Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Chelsea reach CL semis despite spectacula­r goal for Porto

A beautiful goal arguably the best in the Champions League this season to settle an ugly match


SEVILLE: The cross from the right was curling away from goal at shoulder height when Mehdi Taremi took off, connecting with a spectacula­r scissor kick that sent the ball into the top corner from 12 metres out.

A beautiful goal arguably the best in the Champions League this season to settle an ugly match.

It wasn't enough for Porto. Chelsea qualified for the semifinals for the first time since 2014 despite a 1-0 loss to the Portuguese champions on Tuesday, the English team going through 2-1 on aggregate to meet either Real Madrid or Liverpool for a place in the final.

Aside from Taremi's stunning, acrobatic effort in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, Chelsea successful­ly stifled Porto in what proved to be something of an arm-wrestle and was happy to rely on the away goals scored by Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell in the first leg, which was also played in Seville because of Coronaviru­s restrictio­ns.

It wasn't pretty but Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel didn't care.

"I can imagine that both games were not the nicest games to watch on the television for spectators who look for entertainm­ent," Tuchel said. "I can totally accept that, but it's very hard to play your best game against Porto.

"Part of a performanc­e is not letting your opponent perform. This is what they do and this is what we do also. Today was the day to hang in."

The niggly nature of the quarterfin­al extended to the sidelines, with Tuchel and S rgio Concei o exchanging words at the final whistle and the Porto coach showing his frustratio­n by cutting short his post-match news conference after questions about the confrontat­ion.

Tuchel shrugged it off. He has bigger concerns, firstly an FA Cup semifinal match against Manchester City on Saturday and then a second straight Champions League semifinal on a personal basis. Last year, he was at this stage with Paris Saint-Germain and advanced to the final, where his team lost to Bayern Munich.

PSG avenged that loss by knocking out Bayern on Tuesday, progressin­g on away goals after losing the second leg 1-0.

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