Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Chelsea 0-1 Porto (2-1 agg): Stunning Taremi strike in vain as Blues reach last four

SoccerNews in English Premier League 13 Apr 2021

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Mehdi Taremi’s stunning stoppage-time volley was in vain as Chelsea reached the semi-finals of the Champions League despite a 1-0 defeat to Porto.

Chelsea took a giant stride towards the last four with a 2-0 win at Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan last week and finished off the job at the same venue on Tuesday.

Porto were devoid of ideas in a drab quarter-final second leg until substitute Taremi’s sublime acrobatic strike gave them a glimmer of hope.

That proved to be too little, too late, though as Chelsea set up a showdown with Real Madrid or Liverpool in what will be their first appearance of the last four in Europe’s premier club competition for seven years.

Porto, with leading scorer Sergio Oliveira back in the side, swarmed all over Chelsea in a positive start and Edouard Mendy was fortune to get away with a poor pass trying to play out from the back.

Mason Mount’s speculative shot looped just wide and Reece James flashed wide in rare counter-attacks from the Blues, with Porto not allowing them to settle.

Corona wasted a golden opportunity to halve the deficit when he blazed high and wide after Ben Chilwell failed to deal with a high ball in a frantic first half which the Primeira Liga champions had the better of, but failed to test Mendy.

An unmarked Christian Pulisic wasted a chance to put the London club out of sight when he failed to make a proper connection with Chilwell’s cross early in the second half.

Wilson Manafa blocked a Mount shot after the in-form midfielder surged into the penalty area, with Chelsea posing much more of an attacking threat.

Sergio Conceicao introduced Taremi after 63 minutes and the striker had half a chance soon after coming on, but failed to generate enough power on a header that was comfortably saved by Mendy.

Taremi gave Porto victory on the night with a brilliant bicycle kick in the 93rd minute, but the damage had already been done.

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