Chelsea proved there was life after Diego Costa as strikers Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi both scored as Atletico Madrid were beaten at their new stadium.

Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring against the run of play after David Luiz gave away a needless penalty in the first half following a dominant period for the visitors.

But Antonio Conte & Co. roared back with Morata’s seventh goal in seven games and Batshuayi’s close-range finish with the last kick of the game.

Simon Johnson was in Spain to assess the key talking points…

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Luiz is always capable of doing something rash

No-one can dispute Chelsea’s decision to re-sign Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain last year, but he is having a month to forget. After a needless red card late on in the goalless draw against Arsenal, came another moment of madness at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Chelsea were on top and in complete control. Perhaps that was the problem, the game was too easy for Luiz and he switched off mentally. How else can you explain the idiotic shirt pull on Lucas Hernandez in the penalty area from a harmless corner kick?

Suddenly Atletico were gifted the chance to take a half-time lead from the spot and the hitherto subdued crowd found their voice.

Chelsea’s impressive display for the best part of 40 minutes was all for nothing and Luiz must have faced some awkward questions during the interval. Luckily his team-mates bailed him out.

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Griezmann scores but fails to impress

Up until he scored from the penalty spot, the most noteworthy thing about Griezmann was his long, blonde, flowing locks. It is never a good sign when a footballer’s haircut stands out more than his football display.

The spot kick was dispatched cooly past Thibaut Courtois, but apart from that it was hard to recall anything else the France international did.

Now, this is a player that has a £92m release clause in his contract and is once again being linked with a move to Manchester United.

Griezmann has been performing consistently for such a long time that one performance won’t change his status in the world game, yet he was disappointing nevertheless.

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Hazard is ready to take on Europe’s finest

In Chelsea’s pre-match press conference, Antonio Conte was asked whether the time has come for Hazard to perform in the Champions League. 

The Italian was pretty confident the Belgian, who has flattered to deceive at times in the tournament, was ready and so it proved.

In one of the toughest venues, Hazard caused Atletico’s defenders problems times and time again. One shot, albeit via a deflection, struck the post, while some of his menacing dribbles were only stopped by a desperate tackle from the last man.

There was nothing Atletico could do to stop his superb cross from finding the head of Alvaro Morata though and significantly four of his team-mates ran to congratulate him rather than the scorer such was the quality of the assist.

Hazard still didn’t add to his goal tally, which stands at five, but surely it won’t be long before that is improved.

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Torres is still very popular in these parts

Torres is a shadow of the player that came through Atletico’s youth ranks, but how the homes fans adore him. His shirt still takes pride of place in the club shop among the younger heroes and sells very well.

The arrival of Diego Costa, who will only be eligible to play in January, will surely limit his first-team appearances even more.

But Torres, who struggled for three and a half years at Chelsea, can do no wrong as far as the Atletico fans are concerned. He was given the loudest cheer of the night when he came on as a second-half substitute and there were a few flashes of the Spaniard’s old attacking style. 

Arguably his career highlight remains in a Chelsea jersey though and that goal in the 2012 semi-final against Barcelona.

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Chelsea have a chance to take control of the group

It was vital Chelsea avoided defeat but they went one better with here Michy Batshuayi’s remarkable late winner.

With Atletico now playing back-to-back games against minnows Qarabag, who lost to Roma earlier in the day, the Blues would have been under a lot of pressure to progress if they’d been beaten.

Instead, they now go into their double-header against Roma, the first of which is at Stamford Bridge, in the strongest possible position.

Roma won’t be looking forward to facing Chelsea on this evidence as Atletico are a better side than the Italians. Not only that, Chelsea will now go into their league match against title rivals Manchester City on Saturday full of confidence

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-analysis-eden-hazard-proves-his-champions-league-pedigree-as-rash-david-luiz-bailed-out-a3645451.html