Chelsea saw off Porto 2-1 on aggregate to reach their eighth Champions League semi-final.
The Blues welcomed FC Porto in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash with a commanding 2-0 lead. Although they slipped up on the night, Thomas Tuchel’s men went through to the last four.
It was a controlled and disciplined defensive display from the London team who held Porto well over both legs.
The game was cagey, with no clear chances for both sides. Porto had a chance early on when Edouard Mendy passed the ball straight to winger Jesus Corona, but Jorginho was quick to close him down.
Medhi Taremi gave Chelsea a scare with a stunning bicycle kick four minutes into stoppage time. But it was not enough for the away side over the two legs.
Chelsea lost their clean sheet in the 94th minute to a sensational bicycle kick by Mehdi Taremi, but their defensive performance on the night was one to be proud of. Chelsea were in control throughout, and Porto barely created any clear-cut chance in the second leg.
The Blues’ defensive numbers under new coach Thomas Tuchel have been incredible. With 13 clean sheets in 18 games, the solid back-line has been a major reason for Chelsea’s consistency under the German boss.
A lot of credit goes to summer signing Eduord Mendy, who has been ridiculously good for the London side this season, keeping 21 clean sheets in 36 games in all competitions.
A lot of talk was about Chelsea’s striker position after they signed Timo Werner for £47.6million. With academy star Tammy Abraham and World Cup winner Olivier Giroud already in the team, there was going to be plenty of options for one position.
Kai Havertz, though, seems to be a regular choice for that no. 9 position under Thomas Tuchel. The 21-year old started as the striker in both legs against Porto and seems to have nailed that position down for himself.
The Chelsea boss is confident that Kai Havertz could spearhead his side’s Champions League challenge as their central striker. Tuchel feels the German star is comfortable in finishing and can clearly play as a no. 9.
Havertz has shown glimpses of what he can do, but the £71million signing is yet to show his best in a Chelsea shirt. Nevertheless, the Chelsea manager will hope that playing Havertz as the central striker would get the best out of him.