There may have been no fans inside Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea roar to a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, but instead up in the stands there was the most expensive bunch of cheerleaders ever assembled.
The injured Thiago Silva and suspended duo Jorginho and Mason Mount were all forced to watch on from above as Chelsea tried to book their place in the Champions League quarter-final.
Hakim Ziyech and Emerson may have grabbed the goals, but it was the three players in the stands who gave us the best highlight of the game.
Silva was clearly fascinated by what was going on, so much so that his knees appeared to be slowly imploding beneath him. He even looked to be in genuine pain at times, but even that could not stop him from barking orders at his team-mates.
He celebrated Emerson’s 94th-minute strike with more enthusiasm that some of the on-field players, calling over Jorginho and Mount for the cutest little cuddle you’ve ever seen.
If you were in any doubt as to whether Chelsea is a fun place to be these days, there’s your answer.
Silva was even more animated than manager Thomas Tuchel, who spent most of the game sat down with a wry smile on his face as Atletico counterpart Diego Simeone marched up and down the touchline tearing his hair out at another poor performance from his side.
Whatever Silva was saying to the team, it obviously worked out. Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma were a couple of behemoths at the back, and the video of the pair making Mario Hermoso scurry off in fear is incredible.
For Tuchel, his 13-game unbeaten streak as Chelsea boss continues. His Blues have conceded just twice in all competitions since his arrival, one of which was a calamitous own goal from Rudiger. Southampton’s Takumi Minamino is the only opposition player to find a way through.
You can see why Tuchel thinks teams will be scared to face Chelsea in the quarter-final. They’re solid on the pitch and come with the most devastatingly inspirational cheer squad on the planet. It’s the full package.
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