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Ashleigh Barty reaches first Wimbledon final after beating Angelique Kerber

Ashleigh Barty reaches first Wimbledon final after beating Angelique Kerber

Ashleigh Barty put in another dominant display on Centre Court against Angelique Kerber to reach her first Wimbledon final of her career. Barty had previously never made it past the fourth round in the singles draw of Wimbledon in seven attempts.

And there were some questions on whether she would even compete at this year’s tournament after pulling out of the French Open with injury.

There was a brief shaky moment in the opening round against Carla Suarez Navarro, but the world No 1 has since looked unbeatable.

However, Kerber has earned a reputation throughout her career as one of the best grasscourt players on the WTA Tour.

The German tennis star won Wimbledon back in 2018 and the British major has been her favoured event over the years.

It was always going to be a fascinating match up and the pair have been evenly matched in their previous matches.

The first set was always going to be important in this match and Barty came out firing on all cylinders.

Barty appeared calm and collected on her side of the net as she stuck to her game plan, breaking Kerber in the German’s first service game.

From there, Barty always looked confident in keeping her opponent at bay to take the first set.

Kerber though was always going to mount a comeback and she more than threatened to force a decider.

The 33-year-old quickly raced to a 5-2 lead, asking serious questions of the 2019 French Open champion.

Barty answered in emphatic fashion though, breaking back when it mattered most to stay in the set and force a tiebreak.

She then had momentum on her side going into the tiebreak and took full advantage in racing to a 5-0 lead, before clinching the win at 7-3.

“This is incredible and close to as good a tennis match as I will play. Angelique brought the best out of me and now I have a chance on Saturday to live out a childhood dream,” she said.

“You have to enjoy the journey and all the opportunities I have I get to do with the people I love and help me be the best I can be.

“It’s about coming here and having fun. Playing in front of this crowd and on a beautiful court there is nothing better.

“I have had ups, downs and everything in between on this journey. There’s a lot of things which have led to this point. To play in the final at Wimbledon on Saturday will be the best thing ever.”

Author: Stuart Ballard
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Led Zeppelin crowned Greatest Guitar Riff of All Time beating AC/DC, Ozzy and Deep Purple

Led Zeppelin crowned Greatest Guitar Riff of All Time beating AC/DC, Ozzy and Deep Purple

Led Zeppelin exploded onto the scene in 1969 with their eponymous debut album. It was swiftly followed the same year by Led Zeppelin II. No need for fancy album titles (or, indeed, single releases) the London foursome let their music do the talking. From the start, the band had negociated remarkable freedom with their record label, allowing Page to take full control over the production side, as well as writing most of the music on the earlier albums, with Robert Plant on lyrics. But the guitarist is also regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time and his artistry is being celebrated again this week.

A new poll from the readers of Guitar World and Total Guitar has selected the 50 greatest rock guitar riffs of all time.

Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love is in fifth, Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water in fourth, AC/DC’s Back in Black is third with Randy Roads’ legendary riff from Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train in second place.

But it’s not the first and it won’t be the last time that Led Zeppelin’s iconic Whole Lotta Love takes the crown.

Fifty years later and the 1969 track remains as fresh and fiercely influencial as ever. Just look at the faces of Jack White and U2’s Edge as Page takes them through that iconic solo in the video below.

READ MORE: Freddie Mercury filmed his final Queen music video 30 years ago today

Page said: “I came up with the guitar riff for Whole Lotta Love in the summer of ’68, on my houseboat along the Thames in Pangbourne, England. I suppose my early love for big intros by rockabilly guitarists was an inspiration, but as soon as I developed the riff, I knew it was strong enough to drive the entire song, not just open it.

“When I played the riff for the band in my living room several weeks later during rehearsals for our first album, the excitement was immediate and collective. We felt the riff was addictive, like a forbidden thing.”

The guitarist also revealed how added his playing inspired frontman Robert Plant to greater heights.

Page said: “Robert’s vocal was just as extreme. He kept gaining confidence during the session and gave it everything he had. His vocals, like my solos, were about performance. He was pushing to see what he could get out of his voice. We were performing for each other, almost competitively.”

And Page has acknowledged how important the band’s creative freedom was in their evolution: “None of that might’ve happened if I had an outside producer. They might’ve questioned, or not understood, what I was doing, or thought I was just making a bunch of noise. I was able to make sure our ideas were carried out without interference.”

