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blues cruise 'One of the toughest challenges' - Thomas Tuchel on Chelsea's win against Atletico

Chelsea win the first leg of their Champions League clash against the Spanish league leaders

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Chelsea's Olivier Giroud scores their first goal Inquam Photos via REUTERS/Stefan Constantin

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud scores their first goal Inquam Photos via REUTERS/Stefan Constantin

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud scores their first goal Inquam Photos via REUTERS/Stefan Constantin

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel believes his side overcame one of the toughest challenges in football to secure a 1-0 first leg win in their Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid.

Olivier Giroud produced another Champions League special to hand Chelsea the advantage in their last-16 tie in Bucharest and extended their unbeaten run under the German to eight games since his arrival on January 26.

The Blues forward grabbed his sixth goal in the competition this season with an overhead kick in the 68th minute but it was only awarded after a lengthy VAR review.

"Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved," declared Tuchel.

"We wanted to dominate in the opponents' half, to never lose concentration, not to do any easy mistakes and always be aware of quick counter-attacks for all their quality.

"It was a very disciplined performance - a deserved shut-out. This is the hard work, a team effort - the basis for a big win.

"We told the guys if it happens (Atletico play a defensive game) maybe it's our quality and the respect. We wanted to be brave and play in their half.

"We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high. This is what we did very good. We never let them breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We have a big reward with this result.

"This is one of the toughest challenges to open a defence like Atletico."

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud saluted his latest moment of magic, with his overhead kick an eye-catching moment in his Chelsea career.

"We came here with strong intentions to win the game, play our game and we know how we could give them trouble offensively," said the Frenchman.

"We have been strong at the back in the defensive shape and very pleased with the win, it was a deserved win tonight.

"We know the importance of the away goal in European cups so that is why I was pleased to help the team win the game, we managed it well and we were confident but faced a great team and I think we were very committed and knew their main strengths. We dealt with it but we have to stay focussed and complete the job.

"Not over confident, we were confident in our qualities in the game. I did not know what to think about the goal, I just focussed on hitting the overhead kick and was pleased to see it go in the back of the net, I had no clue about being offside, Mason Mount said he did not touch the ball. Good for the team, good for me."

The result gives Chelsea the upper hand ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on March 17, where the Blues will aim to make the quarter-finals for the first time in seven years.

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