Karim Benzema stole the show once again as Real Madrid did just enough to eliminate Chelsea from the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night with a 5-4 aggregate win in their quarterfinal tie.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side came into the match with the upper hand after riding a hat trick scored by Benzema to a 3-1 win in the first leg at Stamford Bridge. Real Madrid advanced to the champions league semi finals despite losing the second leg 3-2 to the Champions League holders, they advanced on aggregate.
After the game, Ancelotti commented, “We endured a lot.” “We fell down 2-0 without earning it. We created chances in the first half, but we didn’t have the desire to score because we didn’t need to, thus 2-0 was unfair in my opinion. We slowed down a little after that, but the 3-0 gave the team a new lease on life. I believe we earned it over the course of the 120 minutes.
“The 3-0 set us free, and from there the crowd began to push, and the magic of this stadium and this club resurfaced.” We knew we’d have to suffer; it’s only natural; Chelsea is still a fantastic team.
“We should be happy with what we’ve accomplished; we played a very difficult last 16 game against PSG and a very difficult quarter final against Chelsea.”
Chelsea took the lead after 15 minutes thanks to Mason Mount’s goal, giving them optimism of turning the tie around after the visitors dominated the first half. After halftime, Antonio Rudiger headed in Mount’s corner, putting them up 2-0 and even the score.
VAR denied Marcos Alonso’s goal for handball, and Benzema struck the crossbar before Timo Werner beat Thibaut Courtois to score it 3-0 and put Chelsea 4-3 up on aggregate.
Soon after, Real Madrid equalised when substitute Rodrygo beat Edouard Mendy with a superb ball into the box from Luka Modric, forcing extra time.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel started Alonso, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, and Werner, while Madrid made only one change from the first game, with Nacho replacing the suspended Eder Militao at centre-back.
“Another fantastic evening at the Bernabeu. The tie became really difficult, and the team’s incredible response propels us into the semifinals, “Nacho informed Movistar following the match. “The most important thing is that we’ve advanced to the next round.
“We have a lot of things to work on, particularly at the start of the game, but this is Real Madrid, and we’re trained not to give up. This club’s DNA is to fight to the last end. The mission has been completed.
“We’re ready to fight for anything, in good times and bad, and even if we didn’t make it, we battled till the end.”
The hosts got the opening chance of the game, with Benzema sending a free kick over the bar after Vinicius Junior was brought down by Reece James, but Chelsea appeared to be the more threatening side.
Mount gave Chelsea the lead by cutting inside and sweeping the ball past Courtois. Kai Havertz had a shot deflected wide and Rudiger headed onto the roof of the goal before Mount gave Chelsea the lead by cutting inside and sweeping the ball clinically past Courtois.
The hosts attempted to retaliate, and Benzema’s left-footed drive was deflected off target, but Chelsea went into the interval ahead and in command.
The European champions extended their lead in the 51st minute as Reece James’ attempt was deflected wide and Rudiger scored from the resulting corner with a powerful header.
After Benzema’s free kick was saved by Mendy, Chelsea believed they’d taken the lead when Alonso blasted past Courtois, only for VAR to properly rule the goal out for handball. Following Benzema’s mazy move through the area, Chelsea scored in the 75th minute through Werner, who sent a shot that Courtois could only parry over the line after the German’s mazy run through the area.
Nacho added: “At his age he is just getting better day by day. He is an example not just for people but for people in general. Its like he is the youngest in the team. Lets hope he stays with us for many more years.
Benzema was on hand for more Champions League heroics in extra time when he ran into onto a clipped-in cross from Vinicius and beat mendy to the header that sent real madrid into the semi-finals.
Villarreal stunned Bayern Munich with a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, winning their tie with the German champions 2-1 on aggregate and advancing to the European quarterfinals.
Ancelotti stated, “We’re very thrilled for Villarreal.” “Tonight’s match between Real Madrid and Villarreal has given Spanish football a lift throughout Europe. People claimed that Spanish teams were not on the same level as English ones, yet now two Spanish teams are in the Champions League semi finals.”