A remarkable 94th-minute winner from the unlikely source of fringe forward Michy Batshuayi was enough for Chelsea to claim a vital three points in Spain last night at the mercy of an unsuspecting Atletico Madrid.
Batshuayi’s strike reaffirmed Antonio Conte’s men’s place at the summit of Group C, but for Diego Simeone’s men, their fate is now out of their hands with just one point from their opening two fixtures.
However, it had all looked so promising for the home side at one point as they led for the middle part of the 90 minutes through an Antoine Griezmann penalty.
Before the visitors struck back through in-form Alvaro Morata and the aforementioned Batshuayi.
Heading into the tie, Simeone made four changes to the side that overcame Sevilla at the weekend with Juanfran, Diego Godin, Teye Thomas and Angel Correa replacing Sime Vrsaljko, Stefan Savic, Gabriel Fernandez and Luciano Vietto.
Meanwhile, Conte, who was looking to cause an upset in the first ever European game at Wanda Metropolitano, did exactly the same as his counterpart in making four replacements from Saturday’s thrashing of Stoke City.
David Luiz replaced Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill came in for Antonio Rudiger, Cesc Fabregas replaced Willian and Eden Hazard made his anticipated return for Pedro.
So, as the stage was set perfectly and 70,000 fans packed in tightly in Madrid for a historic night, play could begin.
It would be the visitors that made the brighter start as Eden Hazard, first fired wide and then saw his deflected effort strike the post all inside the first 15 minutes.
However, Atletico soon bit back and would be awarded a penalty by referee Cuneyt Cakır as Luiz, who is currently serving a Premier League suspension after seeing red against Arsenal, pulled down Lucas Hernandez inside the area.
Antoine Griezmann needed no second chance to convert past Thibaut Courtois from 12 yards and put his side, after drawing 1-1 with Roma in Matchday One, ahead.
Just moments, later it should have been two for Madrid as Saul Niguez fired just wide on the rebound of a Koke effort, the miss would prove costly as it wouldn’t take Chelsea very long at all to level in the second period.
A superb Hazard delivery intricately picked out the head of Alvaro Morata to glance the ball past Jan Oblak to level things up on 60 minutes.
The goal, Morata’s seventh of the season in all competitions for the Blues, had extra significance considering his playing history with Atletico’s Rivals Real Madrid.
They say opposition goals at your new stadium are like buses, no team ever scores one and then the first one is duly followed by the second.
This would be exactly the case in the Spanish capital, as in added time, the most unexpected of scorers would pop up in the form of Batshuayi to convert a fantastic team move and, more specifically, a Marcos Alonso cross.
The notch, coming just seconds before the final whistle, sent the travelling Blue Army into a frenzy and continued Chelsea’s magnificent recent form.
Having departed the Estadio Vicente Calderon in the summer, Atletico have now tasted defeat for the first time in their new surroundings and worse still, are staring an early exit from the Champions League directly in the eyes.
Both of these two teams will be back in the league action over the course of the weekend as the West London side host Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday evening.
Whereas, Atleti travel to face La Liga strugglers CD Leganes at the same time.
When the Champions League returns for the Group Stage Matchday Three, Chelsea will play host to Roma with Atletico travelling to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag FK in a must-win clash.