If you wanted to know the story of Chelsea’s first Champions League away trip of the 2017-18 campaign – and of the first European night at Atletico Madrid’s new crown jewel, the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano – all you had to do was train a set of eyes, or a camera, on Antonio Conte.


The fiery Italian manager rode a roller coaster of emotions through a pulsating 2-1 win in Madrid that was settled less than five seconds before the final whistle. Michy Batshuayi popped up to give Chelsea a deserved three points:

Batshuayi gives #CFC the win on the last kick of the game. #AtletiChelsea #UCL #chelseafc pic.twitter.com/cs5VlQhyru

— dave (@DesTaquito1) September 27, 2017

And Conte jumped for joy, running through his technical area, his hair flapping wildly as he did. Minutes later, he couldn’t stop pumping his fists in the direction of the traveling Chelsea supporters. He knew what a memorable night this had just become.

The previous 90-plus minutes had given him plenty of reason for both pride and exasperation. His Blues gave a fantastic account of themselves. But he knew they had played well enough to claim a victory.

That’s why he stormed back to his bench, intense rage oozing out of his face, as Alvaro Morata dragged two first-half chances wide, and after Eden Hazard’s deflected shot struck the post. And it’s why he almost fell to the Metropolitano turf on at least one occasion – Cesc Fabregas couldn’t quite sort out his feet to stab home a second-half sitter.

But Conte also raged in a celebratory sense when Morata cancelled out a first-half Atleti penalty with a second half header. That looked to have snatched Chelsea a point. And then, incredibly, with literally the last kick of the game, Batshuayi brought two more back to London.

Chelsea stuns Atletico

Conte had to have been fuming, though, as he trudged back to the dressing room at halftime. Because … well, because David Luiz happened.

There is no way to predict when Luiz’s ultra-competitive yet fragile psyche will crumble. There is no telling when the relevant neurons in his soccer brain will start firing like mad. No telling when the mistake will come.

It arrived on Wednesday six minutes before halftime, and it undid a lot of positive play from Chelsea throughout the first half. It looked like it might even be the defining moment of the night in Madrid.

Luiz grabbed a fistful of Lucas Hernandez’s jersey on an Atletico corner, dragging him to the ground and forcing the referee to point to the spot. Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty, and Atletico led at the break.

But Luiz set off the move that got Chelsea an equalizer. He pinged a ball out to Hazard on the left wing. Hazard’s cross was magnificent, as was Morata’s flicked header:

Goool del Chelsea

Min 60’|Morata

Atlético de Madrid 1-1 Chelsea pic.twitter.com/UTU8d3g0xZ

— By Chacón G_ (@bychacong_) September 27, 2017

Conte was the first to greet Morata as the Spaniard ran to the bench to celebrate. He then wrapped up Hazard in a ferocious embrace.

The entire game was played at an extremely high level. It might have been the best two-sided match of the Champions League thus far. And few would have complained had it ended all square.

But if there was going to be a winner, it always seemed likely to be Chelsea. Luiz won a free kick in the attacking half. Chelsea played it short, and would have been lambasted for the decision had a chance not materialized. But the Blues stayed patient, took advantage of an overload on the far side of the penalty area, and shocked the Metropolitano. [/restrict]