Atlético Madrid have been left furious after Chelsea were granted permission to host them at Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their Champions League clash.
The two sides met in the first-leg of their last 16 tie earlier this week, with Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick proving to be the difference.
Due to Coronavirus rules in Spain, the game was played in Bucharest, one of several involving English sides forced to take place at neutral venues in both of UEFA’s competitions this week.
However, that is not an issue for the second leg, with UEFA confirming Wednesday that English teams are free to host their opponents for the second legs.
This was something Atlético were aware could happen, but they are ‘angry’ nonetheless, feeling there has been a ‘lack of unity’ and ‘double standards’ in the matter according to Mundo Deportivo.
This is because of Arsenal’s game against Benfica, with the second leg of that also set for a neutral venue and the Spanish side feeling their game should have been handled the same way.
It’s an issue they have not vocalised because they believe deep down any objection is ‘useless’, but the club are annoyed, feeling that there is ‘clear damage’ for them in the way things have been handled.
It’s claimed that not only did the decision to play at a neutral venue hurt Atlético financially but also on a sporting level, with Chelsea getting a home advantage that they were not afforded for the first leg.
Indeed, this is something that Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has even alluded to, further increasing Atlético’s annoyance.
Their belief is that the game should have been treated like Arsenal’s with both legs played on neutral venues, as this would have been the ‘fairest’ way to handle the issue.
UEFA have not done that, though, so Diego Simeone and his team will have to find a way to win at Stamford Bridge, against the odds, if they are to progress.