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Atlético vs Chelsea: UEFA Champions League background, form guide, previous meetings

Atlético de Madrid and Chelsea have enjoyed some memorable contests in recent years as they renew their rivalry in the round of 16.

Atlético and Chelsea were paired together in the 2017/18 group stage
Atlético and Chelsea were paired together in the 2017/18 group stage Getty Images

Two clubs that have enjoyed some memorable contests in recent years renew their rivalry as Atlético de Madrid and Chelsea meet in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

• Both teams have been knockout regulars in recent seasons; this is the sixth time Chelsea have reached this stage in the last eight campaigns, although they have advanced no further since 2013/14. That campaign was ended by Atlético, who are making a seventh appearance in the UEFA Champions League last 16 in the last eight years.

• The London club have enjoyed a straightforward campaign this season, remaining unbeaten to finish first in Group E ahead of Atlético's domestic rivals Sevilla. Atleti, meanwhile, suffered their joint heaviest European defeat on Matchday 1 and, although unbeaten since then, have won only two of their six matches, victory at Salzburg in their most recent fixture securing second place in Group A behind holders Bayern München.

• Chelsea have changed head coach since the group stage, replacing Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel at the end of January.

• This first leg is taking place at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest, where Atlético beat fellow Liga side Athletic Club in the 2012 UEFA Europa League final.

Classic Chelsea v Atlético goals
Classic Chelsea v Atlético goals

Previous meetings
• All seven of the clubs' previous fixtures have come since 2009 and there has been nothing between them overall, with two victories and 11 goals scored apiece.

• Atlético and Chelsea were paired together in the 2017/18 group stage, the English club winning 2-1 in Spain before a 1-1 draw in London. An Antoine Griezmann penalty (40) was eclipsed by Chelsea's Álvaro Morata (60) and Michy Batshuayi (90+3) in Spain before Stefan Savić's 75th-minute own goal cancelled out Saúl Ñíguez's 56th-minute opener in London.

• The teams had previously met in the 2013/14 semi-finals, when the first game in Spain finished goalless.

• The following week at Stamford Bridge, José Mourinho's Chelsea looked on course for the final when Fernando Torres, who had two spells at Atlético, gave them a 36th-minute lead. However, Adrián López levelled a minute before half-time, then Diego Costa (60pen) – who joined Chelsea three months later – and Arda Turan (72) gave the visitors victory.

• These sides also met in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup when Radamel Falcao's first-half hat-trick earned Atlético a 4-1 success in Monaco and their second triumph in the competition in three years. Gary Cahill got Chelsea's consolation after Miranda had made it 4-0 on the hour.

• The teams' other meetings came in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage when Chelsea collected four points from their Spanish rivals to finish top of Group D. Atlético came third and transferred to the maiden edition of the UEFA Europa League, which they eventually won, beating Chelsea's local rivals Fulham in the final.

• Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea prevailed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, Salomon Kalou scoring twice (41, 52) before Lampard (69) added another and Luis Perea (90+1) headed a Florent Malouda free-kick into his own net. The defeat prompted the departure of Atlético coach Abel Resino, Quique Sánchez Flores taking over.

• The game in Spain two weeks later ended 2-2, confirming Chelsea's knockout place and ending Atlético's hopes. Substitute Sergio Agüero (66, 90+1) earned a point despite Didier Drogba's double (82, 88).

Watch all of Atlético's group stage goals
Watch all of Atlético's group stage goals

Form guide
Atlético

• The Rojiblancos responded to a record-equalling 4-0 opening loss at Bayern with a 3-2 home win against Salzburg. They drew their next three matches, away (1-1) and home (0-0) against Lokomotiv Moskva and 1-1 against Bayern, ending the holders' competition-record winning streak at 15, before ensuring they would join the Munich club in the round of 16 with a 2-0 win at Salzburg on Matchday 6.

• Third in Spain in 2019/20, this is Atlético's 11th UEFA Champions League campaign and eighth in a row; they are in the knockout stages for the ninth time.

• Last season, Diego Simeone's side finished second in their section behind Juventus, picking up ten points. Atlético then ousted holders Liverpool in impressive style in the round of 16 (1-0 h, 3-2 a aet) but came up short against Leipzig in the quarter-finals in Lisbon, going down 2-1.

• Atlético have lost only seven of their last 37 European matches (W21 D9), although four of those defeats have come in their last 12.

• That 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Matchday 2 in 2017/18 is Atlético's only defeat in the last 29 European games in their own stadium (W22 D6).