FULL TOP 50 GREATEST GUITAR RIFFS OF ALL TIME IN THE JULY ISSUE OF GUITAR WORLD – OUT NOW

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Kenin reaches 4th round at French Open by beating Pegula

Kenin reaches 4th round at French Open by beating Pegula

Kenin is the highest-seeded player left in the women’s draw at No. 4 and she has shaken a slump with her return to Roland Garros.

Sofia Kenin advanced to the fourth round of the French Open for the third consecutive year by winning a seesaw match on Saturday against Jessica Pegula, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a battle of Americans.

Kenin is the highest-seeded player left in the women’s draw at No. 4, and she has shaken a slump with her return to Roland Garros, where she was the runner-up to Iga Swiatek in October.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic didn’t face a break point en route to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory over unseeded Ričardas Berankis.

The No. 28-seeded Pegula rallied from a 0-3 start to win the first set, but Kenin began stepping into the court to take charge of rallies, especially with a backhand that produced two dozen winners. She hit 48 winners to 18 for Pegula.

“I’m proud of myself for just fighting out there and battling out,” Kenin said.

Kenin had 10 double faults and was broken five times but held in her final four service games to close out the win. The 2020 Australian Open champion, who was sidelined by an appendectomy in February, improved to 10-8 this year.

American Sloane Stephens, who is ranked 59th and is out of the top 50 for the first time since 2017, advanced by beating 18th-seeded Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5. Stephens, the runner-up in 2018, will next face Barbora Krejcikova, who upset fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.

Djokovic advanced to the round of 16 at the French Open for the 12th consecutive year and said he made necessary adjustments on a cool, cloudy afternoon.

“Maybe for those watching it looked simple, but it wasn’t,” he told the crowd in French. “The conditions were different. How do you say in French … the bounce was lower. I think I coped well.”

Djokovic next faces 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who rallied to win an all-Italian matchup against Marco Cecchinato, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Musetti is playing in his first Grand Slam tournament.

Jan-Lennard Struff, a 31-year-old German, matched his best Grand Slam effort by advancing to the fourth round when he beat 18-year-old qualifier Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-2. No. 10 Diego Schwartzman eliminated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.

Wine reported from Miami.

More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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'Boris said no and so did we!' Swiss celebrate beating EU bullies – Brussels losing power

Amy Schumer admits she’s ‘knows nothing’ about Brexit in 2016

The Swiss government said there remained “substantial differences” between the two sides on “key aspects of the agreement”. As a result, they decided to abandon the deal, which would have pushed Switzerland further into the EU’s regulatory orbit.

Lord Hannan warned Brussels the Swiss are unlikely to back down.

He wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “The Swiss are no more likely than the British to give in to threats.

“If their current half-in-half-out deal status is no longer on offer, they will almost certainly move further out.

“And they will be right, for the best way to safeguard their prosperity is to retain the unusual political structures on which it rests.”

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Swiss president Guy Parmelin (Image: GETTY)

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“The Swiss are no more likely than the British to give in to threats” (Image: GETTY)

Switzerland’s trading relationship with the EU is governed by around 120 individual treaties.

However, Brussels has been determined to pull the country closer into its regulatory sphere.

Speaking to Lord Hannan, a Swiss MP said: “It was exactly what they tried to do to you during the Brexit talks.

“They basically wanted us to be non-voting members, following all their rules without a say. Boris said no to them and so have we.”

READ MORE: Hope Nick Clegg is listening! EU army to send military troops on mission ‘within months’

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Switzerland has pulled out of a news framework agreement with the EU (Image: GETTY)

The EU demanded Switzerland embrace full freedom of movement with the bloc as part of the deal.

This would allow EU national to live in Switzerland, and access its social services, even if they don’t have a job.

The move was resisted by the Swiss with Ignazio Cassis, the country’s foreign minister, saying their demands were “not met” by Brussels.

Lord Hannan warned the EU are likely to turn on Switzerland following the rejection.

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Switzerland held a national referendum on immigration in 2020 (Image: GETTY)

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Britain formally left the EU in January 2020 (Image: GETTY)

He commented: “Few expect the EU to let things lie.

“Just as it did during the Brexit talks, it will seek to tighten the screw, excluding Switzerland from common deals on pharmaceuticals, research, financial services and more.

