Atletico Madrid were held to a goalless draw at home by Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.
There were very few chances in the match to speak up. Without their top player, Eden Hazard, as well as striker Samuel Eto’o, it looked like Jose Mourinho and Chelsea came to Vicente Calderon Stadium clearly looking for a draw and got exactly what they wanted. Chelsea’s strategy was to “park the bus” in order to stymie the hosts. At times, all ten Chelsea players on the field were found playing behind the ball with little intent on attacking.
It should set up for a very intriguing second leg at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s advantage after securing a draw at Atletico Madrid is only a slight one. Because they failed to score a goal in the first leg, it leaves them susceptible to the away goals rule.
Chelsea will also have to deal with the absence of goalkeeper Petr Cech who dislocated his shoulder early in the first half. He has been ruled out for the rest of the season. So too might John Terry, as the Chelsea captain had to be stretchered off the pitch due to an ankle injury.
Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel will miss the second leg for Chelsea due to suspension (both received bookings in the first leg), as well Gabi for Atletico.
Chelsea also face a crucial match against Liverpool at Anfield this Sunday in the Premier League. They trail the Reds by five points with three matches left and most likely would need a victory to have any chance of winning the league title.