Chelsea serious Champions League contenders after Atletico statement

Either way, it did not work.

Instead Chelsea produced a statement performance to secure their place in the quarter-finals and establish themselves as serious contenders to go all the way.

Two wins against the leaders in Spain, with no goals conceded is a warning to the rest of Europe, who will desperately want to avoid Tuchel’s ever-improving team.

This is a team that does not concede goals.

To put into context just how difficult it is to breach this defence, Antonio Rudiger has scored more goals against them in Tuchel’s 13 games in charge than Heung-min Son, Luis Suarez, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane combined.

His own goal against Sheffield United in February is one of only two conceded in that time – Southampton’s Takumi Minamino the only opposition player to find a breakthrough.

With that kind of defensive resolve, they have the potential to beat anyone over two legs.

Simeone had backed Suarez to end his own Champions League duck to overturn Chelsea’s first leg advantage – but when the Uruguayan was substituted just before the hour, it summed up just how ineffective he was in front of the blue wall.

This was another Tuchel masterclass against one of the big beasts of management; a second win against Simeone follows victories against Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti since he arrived in English football.

AFP via Getty Images

An incredible 11th clean sheet is the hallmark of his early reign – but it would be a disservice to suggest this latest win was a backs-to-the-wall job.

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