“The fact that it cannot do these things without damaging its own economy is of no concern.

“For Brussels functionaries, European unity is an end in itself, not a means to a better life.”

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The Daily Express campaigned passionately for Brexit (Image: EXPRESS )

As a result of the Swiss decision the country’s medical technology firms, which account for three percent of its GDP, will no longer be able to export to the EU duty-free.

The European Commission said: “We regret this decision, given the progress that has been made over the last years.”

Lord Hannan noted Swiss GDP is twice the EU average, and argued their rejection of the bloc has played a role in this prosperity.

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The UK voted for Brexit in June 2020 (Image: GETTY)

He wrote: “The reason the Swiss did not want to join the EU is that they could see that ever-closer union was incompatible with the principles that govern their confederation, namely the dispersal of power to the cantons and the regular use of referendums.

“Those precepts have served to make them the richest and freest people in Europe.”

Britain formally left the EU in January 2020, more than three years after voting for Brexit.

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Balkan brawler Julija Pajic has nose broken in brutal 51-second loss as fighter’s dream of $1MN MMA prize takes a beating (VIDEO)

Balkan brawler Julija Pajic has nose broken in brutal 51-second loss as fighter’s dream of $1MN MMA prize takes a beating (VIDEO)

Julija Pajic’s hopes of winning the $ 1 million Professional Fighters League (PFL) top prize were shattered in a brutal quickfire beating by Brazilian Larissa Pacheco, who repeatedly hammered her to the head in a savage victory.

Returning after scrapping its plans for 2020, the PFL has come back with explosive action this year – and German-born Montenegrin Pajic, who trains in Croatia, was at the center of it at PFL 3 as she suffered her first defeat.

Powerful Pacheco floored the 23-year-old prospect almost immediately, then pinned her to the floor while raining shots on her head in a display of violence that Pajic had no hope of holding off for the ample remainder of the round.

Bandaged up in hospital, the viral sensation after stopping a man in an inter-gender bout last year revealed that her smile was already back.

“I’m good,” Pajic told her thousands of social media followers, holding up a fist. “People can break your nose, but never let them break your smile.

“I was so confident when I stepped in the cage. I was feeling really good until that left hook connected. I dont know why I made that terrible mistake to step in directly.

“I really wanted to show to my team what a good gameplan we had but I did the opposite and, in the cage, there is no mercy for these kind of mistakes.

“I will keep my head up, remember my mistake and work even harder to never make it again. My next performance will be better.

“I’ve lose my fight but not my hope. My mind is stronger than my bones.

“Thanks for all the support and nice messages that I have had. I will learn and come back stronger. Love you guys.”

Pajic predicted a war in New Jersey and she was not left disappointed by Pacheco, the 26-year-old returning for the first time since a decision defeat on New Year’s Eve 2019.

Thirteen of the lightweight former Jungle Fight champion’s 14 wins have now come by knockout or stoppage, and she made quick work of ending the three-fight unbeaten run with which Pajic had begun her professional career.

Pacheco’s defeat in the final fight for the million-dollar prize in 2019 came against Kayla Harrison, the American double Olympic gold medalist who is considered the contender to beat in the current PFL series.

This time around, Harrison hammered hapless opponent Mariana Morais, although she required a little longer than Pacheco needed for her victory.

Clinching Morais against the fence before taking her down, Harrison battered her increasingly defenseless opponent with an armory of punches recorded at around 14mph.

That was enough for the referee to step in after one minute and 23 seconds and, as was the prize for Pacheco on the night, Harrison to earn six points in the lightweight rankings.

The 30-year-old was in suitably confident mood afterwards. “This isn’t a tournament – it’s a coronation and I’m the queen,” she said bullishly, extending her perfect record to nine wins.

“I’m not one to talk a lot of cr*p – it’s not really who I am. It seems like everybody from boxers to YouTube idiots thinks that they can get in there, and that’s just not the case.

