Chelsea booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2014 despite losing 1-0 against FC Porto on Tuesday night in Seville.
Thomas Tuchel’s men progressed despite a stoppage time goal from Mehdi Taremi at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán to head into the last four, which will see them face Real Madrid or Liverpool.
Porto started quickly in Seville as they looked to chase down the two goal deficit in the second leg. But it was Chelsea who had the first half chance of the game seven minutes as they countered, but Mason Mount saw his effort deflected over the bar by Chancel Mbemba.
The visitors were quick to hunt the Blues down, giving them no time or space, and Edouard Mendy misplaced a pass straight into the path of Jesus Corona but Jorginho crucially got in the way of his goal-bound effort to avert the danger four minutes later.
Chelsea’s main threat in the opening 45 was countering the away side. In the 19th minute, Kai Havertz slipped a ball in behind to N’Golo Kante, who found Christian Pulisic as he fed it across to Reece James, but he could only drag his effort from the right-hand side well wide of Agustin Marchesin’s goal
Thomas Tuchel’s side should’ve been ahead in the 27th minute. N’Golo Kante had Mount and Havertz either side of him, the former completely free on the left, but he opted to pass it to Havertz who had his shot blocked by the defender. Decision making in the crucial moment denied the Blues of an almost certain goal in Seville. Kante’s lack of precision was on display four minutes later when Ben Chilwell made a run in-behind, but the 30-year-old overhit the pass, to the hosts frustration.
Corona had a good chance 12 minutes before half-time to put Porto ahead on the night as he got the better of Chilwell, however he rushed his effort and whacked it well over Mendy’s goal.
Referee Clement Turpin let go 15 fouls escape without booking in the first half, but a minute into the second half he brandished his first, to Sergio Oliveira for a foul on Pulisic.
Porto continued to pile the pressure on, as did the weight of the turf clearly as they continued to dramatically fall to the ground off minimal touches.
Pulisic had an outstanding chance to put the Blues ahead in the 54th minute as Chelsea found space out on the left; Chilwell pulled it back to the American but he fluffed his lines from eight yards out.
Mount then had the next chance three minutes later as Kante slipped him in but Wilson Manafa made a goal-saving block.
Porto looked for a way back into the tie and they brought Mehdi Taremi on for Marko Grujic in the 62nd minute.
Taremi had a chance instantly as a tame cross came into the box but he couldn’t get enough power on his header to trouble Mendy, who got down well to catch the goal-bound effort.
But Porto failed to really threaten in the final third where it would hurt the Blues as Tuchel’s side continued to hold firm at the back. The returning Thiago Silva made a key clearance in the box with 17 minutes as Mbemba’s cross came across the face of the goal. The Blues continued to avert any danger which was thrown their way by the Portuguese outfit.
Sergio Conceicao made a triple change with 16 minutes to play as Nanu, Evanilson and Luis Diaz came on for the visitors as they looked for a goal to give them a chance of progressing.
Pulisic was a targeted man by Porto as he continued to be brought down by the visitors on eleven occasions.
Hakim Ziyech was brought on for Mount for the final four minutes as Tuchel looked to see the game out as Chelsea edged closer to the semi-finals. Olivier Giroud also came on for Havertz as the ran the clock down in Seville.
Ziyech clipped a ball in behind to Pulisic who was one-on-one with Marchesin in stoppage time to end the tie but Marchesin denied him to keep the scores on the night level.
Taremi scored a worldie with a minute to play as he found the net with an overhead kick to put late pressure on the Blues.
But the Blues did hold out to progress into the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2014.
It wasn’t a classic in Seville as Porto scored a late consolation but Tuchel’s men got the job done and held on from their two goal advantage from the first leg. They will now face either Real Madrid or Liverpool in the last four.