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Mehdi Taremi scores a sublime late winner
Mehdi Taremi scores a sublime late winner

Mehdi Taremi's stunning stoppage-time volley was in vain as Chelsea reached the semi-finals of the Champions League despite a 1-0 defeat to Porto.

Chelsea took a giant stride towards the last four with a 2-0 win at Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan last week and finished off the job at the same venue on Tuesday.

Porto were devoid of ideas in a drab quarter-final second leg until substitute Taremi's sublime acrobatic strike gave them a glimmer of hope.

That proved to be too little, too late, though as Chelsea set up a showdown with Real Madrid or Liverpool in what will be their first appearance of the last four in Europe's premier club competition for seven years.

Porto, with leading scorer Sergio Oliveira back in the side, swarmed all over Chelsea in a positive start and Edouard Mendy was fortune to get away with a poor pass trying to play out from the back.

Mason Mount's speculative shot looped just wide and Reece James flashed wide in rare counter-attacks from the Blues, with Porto not allowing them to settle.

Corona wasted a golden opportunity to halve the deficit when he blazed high and wide after Ben Chilwell failed to deal with a high ball in a frantic first half which the Primeira Liga champions had the better of, but failed to test Mendy.

An unmarked Christian Pulisic wasted a chance to put the London club out of sight when he failed to make a proper connection with Chilwell's cross early in the second half.

Wilson Manafa blocked a Mount shot after the in-form midfielder surged into the penalty area, with Chelsea posing much more of an attacking threat.

Sergio Conceicao introduced Taremi after 63 minutes and the striker had half a chance soon after coming on, but failed to generate enough power on a header that was comfortably saved by Mendy.

Taremi gave Porto victory on the night with a brilliant bicycle kick in the 93rd minute, but the damage had already been done.

What does it mean? Disciplined Blues march on

Chelsea looked untroubled as Porto had plenty of the ball but were unable to break the Premier League side down until a moment of magic from Taremi. 

This was a first Champions League defeat of the season for the Blues, but that will not be a concern for Thomas Tuchel as he eyes two trophies just a few months after replacing Frank Lampard.

Taremi's thunderbolt was only Porto's second shot on target as they were unable to end a 17-year wait to reach the semi-finals of the competition.

Rock-solid Rudiger

Chelsea defended superbly and Antonio Rudiger was outstanding at the heart of their defence along with the returning Thiago Silva and captain Cesar Azpilicueta. 

The centre-back read the game superbly, won 11 aerial duels and made 10 clearances, with N'Golo Kante and Jorginho providing a strong shield in front of the back three.

Oliveira unable to inspire Porto

Porto would have been hoping the return of Oliveira could spark them into life after he missed the first leg. 

The midfielder was industrious, but did not make the sort of impact Conceicao might have been counting on in the final third.

Key Opta facts

- Chelsea have reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the eighth time, more than any other English side in the competition's history.

- There were just three shots on target in this match (one for Chelsea, two for Porto), with two of these coming in added time at the end of the match (Christian Pulisic for Chelsea and Mehdi Taremi's late winner).

- Jorginho made eight tackles in this match, the most by a Chelsea player in a Champions League game since N'Golo Kanté against Barcelona in March 2018 (also eight).

- This was just Porto's second 'away' victory in the Champions League knockout stages (D6 L13), after their win at Deportivo in the 2003-04 semi-final.

What's next?

Chelsea face Premier League leaders Manchester City in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday, while Porto travel to Nacional this weekend.


ChelseaChampions LeagueFC Porto

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