“Luckily for the rest of the world, I believe in equal opportunities. So if anyone thinks they can step to me, they can come and get in the cage. From now on, I’m the baddest woman in this room and in any room.”
Also on rt.com Balkan MMA bruiser Julija Pajic eyes $ 1mn prize as she joins PFL lightweight big guns after beating man in exhibition bout (VIDEO)

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Pep Guardiola 'proud' of Man City stars after beating PSG to reach Champions League final

Pep Guardiola 'proud' of Man City stars after beating PSG to reach Champions League final
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed that he was ‘incredibly proud’ of his side after booking their place in this season’s Champions League final by overcoming Paris Saint-Germain in Tuesday evening’s decisive semi-final clash. Two goals either side of the interval from Riyad Mahrez sealed a 4-1 aggregate victory for the hosts, who will face Chelsea or Real Madrid for a shot at glory at the end of the month.
Guardiola made just two changes from the side that won 2-1 at the Parc des Princes six days ago, with Fernandinho and Oleksandr Zinchenko coming into the side in place of Rodri and Joao Cancelo.

The hosts faced the prospect of an early setback inside the opening five minutes when referee Bjorn Kuipers awarded a penalty to PSG for a handball by Zinchenko, but the decision was quickly overturned with the assistance of VAR.

The Ukranian full-back was heavily involved in his side’s opener just moments later, latching onto an exquisite through pass from Ederson to fire the ball into the mixer, with Mahrez eventually slotting home.

The latter was on target again shortly after the hour mark, before PSG winger Angel Di Maria was sent off for a petulant stamp on Fernandinho.

His dismissal caused the visitors to lose their composure and adopt an overly physical approach with their hopes of European glory fading away, before the full-time whistle confirmed their worst fears and ensured City’s place in the final.

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Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Guardiola admitted that he was thrilled with his side’s performance to maintain their hopes of a stunning treble this season.

After winning the Carabao Cup last month, City look set to claim the Premier League title this weekend, after which a maiden Champions League triumph will be at the top of the agenda.

“It is for all of us and the club,” said Guardiola.  “I’m incredibly proud and my first thoughts are with the players who didn’t play today.

“They all deserved to play, everyone has made a contribution and now it is time to enjoy it. We have to win the league and we have two or three weeks to prepare for the final.”

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Although City deserved to progress and were undoubtedly the better side over the two legs, PSG will be aggrieved in equal measure after failing to match last season’s achievement of reaching the Champions League final.

Guardiola continued, praising his side’s beaten opponents and underlining the brilliance of City as the Premier League champions-elect made light work of the French heavyweights for the second time in a week.

“They win the league every year, they are a team built to win, they fought to the end,” added the Spaniard.

“They are a huge team, but we were so composed. We fought together and we’re in the final of the Champions League and those are nice words.

“People believe it’s easy to arrive in the final of the Champions League. Getting to the final now makes sense of what we have done in the past four or five years. Every day these guys have been consistent and this is remarkable.

“We scored a goal through the hips in the first game, and today Marquinhos hit the bar in the first half – you can be out for little details.”

City will clinch the Premier League title with three games to spare if they can beat Chelsea in their next outing on Saturday evening.

Guardiola will be keeping a close eye on tomorrow night’s match between the Blues and Real Madrid, with the two clubs finely poised at 1-1 ahead of their Champions League semi-final second-leg clash at Stamford Bridge.

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Jorge Masvidal predicts Kamaru Usman will break Colby Covington

Jorge Masvidal predicts Kamaru Usman will break Colby Covington

Jorge Masvidal came up short in his second bid to seize the welterweight title from around the waist of Kamaru Usman, but says that the next man up, UFC firebrand Colby Covington, will suffer a similar fate later this year.

Masvidal was knocked out for the first time in his 50-fight career in last weekend’s UFC event in Jacksonville, Florida when Usman connected a flush right hand that sent ‘Gamebred’ crumpling to the canvas.

The win was Usman’s 14th in succession in the UFC and was enough to raise him to second place in the organization’s pound-for-pound list when the new rankings were released this week – and Masvidal says that Usman’s winning streak is set to continue when he welcomes the challenges of the controversial Covington.

I think Kamaru keeps his hands up and comes to fight Colby the same fight that he did the first time. He just puts a thorough beating on him,” Masvidal told ESPN.

“Colby will try and get some takedowns on him, and it might not work. Colby’s gas tank with other wrestlers is not something he wants to do. That’s why he didn’t take a shot in the first fight, because he knows he’s going to have to get tired.”

The sequel between Usman and Covington will be a rematch of a fiercely competitive fight between the two in December 2019 which ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ won by late TKO finish – a conclusion which Covington has protested ever since.

