Football: Batshuayi strikes late to give Chelsea win at Atletico

Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their second goal.
Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their second goal.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (REUTERS) - Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to snatch a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday (Sept 27) with the last kick of the game, taking Antonio Conte's side top of Champions League Group C.

France international Antoine Griezmann rammed a penalty beyond former Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to give the home side a barely deserved lead in the 40th minute, scoring the first European goal at their new stadium after striking the first Liga goal there this month.

Former Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata, who also spent time in Atletico's youth system, pulled Chelsea level by glancing in Eden Hazard's cross in the 60th minute after the visitors had failed to make their first-half dominance count.

Batshuayi replaced Morata with seven minutes remaining and inflicted a first home defeat on Atletico since September, 2015 by turning in a Marcos Alonso cutback from close range deep into stoppage-time.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone has likened Atletico's new home to the Circus Maximus in Rome and the team's famously vociferous fans made a noise fitting of the biggest game in the stadium's short existence, but Chelsea soon calmed the atmosphere.

Hazard, without a goal in the Champions League since March 2015, was Chelsea's chief creator, dashing through the middle to lay the ball off for Morata to screw wide and hitting the woodwork with a ferocious long range strike the next.

Atletico struggled to get into Chelsea's half but capitalised from their first real foray forward. A deflected shot from Saul Niguez earned a corner from which David Luiz hauled Lucas Hernandez to the floor, leaving Griezmann to score a third goal in four games.

Simeone's side could have grabbed a second on the cusp of halftime when Courtois could only hold Koke's stinging shot but Saul slotted the rebound just wide of the near post.

A two-goal deficit would have been grossly unfair on Conte's adventurous side, who also had the better of the second half.

Morata wasted a chance to strike again when he skipped towards goal unchallenged, scuffing the ball wide of Oblak's goal, but Belgian international Batshuayi needed just one chance to grab a win that was as dramatic as it was deserved.