• Atlético have won five of their seven round of 16 ties. Last season's first-leg win against Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in home UEFA Champions League knockout matches to 14 (W9 D5), since a 3-2 loss to Ajax in the 1996/97 quarter-final second leg that sealed a 4-3 aggregate defeat.

• Atleti have been victorious in nine of their 11 two-legged knockout contests against English teams, including the last five; only Derby County (1974/75 UEFA Cup) and Bolton Wanderers (2007/08 UEFA Cup) have eliminated them.

• Atlético have won their last two games against English clubs at neutral venues, beating Chelsea in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco and Fulham 2-1 after extra time in Hamburg in the first UEFA Europa League final in 2009/10. Their other fixture ended in a 5-1 defeat by Tottenham in the 1962/63 European Cup Winners' Cup final in Rotterdam.

• That defeat of Athletic in the 2012 UEFA Europa League final, in which Radamel Falcao scored twice and Diego once in a 3-0 win, is Atleti's only previous game at the Arena Naţională. This is their eighth game in Romania, where their record is W3 D1 L3; the win against their fellow Liga side ended a run of four games without a victory in the country. Atleti's record in Bucharest is W2 D1 L1; they drew 1-1 at Steaua București in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League group stage after facing Dinamo București in the 1973/74 European Cup second round first leg (2-0) and the first round first leg of the same competition in 1977/78 (1-2).

• The Madrid club have reached the quarter-finals or better in five of their last seven UEFA Champions League campaigns – all under Simeone.

• The Rojiblancos have reached two UEFA Champions League and three UEFA Europa League finals in the last 11 seasons.

Watch all Chelsea's group stage goals
Watch all Chelsea's group stage goals

Chelsea
• Chelsea made smooth progress through Group E, winning all three away fixtures and dropping points only in their first and last fixtures, at home to Sevilla (0-0) and Krasnodar (1-1) respectively. Rennes were beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge before the English club picked up maximum points at Krasnodar (4-0), Rennes (2-1) and Sevilla (4-0); the latter result made sure of first place in the section, Olivier Giroud becoming the first Chelsea player to score four times in a European Cup match – and at 34 years 63 days the oldest hat-trick scorer in UEFA Champions League history.

• Fourth in the Premier League in 2019/20, this is Chelsea's 17th venture into the UEFA Champions League and a third in four years. The exception came in 2018/19, when they won the UEFA Europa League under Maurizio Sarri.

• Last season Lampard's side recovered from a Matchday 1 defeat at home to Valencia (0-1) to progress as Group H runners-up with 11 points, finishing behind the Spanish side on head-to-head record, before losing to eventual champions Bayern (0-3 h, 1-4 a) in the last 16.

• Chelsea's record in the round of 16 is W8 L6. They have lost their last four contests at this stage.

• The loss in Munich in last season's round of 16 second leg is Chelsea's only defeat in 14 European away matches (W10 D3).

• Despite their four victories this season, the Blues have won only five of their last 11 UEFA Champions League matches (D4 L2).

• European champions in 2012 having been runners-up four years earlier, Chelsea have now won their UEFA Champions League group 12 times, although they were runners-up in their section on each of their previous two participations before this season.

• Last season's home loss to Valencia was one of only four defeats in the Blues' last 26 matches against Spanish opponents, home and away (W8 D14). They drew 2-2 at Valencia last season, the Matchday 5 win at Sevilla making it one defeat in their last 13 matches away to Liga clubs (W4 D8).

• However, the victory in Seville was only Chelsea's second success in their last 12 fixtures against Liga clubs, home and away (D6 L4), the other that 2017 win at Atlético.

• Chelsea have played 11 two-legged knockout ties against Spanish clubs (W4 L7), most recently in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 when they lost 3-0 at Barcelona in the second leg to go down 4-1 overall.

• The London club have won only two of their 11 away knockout games against Spanish teams in UEFA competition (D4 L5).

• Chelsea have already played twice at the Arena Naţională, both against Steaua București – a 1-0 defeat in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg and a 4-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League group stage the following season. Their only other game in Romania was a 0-0 draw in Cluj-Napoca against CFR Cluj in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• The Blues have won only one of their four games against Spanish clubs on neutral grounds, beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup final replay in Athens after a 1-1 draw two days earlier. They lost in the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco to Real Madrid in 1998 (0-1) and Atleti in 2012.

