Atletico Madrid and Chelsea both warmed up for their Champions League semi-final clash at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday with impressive away victories in their respective leagues.
The Blues blew open the Premier League title race by impressively beating league leaders Liverpool 2-0 on Merseyside.
In a typical defensive manner reminiscent of their recent draw with Atletico in Madrid, Chelsea spent the majority of the game camped inside their own half and breaking with pace when the opportunity arose.
Striker Demba Ba capitalised on a Steven Gerrard mistake to give Mournho’s men the lead in first-half stoppage time, before a resolute second-half display was rewarded when Brazilian midfielder Willian wrapped up the three points in injury time.
Diego Simeone’s men, on the other hand, continued their relentless drive towards a first La Liga crown since 1996 by downing Valencia 1-0 at the Mestalla stadium. It was their ninth win on the spin, and their eighth clean sheet over that period.
When asked whether Atletico’s win will give the Rojiblancos extra motivation for the Chelsea match, Simeone declined before labelling his upcoming opponents as awesome.
“La Liga doesn’t have anything to do with the Champions League.” He said, quoted by Spanish press AS.
“Chelsea have an awesome team because they have just won 2-0 with a rotated line-up. It’s a very powerful team.”
Jose Mourinho decided to ring the changes at Anfield, with one eye on the Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.
Following the 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon in the first leg, the Blues know that a victory at Stamford Bridge will place them in an excellent position to cap off Mourinho’s first season back by winning Europe's ultimate prize.