Chelsea 0-1 Porto: Blues through to the semi-finals despite Taremi winner | UCL 2020-21

Mehdi Taremi-FC Porto

Chelsea picked up a 2-1 aggregate win over Porto to book their place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The Blues came into the second leg as overwhelming favourites after their 2-0 win away from home and but they were beaten 1-0 earlier tonight at home, courtesy of a later stunner from Mehdi Taremi.

Despite the result, Thomas Tuchel can take plenty of positives away from the game. Chelsea were the better team on the balance of play and they defended admirably for most of the game.

The first half of the game was quite uneventful and there were no shots on target. Porto were chasing the game but they did not create anything meaningful in the second half either.

Tuchel brought Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante back into the starting line-up for this game and the two players made a huge difference defensively. The Blues were comfortable at the back but they struggled to score a goal.

Chelsea’s decision to start without a striker in this game backfired. Tuchel opted for Havertz as his striker with Pulisic and Mount operating in behind him.

The German attacking midfielder is a talented player but the movement of a natural centre forward was lacking and the Blues failed to open up the Porto defence.

Abraham, Giroud and Werner were on the bench from the start. The Frenchman did come on later in the game, but he had no time to influence the game.

Pulisic and Jorginho excellent for the Blues

The likes of Pulisic were quite effective tonight and a quality striker could have benefited from his creativity. The American winger harassed the Porto defence throughout the game and he won 11 fouls against them, the most recorded by a player in a single Champions League game in the past five seasons.

Furthermore, Jorginho continued his stellar form since the turn of the year. The midfielder did well to prevent a vital chance for Porto in the first half and he was arguably the best player on the pitch.

The Italian had 97 touches of the ball and he won 12 duels and made 8 tackles throughout the game.

Chelsea have now made it to the last four for the first time since 2014 and they will be hoping to go all the way. They have the confidence and momentum with them, but Tuchel cannot afford to take tactical gambles like this against the top teams.

Starting without a striker could have cost his side big time against a better quality opposition tonight.