Real beat Chelsea to take control of UCL quarter-final

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  • Post published:April 13, 2023

Real Madrid put in a dominant performance as they defeated 10-man Chelsea 2-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday evening.

The record 14-time winners and reigning champions beat Frank Lampard’s team easily. In the second half, Ben Chilwell was sent off for pulling down Rodrygo Goes as he ran through on goal.

After 21 minutes, Benzema scored from close range after Kepa Arrizabalaga tipped a shot by Vinicius Junior into his path.

Even though Madrid was in charge of the game, they didn’t get their second goal until the 74th minute. After a short corner routine, Asensio scored from the edge of the box.

In a match between the last two winners of the Champions League, Madrid showed how strong they are, while Chelsea showed why they are struggling in 11th place in the Premier League.

“We are satisfied with the result, for the performance but it’s not over yet, we have to fight, to sacrifice for another 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge,” said Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“We are satisfied only for tonight, it’s not over yet. We know Chelsea will try to (give) everything next week.”

When Ancelotti was Lampard’s coach at Chelsea from 2009 to 2011, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric were the ones who ran the show.

Lampard took over as manager last week after Graham Potter was fired. In his second game in charge, Lampard put Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante right into the starting lineup because of injury concerns.

Kante did very well against Real Madrid in the 2021 semis. Chelsea beat Madrid and went on to win the trophy for the second time. Lampard was happy with Kante’s performance.

At the start of the game, the French midfielder put on-loan Atletico striker Joao Felix through on goal, but Felix’s shot was saved by Thibaut Courtois, who used to play for Chelsea.

Before the game, Madrid fans showed their support for Fede Valverde after he was accused of punching Alex Baena of Villarreal on Saturday. He almost thanked them with a piledriver that just missed the goal.

“For me he was the best player on the pitch, he put in a lot of energy,” said Ancelotti.

“He was impeccable at recovering the ball.”

Last season, Benzema scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge and scored the goal that sent Madrid through against the Blues in the second leg. He opened the scoring against Chelsea by tapping in his sixth goal.

Dani Carvajal sent a tempting ball over the top, and even though Kepa stopped Vinicius’s shot with his fingers, Benzema just had to tap it in.

Chelsea almost scored right away, but Raheem Sterling’s close-range shot was saved by Courtois in a spectacular way.

Madrid played with their opponents and kept them in their own box for long periods of time. Vinicius, Rodrygo, and David Alaba all came close to scoring for Madrid.

Photo by EPA/Rodrigo Jimenez