Madrid - Atletico Madrid and Chelsea were locked at 0-0 after their Champions
League semi-final first leg on Tuesday after the Spanish side failed to
break down their ultra-cautious visitors at the Calderon.
through to the last four of Europe's elite club competition for the
first time in 40 years, dominated the defence-minded 2012 winners but
were unable to carve out an advantage ahead of next week's return leg at
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, returning to the
Spanish capital after three years at Atletico's city rivals Real, had
clearly set out to frustrate the home team and the result means his side
will be slight favourites to advance to next month's final in Lisbon.
Londoners lost goalkeeper Petr Cech when he fell heavily and hurt his
right elbow in the 15th minute but neither his replacement Mark
Schwarzer nor Atletico keeper Thibaut Courtois were genuinely tested in a
There was another cracking atmosphere before kickoff
at the 55,000-capacity stadium next to the Manzanares river where the
fans have been flocking to enjoy what is easily the Madrid club's best
season in almost 20 years.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone deployed
an attacking formation with Diego Costa leading the line supported by
attacking midfielder Raul Garcia and Diego and Koke providing the
creative impetus just behind.
Mourinho, by contrast, had
containment in mind, with former Atletico captain Fernando Torres alone
up front and defender David Luiz in a holding role in a five-man
The Portuguese coach had obviously instructed his
players to sit back and try to catch Atletico on the break and they were
happy to let the home side have the ball in a first half short on
Chelsea were forced to make an early change when
Cech was knocked to the ground by a tumbling Raul Garcia at a corner and
he was helped off clutching his right arm.
41, making only his second Champions League appearance, became the
oldest player to feature in the knockout phase.
With almost the
entire Chelsea team behind the ball, the hosts managed only one shot on
target before the break, a weak Diego effort, and the visitors none.
Mario Suarez flashed a long-range drive narrowly wide in the 34th
minute and Diego Costa had a volley well blocked by Cesar Azpilicueta
but otherwise there was little goalmouth action.
The second half
was a similarly cagey affair and there was more bad news for Chelsea in
the 73rd minute when captain John Terry limped off after turning his
ankle at a corner.
Captain Gabi forced a decent save from
Schwarzer in the 76th minute as Atletico pressed for a goal but Chelsea
held out reasonably comfortably.