Tuesday 24 April 2018

Chelsea facing tough last 16 tie after Atletico draw relegates them to second in Group C

Chelsea 1 Atletico Madrid 1

Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (R) has a shot blocked by Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez (L) and Atletico Madrid's Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak during a UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (R) has a shot blocked by Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez (L) and Atletico Madrid's Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak during a UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Chelsea finished second in Champions League Group C after rallying to draw 1-1 with Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues, already through, needed a win to secure top spot but fell behind to Saul Niguez's header as Atletico sought the victory they needed to have any chance of progressing.

Eden Hazard's run forced Stefan Savic to turn the ball into his own net as Chelsea claimed a draw which saw them finish behind Roma on head to head records. Roma's 1-0 win over Qarabag means Atletico and Diego Costa will play Europa League football in 2018.

Atletico's Slovenia goalkeeper could do little to prevent Savic's own goal but he produced a series of fine stops to keep his side in the game. After getting down low to keep out Davide Zappacosta in the first half, Oblak also denied Alvaro Morata on a number of occasions, most notably when the former Real Madrid forward went through on goal shortly after Chelsea equalised.

With the draw for the knockout stages of the competition on Monday, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will rue not clinching top spot in the group. They could easily have done so with the number of opportunities they squandered; defender Andreas Christensen was particularly guilty, somehow directing his 67th-minute header wide of the open goal following Cesc Fabregas' drilled cross from the left.

Press Association

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