Real Madrid vs Chelsea

The Champions League returned to our screens on Tuesday evening, with a huge tie.

Real Madrid played host to Chelsea in the first of two semi-final meetings.

The winner of the clash is set to face off with one of Manchester City or PSG in the competition’s showpiece.

Both outfits headed into tonight’s game in fairly decent form, with Chelsea’s last outing having seen them secure a crucial 1-0 win over top-four rivals, West Ham.

Madrid, meanwhile, were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Betis at the weekend, but remained on a 17-game unbeaten run across all competitions in the process.

So, a closely contested affair was widely predicted at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. And, when the 90 minutes were up, that is exactly what unfolded in the Spanish capital.

Brilliant Benzema

The first major moment of the game came 10 minutes in, when Chelsea broke through Christian Pulisic. The ball eventually fell to Timo Werner, but the German, as has become a common sight of late, failed to beat the keeper from just six yards out:

Courtois with a BIG early save against his former side! 🧤❌

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2021

Pulisic, though, made no mistake just three minutes later, in firing the Blues into the lead.

Antonio Rudiger played a lofted ball over the top to the American, who kept his composure to glide past Thibaut Courtois before smashing the ball into an open goal:

Christian Pulisic with a superb solo effort! 🔥

He kept his head to take the ball down, round Courtois, and finish off the move 👏👏👏

Chelsea lead!

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2021

Madrid, who had been dominated early on, responded well following the opener. Karim Benzema burst forward to smash a long-range effort off Edouard Mendy’s post 23 minutes in.

Los Blancos’ second chance of the game fell to Benzema, too, with the Frenchman having this time fired a volley straight into the roof of Mendy’s net:


Benzema smashes the ball home on the turn and volley. Such a clinical strike!

Against the run of play Real Madrid are level…

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2021

Werner then wasted a Chelsea break by shooting wide, when he had Mason Mount as a much better option.

The half-time whistle blew shortly after, with both sides probably fairly happy with the opening 45 minutes.

Chelsea earn key away goal but Werner continues to struggle

The second-half began much the same way the first did, with Chelsea on top.

The Londoners’ first half chance following the break saw Marcelo get in the way of Werner’s effort.

The score remained deadlocked after an hour, though, with both sides, in turn, having opted to shake things up somewhat.

Former Blue Eden Hazard was brought on by Madrid, whilst Thomas Tuchel opted to introduce Reece James, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.

Pulisic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Werner were the men to make way, with the latter having again looked short on confidence in front of goal – something which will no doubt trouble Tuchel, who has continued to place his faith in the former RB Leipzig man.

In the end, the changes failed to have the desired impact, though, with Chelsea set to head back to Stamford Bridge with a crucial away goal.

Overall, the Pensioners produced a solid showing in the Spanish capital, with N’Golo Kante particularly impressive – earning himself some high praise from former Chelsea man, Cesc Fabregas:

N’golo has always been a big game player. Never doubt him. He plays for 2.

— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) April 27, 2021

Given the fact that, over the 90 minutes, Chelsea did enjoy the better of things, though, Tuchel and co. will be left to wonder what could have been, had Werner not been so poor in front of goal once again.

The German’s dismal finishing both on Tuesday, and across the campaign as a whole, can be summed up by the rather concerning statistic below:

No Premier League player has missed more Big Chances in league and European competition this season than Timo Werner:

◎ 29 Big Chances
◉ 21 missed
◎ 8 scored

Another huge chance tonight. #UCL

— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 27, 2021

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