Čech reaction to Chelsea-Atlético tie
Čech reaction to Chelsea-Atlético tie

Links and trivia
• Have played in England:
Kieran Trippier (Manchester City 1999–2012, Barnsley 2010, 2010/11 loan, Burnley 2011–15, Tottenham 2015–19)
Stefan Savić (Manchester City 2011–12)
Lucas Torreira (Arsenal 2018–20)

• Have played in Spain:
Kepa (Athletic Club 2014–18, Ponferradina 2015 loan, Valladolid 2015/16 loan)
César Azpilicueta (Osasuna 2001–10)
Marcos Alonso (Real Madrid 1999–2010)
Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid 2015–18)
Willy Caballero (Elche 2004–11, Málaga 2011–14)

• Have played together:
Stefan Savić & Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina 2013–15)

• International team-mates:
Kieran Trippier & Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham (England)
Šime Vrsaljko & Mateo Kovačić (Croatia)
Koke, Saúl Ñíguez, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Vitolo & Kepa, Marcos Alonso (Spain)
Thomas Lemar & Kurt Zouma, N'Golo Kanté, Olivier Giroud (France)
Renan Lodi, Felipe & Thiago Silva (Brazil)

Latest news

Atlético 
UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Moussa Dembélé (Lyon, loan), Álvaro García, Geoffrey Kondogbia
Out: Borja Garcés, Diego Costa (released), Ismael Gutiérrez, Manu Sánchez (Osasuna, loan), Juan Sanabria (Zaragoza, loan), Ivan Šaponjić (Cádiz, loan), Germán Valera

• Atlético have won ten of their 15 games in all competitions since the Matchday 6 win at Salzburg (D2 L3) and are top of the Liga, although they went down 2-0 at home to Levante on Saturday.

• That was only their second Liga defeat of this campaign, following a 2-0 reverse away to local rivals Real Madrid on 12 December.

• Atleti had 28 shots against Levante, their largest total without scoring under Diego Simeone.

• The draws have come in their last four Liga games, at home to Celta Vigo on 8 February (2-2) and at Levante nine days later (1-1).

• The other defeat was a 1-0 Copa del Rey loss at third-tier side Cornellà on 6 January, Atleti bowing out in the second round.

• Atlético have conceded in their last seven Liga games, their longest run without a league clean sheet under Diego Simeone.

• Marcos Llorente's tally of nine goals in all competitions this season represents the best of his career, surpassing his previous highest of five in 2019/20.

• Luis Suárez is the Liga's joint top scorer this season with 16 goals, including seven in his last seven appearances. Eight of his league goals this season have come in 2021.

• Héctor Herrera has not played since 31 January due to illness while Thomas Lemar returned as a substitute at the weekend.

• Moussa Dembélé, who signed on loan from Lyon in January, made his first Atlético appearance as a substitute on Saturday having recovered from illness.

• Yannick Carrasco and Mario Hermoso both returned from illness in a 2-1 win at Granada on 13 February.

• João Félix was sidelined by illness between 31 January and 17 February.

• Šime Vrsaljko made his comeback from a knee injury that had kept him out since 11 March in the 3-0 Copa del Rey victory at Cardassar on 16 December, marking the occasion with Atleti's final goal.

• Kieran Trippier is suspended for the first leg against Chelsea.

Chelsea
UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: None
Out: Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan, loan)

• The Blues' record since Matchday 6 is W9 D3 L5. They had won five successive games in all competitions, keeping four clean sheets and conceding only one goal, before Saturday's 1-1 draw at Southampton.

• Thomas Tuchel's record since succeeding Frank Lampard as head coach on 26 January is W5 D2.

• The Matchday 6 draw at home to Krasnodar extended Chelsea's unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions (W10 D7); they lost five of their next nine fixtures (W3 D1) before the current eight-match run without defeat (W6 D2).

• On 15 February Timo Werner scored his first Premier League goal since 7 November in a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle at Stamford Bridge – his first goal in exactly 1,000 minutes of league football.

• Edouard Mendy has kept 15 clean sheets in his 26 Chelsea appearances in all competitions including five in his last seven appearances.

• Chelsea have reached the FA Cup quarter-finals with wins at home to Morecambe (4-0) and Luton (3-1) and at Barnsley (1-0). They will play Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in the last eight on 21 March.

• Kai Havertz, who has been sidelined by a knock, has not played since 31 January.

• Thiago Silva has not played since limping off in the first half of the 1-0 Premier League win at Tottenham on 4 February with a muscle injury.

• Christian Pulišić suffered a calf injury in training on 18 February and sat out Saturday's draw at Southampton.