Sometimes there is a winner in a draw, and such is the case with the 0-0 draw between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid on Tuesday at Vicente Calderon in Spain.
Let's just get this out of the way first; the winners were not the people watching this match. Chelsea's focus on defense made this a drab affair. BT Sport's Adam Virgo has a detailed graphic that fairly encapsulates Chelsea's strategy in this match:
Fair play to Chelsea can't complain with the clean sheet.. Great Tactics pic.twitter.com/BH1QlTkTbD— Adam Virgo (@Adamvirgs19) April 22, 2014
Soccer announcer Richard Keys summed up the match well:
Not pretty - but this is a great result for Chelsea.— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) April 22, 2014
The shots certainly reflect the strategy. Atletico took 25 shots to Chelsea's five.
Sure, Chelsea didn't manage to pick up an away goal, and that is less than ideal, but the second and final leg of this matchup will be coming from Stamford Bridge on April 30. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho couldn't have hoped for much more.
At home in La Liga play this year, Atletico haven't lost all campaign and has 15 wins with just three draws.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will enjoy the home pitch in the second leg and in Premier League play, Chelsea are 15-2-1 with 45 goals scored and 11 allowed. In La Liga play, Atletico are 12-1-3 with 26 goals scored and 13 allowed.
Mourinho was certainly content with the effort, and as Football Tweet passes along, he knows his side flipped the script on their opponents:
José Mourinho: "We played a solid game. We frustrated Atlético, whereas normally they're the ones who frustrate others." #CFC— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) April 22, 2014
It is not all good news for Chelsea, however. The Tuesday clash took a toll on their collective health. John Terry limped off the pitch in this match and goalkeeper Petr Cech dislocated his shoulder.
News on Cech's injury was tweeted by TNC Premier League:
Petr Cech has dislocated his shoulder and will miss Chelsea's Premier League clash with Liverpool.— TNC Premier League (@TNC_PL) April 22, 2014
Obviously, these are costly injuries, and it certainly boosts table-leader Liverpool's chances of taking the Premier League title. Liverpool lead Chelsea by five points in the table and Manchester City by six with City having a game in hand. Liverpool and Chelsea will play at Anfield on April 27.
On top of the fitness issues for Chelsea in the second leg of their clash with Atletico. Frank Lampard is facing a suspension. Champions League tweeted the news:
63 mins - Frank Lampard picks up a yellow card and will miss the return fixture. #UCL— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 22, 2014
Atletico Madrid also has a pending suspension for the second leg with captain Gabi picking up a yellow card on Tuesday.
There is potentially good news for Chelsea on their players available for the second leg.
Both Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o missed Tuesday's match but could be ready by April 30.
The second leg of this contest figures to be another tight battle. Chelsea will certainly have to be more aggressive. If both Hazard and Eto'o are back on the pitch, the increased firepower will make a more aggressive strategy more viable.
Considering this match will be decided at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have to like their position.