June 6, 2023


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Chelsea face quarter-final exit after first-leg defeat at Madrid

2 min read

Real Madrid put one foot into the Champions League semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

Los Blancos were comfortably on top for the vast majority of the game and could have easily scored more than twice. Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the first half and Marco Asensio finished it after the break, after Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red for pulling down Rodrygo.

Chelsea focused on countering early on and Joao Felix went charging through one-on-one after just 90 seconds, but he was chased down by Eder Militao and could only send his shot directly at the grateful Thibaut Courtois.

The Blues were solid at the back as well and it took the ball-dominant Real 12 minutes for their first sight of goal. Benzema weaved his way into the box but was pushed into a narrow angle and fired into Kepa’s arms.

Some sloppy play out from the back from Chelsea was punished 20 minutes in as Dani Carvajal played through Vinicius Junior, whose effort was palmed into the path of Benzema for a simple tap-in.

Chelsea nearly responded immediately as Reece James crossed to cause chaos in the box, but Courtois reacted fast to deflect the ball behind the post.

In an all-action first 25 minutes, Vinicius could have scored straight after as he burst into the box and dinked the ball over Kepa, but Thiago Silva was there to clear off the line.

Los Blancos started to take complete control, with wave after wave of attack going towards a Chelsea backline which, while looking a little frantic, dealt with most of the threat fairly well.

Things remained that way for the rest of the first half. Real ended with 60% possession and outshot Chelsea ten to three, having dominated things before the break but failed to add to their lead.

It was the same story to start the second half as Real came charging forwards. Just five minutes in, Luka Modric sent an effort curling over the bar from the edge of the box, with Chelsea still hanging on.

That task was made infinitely harder just before the hour mark as Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card for pulling Rodrygo down as the last man.

Chelsea survived a further 15 minutes before the second goal went in. A quick corner landed at the feet of Asensio on the edge of the box, and the Spaniard bent his effort into the bottom corner.

Benzema should have added a third in the dying embers but surprisingly sent his header flying over the bar, before Mason Mount’s attempt to pull one back was superbly blocked by Antonio Rudiger.

Overall, it was routine for Real, who will be frustrated not to be completely out of sight in the tie.

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