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16 Dec H Southampton English Premier League
20 Dec H Bournemouth EFL Cup
23 Dec A Everton English Premier League
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Chelsea play tense match against Atletico

06/12/2017

Chelsea finished the Champions League group stages with a 1-1 draw with Spanish side Atletico Madrid, which means they finish second in their group.

An Atleti own-goal cancelled out Saul Niguez's opener, which had put the visitors in front early in the second-half.

Antonio Conte named a strong line-up, knowing that a win would put them through top of their group.

Thibaut Courtois started in goal, behind Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill in a back three. Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta were on the wings, either side of midfielders Cesc Fabregas, N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko. Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata were up front.

The Blues had plenty of chances in the first-half, but it was a former Chelsea player who had the first sight of goal for Madrid.

Fernando Torres, leading the line for the visitors looped a shot over the bar from the edge of the box, after a bit of pinball between the players' legs.

Morata then had two good chances at the other end. The Spanish striker created the first, finding space on the edge of the box before curling a shot just wide. Moses drove into the box to make the second chance, sprinting past a defender before poking the ball to Morata, whose stretching shot was saved.

Morata tested the 'keeper a third time soon after, before Zappacosta came very close with a low drive from the edge of the box. Jan Oblak in the Atleti goal only saw it late, but managed to dive low to smother the shot.

At the start of the second-half, Christensen tested Oblak with a firm header, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring.

A few minutes earlier, the Chelsea shotstopper had reacted quickly to make a good save, but there was little he could do to prevent the first goal.

Chelsea stepped up a gear after going behind, and equalised when a low Hazard cross was deflected into the back of the net by an Atleti boot.

Substitute Michy Batshuayi came close to winning it for the Blues in injury time, but his shot curled agonisingly wide.

The draw means Chelsea finish second in their group, and could face Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain in the knockout stages. Despite the draw, playmaker Eden Hazard thought it was a good performance.

‘We had enough chances, but the only problem was that their goalkeeper was on fire,’ he said. ‘We should have scored more goals, won the game and finished first in the group but we drew.

‘It was a good draw though because Atletico Madrid played very well and they are a strong team, so we are happy.’

The Belgian is also confident that Chelsea can overcome whoever they draw in the round of 16.

‘It’s not a problem, we are Chelsea, a top team,’ he said. ‘We can face anyone. We know PSG and Barcelona are very good but we are Chelsea so we have to be ready for everything.’

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