But as far as Masvidal sees it, there isn’t much that Covington will be able to do against the man who stands alone as the world’s best welterweight fighter.

Also on rt.com Kamaru Usman OBLITERATES Jorge Masvidal with massive KO in welterweight title clash at UFC 261 (VIDEO)

As long as Kamaru is in wrestling shape and comes in the same as the first time, hands up, pressuring him, I think he breaks him again,” Masvidal concluded.

His hands are where they need to be at right now. I bet he’s goingto have more confidence than ever because he knows I’m somebody that’s never been finished.

“So he can definitely take that with a pride of honor, put his hard head on, keep getting the work. I think he gets a finish on Colby.”

Also on rt.com ‘I don’t want him to get smashed’: Fans fear for UFC veteran Diaz after Chimaev targets ‘gangster’, offers Masvidal bout in August

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‘He never left his seat!’ Youngster sends baseball fans wild by effortlessly beating player to viral catch at first game (VIDEO)

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

‘He never left his seat!’ Youngster sends baseball fans wild by effortlessly beating player to viral catch at first game (VIDEO)

A young baseball fan enjoyed a dream first game in the stands by making a fantastic catch during the MLB meeting between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves.

Diamondbacks star Kole Calhoun was attempting to meet a foul fly ball, but found himself having to battle with a 13-year-old supporter of the home team Braves who had brought his own mitt. 

The youngster, Cord McLerran, made the catch, but rather than get irritated by the play that helped the Braves, Calhoun could only show respect through a warm fist-bump in a touching moment.

The Trust Park crowd – and many more online – was sent into raptures by the highlight of a 5-4 win for the hosts, after which, the Fan of the Night was interviewed by local media.

As a pundit bigged the boy up as a “celebrity” with the “coolest glasses I’ve ever seen”, McLerran revealed that Calhoun told him: “You caught that one, let me catch the next one.”

“At first when I saw it I was, like, ‘That can’t be coming to me,'” he explained, when starting to tell the story of the event.

“Then I realized it was and I didn’t know whether to stand up or sit down. So I just went for it. And once I saw it was in my glove, I felt so good,” McLerran went on.

Asked what he was going to “tell the guys at school” about his feat, the boy answered: “Well first I’m going to brag about how close to the foul line I was. Then I’m gonna say ‘Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m famous in Atlanta, Georgia now’.” 

Replying to the clip on Twitter, his mother Samantha remarked that she “would have really loved to have gotten his baseball signed, but Kole Calhoun was so awesome to my son!!!”

“It was Cord’s first ever MLB game!,” she added.

“What a great memory for your family and [a] classy move by Kole. Hope your son’s second favorite team will be the Diamonbacks!,” another MLB enthusiast commented.

Golf social media stunner Paige Spiranac also approved, dropping a simple “I love this” message alongside a welling-up-with-tears emoji.

Also on rt.com ‘I need it to make money’: Golf babe Spiranac hits back at critics telling her to cover up and admits her ‘job is on social media’

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A heavier beating? Relaxed boxing underdog Povetkin weighs in at more for Whyte rematch than he did for sensational KO win (VIDEO)

A heavier beating? Relaxed boxing underdog Povetkin weighs in at more for Whyte rematch than he did for sensational KO win (VIDEO)

Fans of Alexander Povetkin’s capacity to produce stunning knockouts could be encouraged by the weigh-in for his rematch with Dillian Whyte, with the powerful Russian heavyweight adding a few pounds to help land another brutal KO.

While Whyte has caught the eye by looking unusually ripped ahead of the second instalment in Gibraltar on Saturday, Povetkin has put on four-and-a-half pounds from his concussive surprise victory in the first fight in the UK in August, when he ended the evening with a knockout of the year contender.

That could be good news for anyone fearing that the seasoned veteran, who turned 41 a few weeks after that spectacular victory, is still suffering from the worrying bout of Covid-19 that hospitalized him at the end of last year and put paid to more immediate rematch plans.

Whyte, who farcically accused Povetkin of faking his illness at the time, weighed in more than five pounds lighter than his opponent for a fight he is desperate to win to salvage his career, registering at slightly more than 247lbs, making him almost 20lbs heavier than his rival.

