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Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen was a surprise omission from the team that defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The Dane has been an ever-present figure in defence since the injury to Thiago Silva. However, he couldn’t feature against Atletico after falling ill overnight before the game.
Speaking before the game, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel asked for calm and said there was no need to panic, as he revealed that Christensen was merely ill and it’s not Covid-19 related.
“Unfortunately Andreas is ill,” Tuchel said in his pre-match interview.
“There’s no reason to panic. It’s not Covid, he produced a negative test, but he is ill with a fever. He doesn’t feel good so Zouma comes in and takes his place.
“We have Oli [Giroud] from the bench and we have five guys that we can use from the bench
“We hope these guys can come on and have a huge impact, and Oli is one of them. We have Timo up front tonight, he brings a lot of speed, so hopefully we can create some trouble with quick runs to use his pace.
“We just felt that Atletico might feel more comfortable to fight and get into a battle against a player like Oli, rather than against someone like Timo who has real speed.”
Chelsea eventually won the game 2-0, courtesy of goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri, as the Blues are now through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, for the first time since 2014.