Chelsea return to Champions League action on Wednesday night as they take on Porto in the first leg of their quarter final tie.
The Blues dumped La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid out of the competition at the Last 16 stage after two accomplished performances against Diego Simeone’s side.
However, Chelsea’s weekend Premier League exploits weren’t so accomplished as they fell to a shock 5-2 defeat to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion.
The loss at Stamford Bridge, which included a sending off for the returning Thiago Silva, was the first time Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had tasted defeat since his arrival at the club to replace Frank Lampard.
If anything, though, it was the manner of the defeat which was more surprising than anything – Chelsea had only conceded twice since Tuchel took over before the game with the Baggies and had kept 7 consecutive clean sheets to boot – conceding 5 raised many an eyebrow.
The loss also raised tempers in the Blues’ camp, with reports surfacing of a bust-up between defender Toni Rudiger and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in training.
Tuchel has quickly moved to dampen any discontent in his ranks and insisted the focus swiftly returns to a positive first leg against Porto.
The German coach led former club Paris Saint-Germain to last season’s final but was unable to get the better of Bayern Munich in the showpiece event.
Opponents Porto have been the dark horses of this season’s Champions League, eliminating Juventus in the last 16 to secure this tie with Chelsea.
Although nobody is expecting Porto to go all the way in the competition, that was very much the attitude in 2004, when Porto became European champions under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, who would later make a successful switch to West London.
The Portuguese outfit have scored in each of their last 12 games and will perhaps take inspiration from West Brom’s goalscoring exploits against Chelsea at the weekend.
The first leg of this quarter final was originally set to be played at Porto’s home ground the Estadio De Dragao, but due to coronavirus restrictions, both legs will take place in the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Spain, host venue for the 1986 final between Steaua Bucharest and Barcelona.
Kick off in Seville is 8pm on Wednesday, 7th April.