Goals from English pair Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell gave Chelsea a 2-0 win away to Porto in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday in Seville as the Londoners made the most of their few chances.
Midfielder Mount ran on to an incisive pass from Jorginho then swivelled to get past a defender before firing the ball low and hard into the far corner to prise Porto open in the 32nd minute and score his first Champions League goal.
Left back Chilwell also got off the mark in Europe’s top competition to grab Chelsea a second away goal in the 85th to take into the second leg on April 13, which will also be played at Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium due to coronavirus restrictions on travel between Portugal and England.
Porto knocked Juventus out in the last round on away goals but were missing their two top scorers in Sergio Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi through suspension.
They were more adventurous than the Premier League side and narrowly missed the target in the first half with thumping volleys from Uribe and Zaidu Sanusi.
They went even closer in the second with a header from veteran defender Pepe that was beaten away by Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy, who also repelled an effort from striker Moussa Marega. Colombian forward Luis Diaz, meanwhile, whistled a shot just wide.
Chelsea were always looking to strike down the other end and went close to finding their second with a long-range effort from Christian Pulisic which rattled the crossbar.
Moments later, they grabbed a crucial second away goal when Chilwell pounced on a slip by Porto’s Jesus Corona and dashed across the box to dribble his way into the net and take Chelsea a step closer to reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2014.
“There were many moments where we suffered,” admitted Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel.
“But we accepted it, that’s the way it is at this stage. The spirit was good and it’s an excellent result.”
Chelsea went into the game hurting from their shock 5-2 defeat at home to Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion, which was the first time they had been beaten in any competition since Tuchel became coach in January.
That defeat was largely down to Thiago Silva being sent off and Tuchel started without the Brazilian defender in Seville, with his side showing the defensive solidity which has characterised his start to life as Chelsea coach.
The German was delighted with his side’s response.
“We’ve had a lot of wins together, we had a loss together but now we have a reaction after a loss together. It brings us closer together, brings trust and it was excellent,” he added.