How the fortunes of both clubs have changed in the last decade and half. Several years ago in English football, Chelsea were muddled in financial debt during ex-Owner, Ken Bates latter years at the club and were regarded as part of the chasing packs behind the likes of Arsenal, Leeds United, Manchester United and Liverpool. A team that often flattered to deceive and couldn’t punch beyond the weight of expectations.
But from 2003/04 till date, the club has been successful with major trophies won including the Champions league. For Chelsea, their status as one of Europe’s elite club has been aided by Roman Abramobich’s influence after his purchase of the club from Bates in 2003. His injection of cash has transformed the club’s status from good to great.
The Atletico Madrid Spanish story can be titled: ‘grass to grace’. A club meshed in debt and often forced to sell their best players have turned into a financial stable club. Their successes on the pitch is swashbuckling. They’ve won European cups (Europa League/UEFA Cup), Super Cup and also had the audacity to win the Spanish league by upsetting the supreme order of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Two appearances in the Champions league in the last five years has seen them become a force to be reckoned with at least continentally if not globally.
Both sides share similar history, but on the pitch, Atletico have had the better of Chelsea in previous contests. In 5 games against the Spanish side, we have won only once, drawn twice and lost on two occasions. In a group also having Roma in the mix, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have no margin for error. The destruction of Qarabag need to be followed by positive results against Roma and Atletico Madrid.
If Chelsea have their sights on the trophy with the big ears come May, then a solid performance and result against Simeone’s Atletico will be a step towards it.
Let’s hope for the best, Cheers!