Good left-foot pass from Kante from inside right to inside left, curling towards goal, to set Mount up for the shot
56 min CHE 0 POR 0
Chelsea open Porto up like a tin of Grimsby Pilchards down the left. Excellent triangle between Kante, Chilwell and Pulisic sends Chilwell into the box on the left and he pulls back a pass to the penalty spot for Pulisic but hits it too hard and at exactly the most difficult height - between ken and thigh. Pulisic tried to adjust but could only shin it harmlessly.
54 min CHE 0 POR 0
For the fifth or sixth time, Porto can't clear the first man with the cross. James heads away Zanusi's chip then Mendy catches it at the far post following some scrappy pinball.
52 min CHE 0 POR 0
Porto corner on the right after Rudiger squeezes Marega's space as he dribbled into the box. Rudiger heads out the first cross, James the second. James is penalised for a tug of a shirt 40 yards out as they pushed out.
50 min CHE 0 POR 0
James gets between Zanusi and Sergio Oliveira to head Corona's cross out for a corner. Mendy catches the corner and Mbemba, he of the matchday dinner jacket when he was at Newcastle, crashes into him and swiftly apologises.
48 min CHE 0 POR 0
Tuchel said before the match that they would not be cagey, their approach would not change. Either they're missing Kovacic's ability to break the lines with his dibbling or they're happy to be conservative given Porto are so reluctant to throw the kitchen sink into grabbing the two goals they need (at least).
46 min CHE 0 POR 0
They're off again. No changes. Sergio Oliveira brings down Pulisic in full flight but Chelsea do nothing adventurous with the free-kick.
Half-time CHE 0 POR 0
Entertainment value has been very low but it's just the ticket for Chelsea.
45 min CHE 0 POR 0
Only one minute of added time has been signalled. Porto try to play it up the right and centre for Grujic bit Azpilicueta is there to head away.
43 min CHE 0 POR 0
Very staccato so far this match. Lots of fouls, tackles. No space.
41 min CHE 0 POR 0
Porto corner after Oliveira's run is ended by James and Azpilicueta. Havertz heads the corner away at the near post.
39 min CHE 0 POR 0
Jorginho keeps helping out his defence whenever they make a mistake - this time Rudiger gives the ball away carelessly but Jorginho is in the box to cut out the cross from Corona.
37 min CHE 0 POR 0
Four successive crosses by Porto from the right are blocked though not cleared until Chilwell stands firm to send Corona's effort out, via a deflection, for a Chelsea throw.
34 min CHE 0 POR 0
Chelsea are entering the Man City realm withe the number of 'tactical ' fouls they make to break up the opponents' rhythm. Pulisic is doing it more frequently this season than last, I'm sure.
32 min CHE 0 POR 0
Corona gets behind Chilwell by lurking on his shoulder and giving him a nudge. Otavio plays the perfect pass down the left and Corona spins the left-back but lumps his half-volley after a great first touch over the bar. From that angle with a dipping ball, the only way to score is a perfect connection cutting across the ball with the laces and, given it would be a goal of the season contender had he done so, it's no disgrace not to pull it off.
30 min CHE 0 POR 0
Jorginho picks out Kante with a glorious pass but his attempt to play a diagonal to Chilwell who has made solo 60-yard burst into the box from the left is less precise and skips out for a goalkick.
28 min CHE 0 POR 0
Foul on Otavio by Azpilicueta as they battle for a header is followed moments later by Pulisic nicking Pepe's achilles. Lots of niggly fouls is making this a very disjointed match, which suits Chelsea down to the ground.
26 min CHE 0 POR 0
Havertz sprints down the left to receive Kante's slipped pass after a 30-yard dribble. He hits it first time, looking to square it to Mount in the box but it comes off Pepe back to him and the veteran also blocks his second attempt at teeing up Mount after a shimmy and a drop of the shoulder. Chelsea corner aimed for Rudiger and well defended.
24 min CHE 0 POR 0
Grujic, in his fourth spell away on loan from Liverpool, is Porto's go-to option to shift the ball into the channels rather than just breaking up the play.
22 min CHE 0 POR 0
Corona tries to 'skill up' Jorginho, as I believe the youths call it, with a couple of stepovers but Jorginho watches the ball and stands tall, as Corona runs into him wheh he expected him to be dazzled and sent off in the other direction. He wants a foul but none, rightly, is forthcoming.
20 min CHE 0 POR 0
Otavio takes the corner and Grujic flicks it on but Chilwell blocks his effort and sparks a counter through Kante, Pulisic and Havertz bombing forward. James and Mount join as reinforcements and Pulisic works the ball to Mount who lays it off to James and the right wing-back drags a shot wide.
18 min CHE 0 POR 0
Marega turns Rudiger in the box from a long throw on the right but his cross/shot canons into the defender's legs and out for a corner.
16 min CHE 0 POR 0
Otavio has had a couple of opportunities to pick out Coron and Marega in the box but has fluffed both efforts.
