Superb individual goals from English pair Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell gave Chelsea a 2-0 win away to Porto in their Champions League quarter-final 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.
“We knew it would be a tough game. We kept going, we got the goal in the first half and the second secured a good win,” said Mount.
“The job’s not done. They’ll fight for the next leg and we’ll have to give it our all. We’ll be ready.”
Porto midfielder Mateus Uribe said his side “left with a bitter taste” after playing so well but having failed to take their chances.
“We weren’t clinical in front of goal, they had fewer opportunities and scored two goals,” he said.
“They got the result, but we leave with our heads held high because of our performance and believe we can turn the tie around with our quality players.”
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.
“The result is extremely harsh, but what counts are the goals — and Chelsea scored and we didn’t,” said Porto coach Sergio Conceicao.
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 semi-finals 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.
Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe scored twice to steer the visitors to a 3-2 victory over holders Bayern Munich in a topsy-turvy Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.
On a snowy evening in the Bavarian capital, Mbappe fired in his eighth goal of the competition in the 68th minute after Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 37th and Thomas Mueller on the hour had cancelled out a two-goal PSG lead.
It was Bayern’s first Champions League loss in more than two years and the first ever for coach Hansi Flick, who had been unbeaten in his previous 16 matches in Europe’s premier club competition.
The Germans will be wondering how they failed to earn at least a point with 31 goal attempts to PSG’s six, 15 corners to one and a string of golden opportunities.
PSG had stunned the hosts in the third minute through Mbappe, whose powerful low drive squeezed through the legs of keeper Manuel Neuer.
The French champions were brutally efficient and scored with their second chance of the game when Neymar picked out Marquinhos with a pinpoint cross and the PSG captain beat Neuer in the 28th minute.
Marquinos went off injured immediately after scoring and the defender’s absence dealt a blow to Mauricio Pochettino’s back line before replacement Ander Herrera could settle in.
Bayern quickly took control of the game and came close through Mueller and Choupo-Moting, who was replacing the injured Robert Lewandowski.
Choupo-Moting had headed onto the crossbar in the second minute but did better with another header and Mueller brought the hosts level, nodding in a Joshua Kimmich free kick.
The 22-year-old Mbappe then scored again, drilling in from a tight angle and with two defenders in front of him to put PSG back in front.
They had to survive intense late pressure from Bayern, with David Alaba and Mueller going agonisingly close for the hosts, but hung on for victory ahead of next week’s return leg in Paris