Chelsea reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in seven years despite Mehdi Taremi’s sublime overhead kick giving them a late scare in a 1-0 defeat by Porto, going through 2-1 on aggregate.
Porto were intense in the first half, but lacking in quality in the final third as neither side registered a shot on target until the 66th minute, when Edouard Mendy did well to save and hold sub Taremi’s weak header.
In their home leg, Chelsea were savvy and professional in equal measure as they kept Porto at arm’s length, until the last minute of stoppage time when Taremi produced an incredible, acrobatic overhead kick.
But it was too little, too late, and Chelsea will now play either Liverpool or Real Madrid (Agg: 1-3) in the semi-finals on April 27/28 and May 4/5.
Chelsea: Mendy (7), Azpilicueta (7), Thiago Silva (7), Rudiger (8), James (7), Jorginho (8), Kante (8), Chilwell (7), Mount (7), Havertz (7), Pulisic (8)
Subs: Ziyech (NA), Giroud (NA)
Porto: Marchesin (6), Manafa (6), Mbemba (7), Pepe (6), Zaidu (6), Sergio Oliveira (6), Grujic (6), Uribe (6), Corona (7), Marega (6), Otavio (6)
Subs: Taremi (7), Nanu (6), Evanilson (6), Luiz Diaz (5), Vieira (NA)
Man of the match: Christian Pulisic
How business-like Chelsea secured passage to semi-finals
This was technically a home game for Chelsea, but the ‘hosts’ looked more like the away side in the first half, holding firm while attempting to break up Porto’s play.
Porto, who had kept five clean sheets in their six group games, desperately needed another here to stay in with a chance, and although the break was on for Chelsea, neither side registered a shot on target in the first 45 minutes.
The first effort on target did not come until the 66th minute through Porto sub Taremi, but his weak header, unmarked from 12 yards out, was well held by Mendy down to his left.
Porto only began to throw the kitchen sink at Chelsea in the final moments, and they were given a glimmer of hope through Taremi’s quite magnificent overhead kick from 12 yards, flying into the top corner past a rooted Mendy from Nanu’s cross.
- Chelsea have reached the Champions League semi-finals for the eighth time, more than any other English side in the competition’s history.
- Porto have been knocked out of the Champions League knockout stages on 14 occasions, with 50 per cent of those eliminations coming at the hands of English sides.
- Jorginho made eight tackles in this match, the most by a Chelsea player in a Champions League game since N’Golo Kante against Barcelona in March 2018 (also 8).