14 min CHE 0 POR 0
Jorginho slides in to topple Otavio at the cost of a free-kick but not a yellow card. Pepe buys another free-kick on the right, still too far out to threaten, nevertheless.
12 min CHE 0 POR 0
Jorginho bails out Mendy after a rubbish pass from the keeper, trying to be too clever by half by working the angle. But he underhit it and Jorginho's toe spoilt Corona's side-foot effort to sweep it into the unguarded part of the Chelsea net.
10 min CHE 0 POR 0
Pulisic is puzzled that he isn't awarded a free-kick after going down under Grujic's challenge but Kante then tackled three men and gave Porto a foul for excessive zeal in the last of them.
8 min CHE 0 POR 0
Good feet from Mount on the counter scampering up the left of central midfield until he enters the box, stutters his step to but some time and shoots with his right. Mbemba dives forward, feet first to block and deflect it out for a corner that comes to naught. Moments earlier Corona made a fine run into the box from the right, timed perfectly to beat the trap but Otavio chipped it over the defence and out for a goalkick.
5 min CHE 0 POR 0
Uribe plays a cute reverse from the middle diagonally down the inside-right but Marega's shot hits Rudiger and Corona's follow-up cross is too deep.
3 min CHE 0 POR 0
Chilwell is closed down by Oliveira as he tries to clear up the line and requires a second attempt. Pepe goes up with Havertz and sends the Chelsea false nine flying. It being Pepe, it was robust to say the least, he led with the arm and Tuchel thinks it was a deliberate elbow. The referee doesn't even think it was a foul and neither does Robbie Savage. Neither do I.
2 min CHE 0 POR 0
Positive start from Chelsea piling forward into the press and putting Machesin under intense scrutiny as he fields a backpass. He does well, though.
1 min CHE 0 POR 0
Thomas Tuchel has his gilet on as he hunkers down in his seat. Chelsea kick off, attacking from right to left.
The teams are out
Les grandes équipes
Robbie Savage is the co-commentator. Chelsea in blue shirts, shorts and white socks. Porto in white shirts, white shorts and blue socks which is a Chelsea away strip of yore.
A classic Hoddleism
'Don't be surprised if we don't see Chelsea in the final.' Which is the opposite of what he was trying to say.
Was injured in training yesterday, which is why Thomas Tuchel is starting N'Golo Kante. He nicknames up his players - Kovacic was 'Kova', Kante 'NG'.
Apologies - that Porto formation is completely wrong
The perils of cut and paste before checling whether they'd done it by shirt number. Should be:
Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Zaidu; Sergio Oliveira, Grujic, Uribe; Corona, Marega, Otavio.
For those of you watching in black and white
Chelsea Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic
Substitutes Caballero, Kepa, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso, Emerson, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Abraham, Giroud, Werner.
Porto Marchesin; Pepe, Uribe, Marega; Zaidu, Grujic, Corona, Manafa; Mbemba, Otavio, Sergio Oliveira.
Substitutes Claudio Ramos, Leite, Loum, Diaz, Taremi, Baro, Martinez, Evanilson, Nanu, Sarr, Vieira, Conceicao.
Referee Clement Turpin (France)
Sergio Oliveira returns for Porto
We don’t change the approach. For us it is important that we focus on us, play the best game possible as this increases the chances to have a result. In terms of a result, it is easier for Porto because they need to score three goals to get through, for them if it is clear. For us, if we start in this way then we could completely lose our heads. I hope we embrace the challenge and feel it.
Thiago Silva and Ngolo Kante return.
Team news is oddly late
One would expect it at 6.45pm for a Champions League tie and 7pm for a PL match but nothing so far.
And welcome to coverage of the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie between Chelsea and Porto which, like the first leg, is being held in the neutral venue of Sevilla's Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán because of Covid-19 travel restrictions between the United Kingdom and Portugal.
Chelsea hold a 2-0 lead by virtue of goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell in the 'away' leg and look nailed on to qualify for a semi-final against the winners of the Real Madrid-Liverpool tie which will be decided tomorrow. Should they make it through it will be their eighth semi-final and first for seven years when they drew with Atletico at Vicente Calderon and took the lead through Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge but then capitulated 3-1 as Jose Mourinho got his selection all wrong with Cesa Azpilicueta and David Luiz in midfield once they had to chase the game.
Tonight won't be as fraught if Porto's finishing is anything like as poor as it was in the first leg, which was a profound disappointment for non-Chelsea fans given they're unbeaten in the league for six months and how well they played to knock out an admittedly derelict looking Juventus in the Round of 16. With Chelsea's next match an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday evening, it will be interesting to see what team Thomas Tuchel pick. Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic were far more effective than Timo Werner and Kai Havertz when they came on in Spain last week but Havertz played well when they shellacked Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Chelsea have a fully-fit squad, Thiago Silva could after serving his ban and N'Golo Kante has recovered from a hamstring injury. Porto have Taremi and Sergio Oliveira available, Moussa Marega should start up front but Diogo Costa, Ivan Marcano and Mouhamed Mbaye are all out.
Join us for the team news at 6.45ish.