Real Madrid beat Chelsea 2-0 again in 2nd leg, reach UCL semis again
Real Madrid confirmed their place in the UEFA Champions League semifinals with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea (4-0 on aggregate) at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
[ LIVE: Chelsea vs Real Madrid stats ]
Rodrygo scored twice on the night as Real Madrid reached the final four for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will almost certainly face fellow favorites Manchester City, who hold a 3-0 advantage ahead of leg no. 2 vs Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
By the start of the second half, it was all Chelsea, as the Blues grew stronger and stronger and scoring chances just went begging, but they were clearly the side in total control — right up until Real Madrid scored the opening goal on the counter-attack.
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Rodrygo got the goal in the 58th minute following a scramble in the six-yard box, and the Brazilian forward walked the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 in the 80th minute. Real Madrid bent time and again as Chelsea tried to get back in the tie, but the defending European champions were vastly superior when it mattered most — in the final third.
Some good news, some bad news for Chelsea
Aside from their 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on March 7, Tuesday was the best Chelsea performance since early October. That’s six months with one (1) performance to be proud of at full-time. This is, perhaps, something to build on. Frank Lampard was very defensive with his lineup selection, and it allowed Chelsea to absorb pressure and create a few decent chances on the counter. (It’s not the way you’d expect a squad with such a price tag to play, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The personnel and system were functional; they looked competent and almost cohesive. These are real improvements for a club that currently sits 11th in the Premier League table and has fired two permanent managers already this season.
And now, the bad: None of it mattered one bit, nor did it ever feel like it could potentially matter. Chelsea were just good enough to avoid embarrassing themselves and letting the aggregate score get out of hand, but so woefully unprepared for the critical moments. It was an admirable and respectable performance from Chelsea, but that’s it against a side that has won five Champions League trophies in nine seasons.
Stars of the show
Chelsea vs Real Madrid second leg, live score: 0-2 (0-4 agg.)
58th minute - Rodrygo eventually finds a way through for the opening goal
80th minute - Rodrygo walks in goal no. 2, sends Real Madrid through to semifinals
How to watch Chelsea vs Real Madrid live, stream link, updates and start time
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Look, Chelsea’s entire season hinges on this game. After being battered at home by Brighton on Saturday, Frank Lampard has to somehow make his team believe they can get past mighty Real Madrid. If they score early then Stamford Bridge will be rocking and anything is possible as there is real quality in this Chelsea side. But the main problem is the belief. Chelsea’s superstar players are going through a real identity crisis and the only way they can salvage their season is by beating Real Madrid, then beating likely Manchester City at the semifinal stage and then winning the final to qualify for the Champions League next season. It all seems very unlikely right now.
Real have been able to rest players for La Liga games in-between these clashes against Chelsea and Ancelotti and his very experienced core of players are using all of their nous to guide themselves towards what they hope will be a record-extending 15th European Cup title. They dominated possession against Chelsea and did what they had to do in the first leg to set up what should be a comfortable second leg in west London.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Armando Broja (knee), Carney Chukwuemeka (knock), Ben Chilwell (suspension), Kalidou Koulibaly (thigh), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (back)
Real Madrid team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Ferland Mendy (knock)