By 90Min
December 05, 2017

Chelsea had to make do with second place in Group C, as Atletico Madrid held them to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, while Diego Simeone's men will find themselves playing Europa League football after finishing third in the group. 

Saul Niguez opened the scoring for the visitors against the run of play before a Stefan Savic own goal brought Chelsea back into the game, but the Blues found Jan Oblak in impressive form and couldn't find the crucial winner. 

Atletico settled into their possession-based game early, looking for the crucial goal that they needed if they had any chance of qualifying, while their hosts looked compact knowing it was the job of the Madrid side to take the initiative in the final game of Group C.  

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

However it was Chelsea had the first real chance of the game through Alvaro Morata, the Spaniard curling his effort just wide of the post with Oblak reduced to a spectator.

Morata soon had another chance to open the scoring after some fine play from Victor Moses, the wing-back wriggling his way into the penalty area before cutting the ball back to the striker, but Oblak was down smartly to save before palming away another attempt from the former Real Madrid player moments later. 

Despite all of Atletico's possession, it was Chelsea who looked the more likely side to open the scoring, with Diego Simeone hoping his side could find a cutting edge to their play through their key man Antoine Griezmann, who had appeared on the periphery of the game in the first third of the game. 

Antonio Conte's side looked the better team and could've been a couple of goals in front had the Slovenian stopper Oblak not been in impressive form, blocking a Davide Zappacosta drive from the edge of the area having seen it late through the bodies in front of him in what proved to be the last meaningful attempt of the half.

The second half brought the first save that a largely redundant Thibaut Courtois had to make, although keeping out Griezmann's free kick was a simple matter for the Belgian. 

Meanwhile another Belgian for Chelsea, Eden Hazard, looked his destructive best, jinking past Atletico defenders before seeing his deflected effort drifted just wide of the post before Morata was again denied by Oblak from the resulting corner.

For all of Chelsea's play, the visitors almost stole the lead courtesy of former Blue Felipe Luis. The left-back was afforded too much space in the edge of the area and crashed his strike off Courtois' post with Koke only finding the grateful hands of the Chelsea goalkeeper with his headed follow-up. 

Chelsea didn't heed the earlier warning and soon found themselves a goal down though, another former player Fernando Torres flicking his header from a corner to the far post, leaving an unmarked Saul with a simple header to take a vital lead against the run of play. 

The goal appeared to stun Chelsea who were now facing the prospect of finishing second in the group having initially started the night in top spot. 

Chelsea continued to probe however and should've equalised, although Andreas Christensen failed to hit the target with his diving header from just six yards out, while Morata was again denied by Oblak on the goal line with help from Jose Gimenez, as Simeone's side put their bodies on the line to keep their slender lead. 

Their lead soon disappeared as Chelsea found an equaliser. The ball fell to Hazard from a corner, who found space in the area before firing his effort across the six yard box, which the unfortunate Stefan Savic deflected past a helpless Oblak.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

One almost became two for Chelsea moments later as Morata was played through one-on-one against Oblak, but yet again the Slovenian stood firm to win his latest dual against the frustrated Spaniard, with Chelsea now in the ascendancy to score a second. 

Glorious chances came and went for the substitute Willian of Chelsea and Griezmann of Atletico Madrid as both teams searched for a late winner. 

The winner almost came for Chelsea, as substitute Michy Batshuayi watched his effort drift agonisingly wide of the Oblak's far post, with Conte's men needing a goal to qualify as group winners. 

 

That proved to be the final chance in the game as the curtain fell for full-time, seeing Chelsea finish second in the group and 2014 and 2016 runners up Atletico Madrid having to settle for a place in the Europa League. 

You May Like