Wednesday’s soccer news starts with Chelsea taking a 1-0 lead over Atletico Madrid in their Champions League round of 16 series in Bucharest. Olivier Giroud scored the game’s only goal in the 68th minute. Edouard Mendy kept the clean sheet without needing to record a save. Christian Pulisic subbed on for Timo Werner in the 87th minute. The series concludes on March 17 at Stamford Bridge.
“I’m super happy for the players and for my team that we have such a big reward for a top performance,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said. “It was very important that we were absolutely concentrated for all 96 minutes, that we accepted also that it is very hard to create chances, but we did all that.”
Duane Holmes subbed out in the 74th minute of Huddersfield Town’s 2-0 loss at Derby County in the Championship. Trailing from goals in the 22nd and 65th minutes, Huddersfield’s Jaden Brown saw red in the 88th.
It was a game that was important for us to get something from and we didn’t do that,” Huddersfield Town coach Carlos Corberan said. “Now, we feel the pain that we couldn’t do the game we wanted to do, and we couldn’t get the points that we wanted to get.”
Matthew Olosunde subbed out in the 66th minute of Rotherham United’s 1-0 home loss to Nottingham Forest. The goal came in the 67th minute. In League One, Lynden Gooch exited in the 72nd minute of Sunderland’s 2-0 home shutout of Fleetwood Town. Aiden O’Brien scored in the 61st and Max Power made it 2-0 in the 82nd.
“I think with two long away games in six days, maybe I should have changed the team a bit more and freshened it up a bit more,” Rotherham United manager Paul Warne said. “We just didn’t look as sharp or as energetic as I would have liked in the first half. Second half, in fairness we were playing a team that have lost one in 12 and full of confidence with real quality. They were better than us tonight and I can’t be fairer than that.”
Reuters reports that Australia and Qatar won’t participate in the 2021 Copa America. Qatar is also supposed to play in this summer’s Gold Cup as part of their World Cup preparations. Qatar is playing friendlies against group A teams in UEFA World Cup qualifying during the international match windows beginning next month.
The Canadian Soccer Association is also dealing with that country’s travel restrictions due to the pandemic, They’re moving March’s home World Cup qualifier to Orlando’s Expedia Stadium. That March 25 game against Bermuda will go ahead without fans in attendance. “Canada Soccer continues to prioritize the safety for all of our players and staff throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic,” general secretary Peter Montopoli said. Major League Soccer is also facing the travel restriction issue for its three Canadian teams.
SI’s Jonathan Wilson with a Chelsea team moving forward under Thomas Tuchel. The Guardian’s Sid Lowe explains what went wrong for Atletico. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney raises a bigger question about La Liga. The Telegraph on Everton’s stadium plan getting approval. BBC Sport has Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s resignation.
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