Our 3️⃣ points as Chelsea put in near-perfect European away display

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OneFootball

Dan Burke

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Chelsea will take two away goals into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Porto.

FC Porto 0
Chelsea 2
Full time

Here’s our analysis of the action from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán …


Don’t sleep on Mason Mount

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In a world where the likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham are rightly talked up as the future of English football, it sometimes feels like Mason Mount slips under the radar.

But perhaps that’s exactly how the Chelsea man likes it, and he showed again in this game why he deserves to be at the forefront of the conversation when we discuss the world’s best young talents.

Being trusted to start a Champions League quarter-final by a top class coach like Thomas Tuchel is one thing, but repaying your manager’s faith with an excellent goal to open the scoring is quite another.

Mount’s divine pirouette away from Chancel Mbemba bought him some space, and his low finish into the far corner was exquisite.

Clips of that strike will travel around the world in the coming days, and maybe the world will finally take notice of this 22-year-old superstar.


Rüdiger’s redemption

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After his training ground bust-up with Kepa Arrizabalaga at the weekend, Antonio Rüdiger was a slightly surprising inclusion in the Chelsea starting line-up for this game.

But the German put in an assured display in the Blues back-line and (with the help of Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta) just did enough to keep Porto’s forward line – spearheaded by the troublesome Moussa Marega – at bay.

It was a hugely welcome defensive performance after Saturday’s shock defeat to West Brom, with Jorginho and Mateo Kovačić also doing a decent shielding job in the middle, allowing wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James to supplement the attack

Tuchel will have the option of calling upon N’Golo Kanté from the start for the second leg, and the Frenchman is always a great option to have.

Perhaps the biggest loser from all this is Thiago Silva, who was benched after his silly sending off on Saturday.

Chelsea will definitely need to improve their defensive personnel in the summer, but perhaps handing a new contract to a 36-year-old no longer makes a lot of sense.


Job done?

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It felt like Chelsea had a clear passage to the semi-finals when they were drawn against Porto and though they didn’t have it all their own way here, it was an almost perfect European away performance.

Tuchel has plenty of experience at this level, and he will be determined not to let his side get complacent in the run up to next Tuesday’s second leg.

And at the risk of putting the mockers on it, it’s very difficult to imagine a team as defensively solid as Chelsea letting Porto back into it.

Mount and Tuchel were both keen to stress in their post-match interviews that it’s only half-time, but it would take a pretty huge collapse for Porto to find their way back into this tie.

At this moment in time, it feels very much like we’ll be watching Chelsea take on Real Madrid in the semi-final.

But you never know.