Real Madrid edge Chelsea in extra time to send reigning champions out

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Real Madrid 2-3 Chelsea (5-4 on aggregate)


Thomas Tuchel was near hysterical on the touchline for almost the entirety of Chelsea’s quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid and he probably won’t calm down too much when he sits down for his post-match analysis. After outplaying Madrid for much of the match, Tuchel and Chelsea fans were left wondering what might have been if they had taken their chances.

After just 15 minutes, Chelsea were ahead through a well-worked and well-finished goal by Mason Mount, which gave them the belief to take control of the match. Pushing and probing in the first half, they got their reward just six minutes into the second, as Antonio Rudiger headed in from a corner.

The match entered a new phase from that point on with the hosts forced to be more adventurous. Marcos Alonso had a goal disallowed for handball, coming down the left side. Timo Werner would then exploit that same gap and placed two Real Madrid defenders on the floor before squeezing his effort past Thibaut Courtois. At this point Chelsea were 4-3 to the good on aggregate, but hadn’t faced the inevitable Madrid reaction.

Unsurprisingly it was Luka Modric who intervened to produce an incredibly accurate ball, half a goal in itself, for Rodrygo to finish first time past Edouard Mendy with ten minutes remaining. The Santiago Bernabeu was raising the noise level and as the stakes grew with it, so did the Real Madrid stars. Christian Pulisic had two chances in stoppage time to win it, before the extra period began. The sort that already worry fans about the potential consequences before they happen.

Naturally, Karim Benzema, the decisive factor in the tie was the one to punish Chelsea six minutes into extra time. Vinicius Junior flew down the left and lofted it for Benzema to head home – for once free of Rudiger. What will sicken Chelsea most is that the excellent Kai Havertz flashed a simple headed chance wide after that, before Jorginho dragged a late effort wide too.

Chelsea leave Madrid with a sense of frustration despite beating Real Madrid 3-1 away from home after 90 minutes. It could and should have been more. There’s something about Real Madrid though. Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

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