United March on as Chelsea Stun Atletico Madrid in Spanish Capital

by on Thursday, September 28

It was quite the night for Premier League sides in the Champions League, as Manchester United and Chelsea both claimed impressive victories.

Manchester United’s 4-1 win on the road at CSKA Moscow did not tell us anything we did not already know about the Red Devils, as they dominated inferior opposition and ultimately ran out comfortable winners.

Chelsea, though, wow. Atletico Madrid are European powerhouses, twice beaten finalists in 2014 and 2016, but they were left reeling by the Blues.

It took an injury-time goal from Michy Batshuayi to get the job done, but Chelsea were full value for their 2-1 win.

When two European giants meet in the group stage, it’s often a case of managers not revealing their true hands – poker players sitting on aces while giving off the impression they are holding twos and threes.

That was the case early on, with both sides refusing to over commit. Atleti got their noses in front when David Luiz pulled Lucas Hernandez to the floor and Antoine Griezmann rifled home the penalty.

Chelsea looked like they were going to be blown away by Atleti, but they weathered the storm and a brilliant cross from Eden Hazard on the hour mark was turned home by Alvaro Morata to draw the Blues level.

The Blues were emboldened by Morata’s equaliser and he had a big chance to ram home their advantage, but the Spain international sent his shot wide of the post after scampering clear.

With Diego Costa watching from the stands after sealing his move from Chelsea to Atletico, the striker’s mood was turned somewhat dark in injury time as Batshuayi turned the ball home from close range to seal a famous win for Chelsea.

With Roma also in the group alongside minnows Qarabag, the 2-1 win at Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium could be hugely significant for Conte’s Blues.

For United, their impressive start to the season continued with a mauling of CSKA. Roy Keane hailed Romelu Lukaku as a £75 million bargain following his two goals in the 4-1 win, and in light of the transfer fees that were paid later in the summer it’s not an outlandish statement to make.

The Belgian dominated up top for United who also had Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the scoresheet.

United’s group, which also includes Basel and Benfica, is not as daunting as Chelsea’s but it still needs navigating. With two wins out of two, the Red Devils are on course to do that and it could be that – with Tottenham and Manchester City also winning this week – the Premier League is finally equipped to make a decent mark on the European stage.