Real Madrid swept aside Chelsea Wednesday in a Champions League quarterfinal first leg matchup. The home Bernabeu crowd were treated with a fantastic performance by the reigning European champions. Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo regularly torched Chelsea’s defense throughout the evening.
The matchup was particularly interesting because of the ties between the two managers. Chelsea’s interim boss Frank Lampard played under Carlo Ancelotti when the Italian was with the Blues from 2009 to 2011.
Chelsea’s counter-attack was looking dangerous in the opening stages of the first half on Wednesday. Joao Felix, a player Real will know well for his time at Atletico Madrid, got in behind the backline twice in the first five minutes. Nevertheless, Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao were able to snuff out the danger.
A familiar scorer for Real Madrid against Chelsea in quarterfinal
The hosts would settle, though, and eventually open the scoring in the 21st minute. Dani Carvajal put a lobbed pass over the Chelsea defense and into Vinicius Jr.’s path. Kepa Arrizabalaga got a paw on the ball after the Brazilian controlled it. Karim Benzema, however, was the first player to pounce and put the ball into the wide open net from a yard away.
Chelsea nearly leveled the scoreline just a minute later. Reece James sent a dangerous cross towards Raheem Sterling at the edge of the six-yard box. The England international couldn’t get quality contact on the ball though and it deflected off of Militao towards goal. Courtois was once again up to the task and made the diving save to keep the score 1-0.
Chelsea’s chances diminished after red card
Real put more pressure on the visitors in the 59th minute when Ben Chilwell was sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring chance. The England international brought down Rodrygo as the Brazilian rushed towards goal. Toni Kroos played in Rodrygo with another excellent ball over the top. Chilwell elected to bring down the attacker rather than take his chances with a potential one-on-one opportunity.
Second half substitute Marco Asensio doubled Real’s lead in the 74th minute with a quality finish. The Spanish international threaded the needle with a low shot that somehow made its way through the Chelsea defense. The goal came from the hosts making a series of slick passes after taking a corner kick. Vinicius provided the final ball for the assist.
Despite the man advantage for over 30 minutes, the hosts only managed the two goals. Nevertheless, Real will take a solid advantage to Stamford Bridge next week. The eventual winners of the tie are set to face either Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the semifinals of the competition.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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