UEFA Champions League: Chelsea, Bayern comeback bids come up short
Never rule out the champs, said Chelsea.
But then again, never rule out the champs, added Bayern Munich.
And lastly, never rule out the champs, exclaimed Real Madrid.
Only one of those teams is still alive in the UEFA Champions League after Tuesday.
Tuesday’s UCL quarterfinal second legs did not disappoint to neutrals, as Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Villarreal, and Real Madrid each spent time feeling good about their places in the semifinal.
Ultimately it was those who held the first-leg advantages that sealed berths in the semifinal stage. Here’s how Real Madrid and Villarreal made sure La Liga put teams on both sides of the semifinal bracket in the hopes of a May 28 date in Saint-Denis.
Chelsea’s powerful comeback gets Benzema’d
Real Madrid might as well have not been at the Bernabeu until the very late stages of Tuesday’s second leg, but will be able to claim a place in the final four of the tournament despite being second-best for most of both legs of their quarterfinal tie with Chelsea.
Real Madrid was largely played off the pitch after a brief strong spell to start Tuesday’s match, a 3-1 first-leg lead turning into a 4-3 disadvantage by the 75th minute in Spain thanks to goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger, and Timo Werner.
But Luka Modric’s audacious 80th-minute assist to Rodrygo forced extra time and Karim Benzema used extra time to score his fourth goal of the tie and send Real to a date with either Manchester City or city rivals Atletico Madrid (Man City leads 1-0 after 90 minutes).
Chelsea out-attempted Real Madrid 20-8 at home and 28-10 in Spain but could not get the better of former boss Carlo Ancelotti over 210 minutes.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea final score, stats
Real Madrid 2-3 (5-4 agg) Chelsea
Scorers: Mount (15'), Rudiger (51'), Werner (75'), Rodrygo (80'), Benzema (96')
Shot attempts: Real Madrid 10, Chelsea 28
Shots on goal: Real Madrid 4, Chelsea 7
Possession: Real Madrid 44, Chelsea 56
Bayern bounced by The Yellow Submarine
Unai Emery knows how to manage tournament football, and he’s led Villarreal past Bayern Munich after a 1-1 second leg in Germany gave La Liga’s side a 2-1 aggregate win over the 2020-21 champions.
Robert Lewandowski -- who else? -- pushed Bayern level at 1-1 with an early second-half goal, but the side that led by one after 90 minutes would lead by one after 180 when Samuel Chukwueze found an 88th-minute equalizer.
Bayern will face either Liverpool or Benfica in the semifinal, with Liverpool well on its way through 90 minutes.
Bayern Munich vs Villarreal final score, stats
Bayern Munich 1-1 (1-2 agg) Villarreal
Scorers: LewandowskI (52'), Chukwueze (88')
Shot attempts: Bayern Munich 23, Villarreal 4
Shots on goal: Bayern Munich 4, Villarreal 1
Possession: Bayern Munich 68, Villarreal 32