The weigh-in was a respectful affair in the sunshine, which Povetkin has admitted he has been enjoying compared to the cold of his homeland, although he still wore tracksuit trousers on the scales and has been donning a Russian-branded tracksuit top for his media interviews this week.

Povetkin and Whyte held their stares in the head-to-head before ‘Sasha’ offered ‘The Body Snatcher’ his hand, resulting in the Londoner responding with a fist-bump invitation that Povetkin accepted.

Promoter Eddie Hearn, who is in Whyte’s camp and stood behind the pair as they faced off, also shared a fist-bump with Povetkin before slapping Whyte encouragingly on the back.

Some critics have rather fancifully suggested that Povetkin’s shuddering fifth-round knockout of Whyte was a ‘lucky punch’ – but he has said he will be more focused on removing the mistakes that saw him knocked down twice in the fourth round, rather than targeting another early finish.

“I’m very happy to be in this unusual place,” he said of the makeshift setting for the fight under the restrictions of the pandemic, which will allow around 500 fans to attend.

“I’m relaxed and confident – the only thing I’m thinking about now is to box well. I forget the first fight because it’s a done story and I think Dillian will be better in the second fight.

“At the same time, I will be more careful to pay attention to my defense. I’m not focused on the knockout, I just need to follow my plan.”

The pair have almost certainly had a memorable week before they have even stepped into the ring. According to reports, the hard-hitting duo have been staying on a five-star ‘super-yacht’ on the Spanish coast, worth almost $ 200 million.
Also on rt.com ‘Boxing is cooler than MMA’, insists Russian heavyweight champ Alexander Povetkin as he plots post-Covid return date against Whyte

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‘We have nothing to fear’: Lucky 13 for Tuchel as Chelsea reach the Champions League quarterfinals by beating Atletico Madrid 2-0

‘We have nothing to fear’: Lucky 13 for Tuchel as Chelsea reach the Champions League quarterfinals by beating Atletico Madrid 2-0

Thomas Tuchel has said that no-one will want to draw Chelsea in Friday’s draw for the Champions League quarterfinals after watching his side sweep to victory over Atletico Madrid, scoring in either half against the Liga leaders.

Atletico have had an outstanding season in Spain, where they are four points clear at the top-flight summit, but could find no way past a Chelsea side who look increasingly formidable as the English Premier League side kept successive clean sheets against an attack including Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.

Two of Chelsea’s expensive new signings, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, combined at speed for the first goal. Germany striker Werner raced free down the left, advanced into the penalty area and crossed for Ziyech to convert the opener just after the half-hour mark.

Even at 2-0 on aggregate, there were reasons to be wary in the light of canny Atletico’s last-gasp victory at Anfield last season, when they knocked holders Liverpool out of the competition.

Chelsea themselves have harrowing memories of the round of 16 stage from last season, looking back on a 7-1 mauling across two dispiriting matches against eventual winners Bayern Munich.

They look far more resolute now. Werner and Ziyech could both have scored after the break and, after Stefan Savic had been sent off for an elbow to Antonio Rudiger’s chest that was as sly as it was violent, substitute Emerson broke clear and added the second.

Thomas Tuchel extended his unbeaten start as Chelsea boss to 13 matches. “The boys play with a special bond and intensity and results like this give you the confidence to know you can achieve something special,” said the man who took over at the end of January at a club that looked to have little chance of challenging in Europe.

“I’m sure no one wants to play us in the last eight – it will be difficult but we will prepare and we have nothing to fear.

“We know if we cannot find solutions with offensive play we can rely on our physical game. We were absolutely not afraid to put it on a physical level if we didn’t get offensive solutions.

“We enjoyed the battle. The guys were totally on and sharp, we were super hungry to go through.”

Very good performance, unbelievable effort, even from the guys in the stands… could feel we totally wanted it. They tried to pressure us high in the first half but opened up some spaces in the back of the midfield and we could exploit it.”

Injured defender Thiago Silva and banned midfielders Jorginho and Mason Mount were seen celebrating in the stands as Emerson’s 94th-minute goal went in at Stamford Bridge.

Atleti coach Diego Simeone conceded that Chelsea were worthy winners. “The first leg was even but they got their goal,” he said, recalling Olivier Giroud’s acrobatic winner in the first encounter.

“Today they were better than us and deserved to win. We tried to find a way to score, but we weren’t at it up top despite our effort.”
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