Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell’s first Champions League goals saw Chelsea beat Porto 2-0 to seize control of their quarter-final first leg in Seville.
Chelsea travelled to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan in desperate need of a response to Saturday’s drubbing at the hands of West Brom, and Thomas Tuchel’s side delivered.
Mount opened the scoring shortly after the half-hour mark, exquisitely controlling Jorginho’s pass before finishing into the far corner to open his account in Europe’s elite-club competition at the 15th attempt.
On a night of firsts, Chilwell followed in Mount’s footsteps with a stunning first Champions League goal as he intercepted a stray pass, drove into the area, and rounded the Porto goalkeeper five minutes from time.
The victory and two away goals leave Chelsea in complete control of the tie ahead of next week’s return leg at the same venue, where they aim to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2014.
Porto: Marchesin (5), Manafa (6), Mbemba (6), Pepe (7), Zaidu (6), Grujic (6), Uribe (6), Otavio (6), Corona (6), Diaz (6), Marega (7).
Subs: Martinez (n/a), Vieira (n/a), Conceicao (n/a).
Chelsea: Mendy (8), Azpilicueta (7), Rudiger (7), Christensen (7), James (7), Kovacic (7), Jorginho (7), Chilwell (8), Mount (8), Havertz (5), Werner (6).
Subs: Pulisic (6), Giroud (6), Thiago Silva (n/a), Kante (n/a), Emerson (n/a).
Man of the Match: Edouard Mendy
Chelsea seize control in Seville
Porto were without their two highest scorers Sergio Oliveira and Medhi Taremi through suspension but fashioned the early chances in Seville and should have had something to show for it.
Luis Diaz forced a block from Andreas Christensen in the Chelsea goal mouth before Mateus Uribe’s brilliant control and volley sent the ball looping onto the roof of the Chelsea net.
Porto went even closer midway through the half when Pepe headed the ball back into the six-yard box moments after Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy hooked Otavio’s direct corner from under his bar, but Zaidu Sanusi blazed wildly over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
- Chancel Mbemba, Marko Grujic, Zaidu Sanusi and Jesus Corona returned as Porto made four changes from the weekend league victory over Santa Clara.
- Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz were recalled as Chelsea made five changes following the defeat to West Brom.
Porto were left to rue the catalogue of misses just after the half-hour mark as Chelsea scored a crucial away goal.
A first concerted spell of Chelsea possession ended with Jorginho firing a perfectly-weighed ball into Mount, who pirouetted brilliantly in behind before firing his maiden Champions League goal into the far corner.
There was still time before the interval for Porto to create another opening, but Mendy preserved Chelsea’s lead through to the break with a fine save from Pepe’s near-post header.
Mendy had to be alert early in the second period to prevent Moussa Marega from punishing a defensive lapse from Antonio Rudiger, and it was all hands to the pump for Chelsea as Porto piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.
Porto had the ball in the Chelsea net on 56 minutes, but Pepe’s effort was ruled out after Chancel Mbemba was caught offside, moments before Diaz whistled a shot a whisker wide of the post.
Cesar Azpilicueta squandered a glorious chance to give Chelsea some breathing space when he headed Reece James’ cross over from six yards, before substitute Christian Pulisic went even closer when he rattled the underside of the bar six minutes from time.
An advantage of any kind would have represented a job well done for Chelsea but there was more to come from their impressive performance as Chilwell intercepted Jesus Corona’s stray pass, strode into the Porto area and coolly rounded the goalkeeper to put the seal on a morale-boosting victory which puts the semi-finals in sight for Tuchel’s side.
Analysis: No hangover for Chelsea
Sky Sports Nick Wright:
Chelsea’s preparation to face Porto was less than ideal. Their unbeaten run came to an abrupt end with Saturday’s 5-2 thrashing by West Brom, then there was a “serious” training ground row between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
But after a difficult few days, normal service resumed at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. A victory and a clean sheet. It is what we have come to expect from Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel.
This was another professional and assured European performance to follow the ones Chelsea produced in both legs of their last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid.
Porto threatened at times, most notably from set-pieces, but Chelsea made it difficult for them to create clear chances, their back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Rudiger performing superbly, and when they were breached, Eduoard Mendy provided another barrier behind them.
This was Chelsea’s 13th shut-out in 16 games under Tuchel and it ensures the chaotic events from Saturday will not linger too long in the memory. Certainly, there was little evidence of a hangover among the players.
As well as being defensively solid, Chelsea were utterly clinical. Mason Mount’s goal, superbly taken after receiving Jorginho’s pass, came from their first shot. Chilwell’s late second, converted in even more impressive style, came from only their sixth.
Chelsea did not pepper the Porto goal with shots but they didn’t need to. Instead, they kept their opponents at arm’s length at one end and waited patiently for openings at the other.
They have put Saturday’s defeat behind them in the best possible way and it feels like the momentum is with them again. This was a big step towards the last four and Champions League glory is by no means beyond them.
Tuchel: We were ready to respond
Tuchel told BT Sport: “I saw the response immediately after the game in the dressing room and the next day. It was not a big concern. We had a big loss; it was our responsibility and we accepted it – me included.
“We were ready to respond, that is what we said, and this is it. There will always be setbacks in sport and the biggest challenge now was the bounce back.
“We have had a lot of wins together, a lot of excellent results, now we had a loss and now we have a reaction after a loss together and that brings us closer and increases the trust.
“It was important to have a clean sheet and a win straight after that defeat.”
Chelsea bounce back in style – Match stats
- Chelsea have won consecutive away knockout games in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since April 2004 under Claudio Ranieri.
- No side has conceded fewer goals (2) or kept more clean sheets (7) in this season’s UEFA Champions League than Chelsea (level with Man City on both counts).
- FC Porto have lost six of their nine UEFA Champions League games against Chelsea (W2 D1), their joint-most defeats against a side in the competition (level with Real Madrid).
- For the first time since March 2012 against Napoli (John Terry & Frank Lampard), Chelsea have had two different English players score for them in the same UEFA Champions League match (Mason Mount & Ben Chilwell).
- Mason Mount has scored more goals in all competitions for Thomas Tuchel than any other Chelsea player (5).
- Porto defender Pepe (38y 40d) became the oldest outfield player to appear in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final since Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs back in April 2014 (40y 123d versus Bayern Munich).
Man of the Match – Edouard Mendy
Chelsea travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday Night Football at 5.30pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League – while Porto travel to Tondela in the Primeira Liga on Saturday at 6pm. Chelsea and Porto then return to Seville for their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday at 8pm.