Chelsea warned they would get ‘cut apart’ by the likes of PSG or Real Madrid after surviving late scare from Porto to advance to Champions League semi-finals
Chelsea have been warned they will get ‘cut apart’ by the bigger teams in the Champions League after losing to Porto 1-0 in Seville, but advancing 2-1 on aggregate.
Danny Mills was on commentary duty for talkSPORT in Spain and watched the Blues progress to their first Champions League semi-final since 2014.
Substitute Mehdi Taremi scored a spectacular bicycle kick goal in the fourth minute of added time to win the game for Porto, but it was not enough to win the tie after goals from Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount in the first leg.
Mills described the goal as ‘Trevor Sinclair-esque’ for the sheer audacity and athleticism of the strike, which illuminated a rather dour game in Spain.
Thomas Tuchel has established himself as something of a defensive mastermind since replacing Frank Lampard, but the lack of attacking impetus worried Mills.
Edouard Mendy almost gifted Porto a route back into the game after receiving a wayward back pass from Antonio Rudgier and there was a header for substitute Taremi before his incredible goal.
Yet it was to be just the second game in this season’s competition to see neither side muster a shot on target in the first half, after Dynamo Kyiv v Ferencvaros in December.
And the former Leeds United defender believes Chelsea will have to show more if they are to advance to the final.
Mills said: “If you allow the opposition to dominate you, and Chelsea have been dominated, they won’t go far.
“It’s not just possession, but physically and tactically all over the pitch.
“If you allow PSG, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid to do that, they will cut you apart and score several goals.”
He added: “If they play well once and play like this, they may go through. But they need their attacking players to step up.”
N’Golo Kante’s tireless work in midfield illustrated his undoubted importance to Chelsea as they stifled their opponents.
France World Cup-winner Kante was not even meant to start in Spain, but was pressed into last-minute service after a minor injury to Mateo Kovacic.
Kante has only just shaken off his latest hamstring injury and boss Thomas Tuchel wanted him to feature off the bench at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
The 30-year-old midfielder cemented Chelsea’s dominance in the tie with a stunning showing at both ends of the pitch, in a performance to delight the regimented Blues.
Tuchel’s men are now able to jet back to London and turn immediate attentions to Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and former Paris St Germain manager Tuchel’s first concern will be to gauge whether linchpin midfielder Kante is capable of starting at Wembley.
The Blues will desperately want Kante to start against Pep Guardiola’s quadruple chasing City, and will doubtless pull out all the stops to make that happen.