Champions League: Real Madrid vs Chelsea 12/4/22 – Full Match Report

Updated: Apr 18

Despite putting up a tremendous fight, Chelsea head out of Europe following extra-time heartache in Madrid.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-Game:

After last week’s crushing defeat at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea travelled to Madrid looking to become the first team in Champions League history to come back from a two-goal deficit when playing the first leg at home.


After suffering back-to-back defeats on home soil, Thomas Tuchel’s side made a statement of intent on Saturday afternoon as they hit Southampton for six. This marked Chelsea’s seventh consecutive away victory in all competitions, which led them determined to make history in the Spanish capital.


The Blues, who wore yellow on the weekend, looked set to take off where they left off at St Mary’s as they arrived at the Bernabéu ready to wear their away kit once more. A tough task awaited, but the European Champions looked hungry to defend their crown.


An hour before kick-off, Thomas Tuchel made a single alteration to his previous starting eleven which saw Reece James replace Andreas Christensen in defence.

In the opposing dugout Carlo Ancelotti made just one change to the team that won at Stamford Bridge six days ago, with Nacho replacing the suspended Éder Militaão.


First Half:

In the early stages of the game the visitors looked bright and energetic, which only emphasised their intent to attack at the Bernabéu. However, a quick change of pace on the 10th minute from Vinícius Júnior saw Reece James earn a place in Szymon Marciniak’s book – which wasn’t ideal for the London club.


The Blues however responded well with attempts coming from both Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger. Chelsea’s early pressure paid off on the 15th minute, when Mason Mount superbly finished beyond Thibaut Courtois to fire the Blues ahead on the night.

Two minutes later Mount had another strike on goal, which this time bobbled into the arms of the Belgian shot stopper. There was attempts later in the half from the dangerous Karim Benzema, Mateo Kovačić, Casemiro and Antonio Rüdiger – but nothing significant came of them.


Instead, to Thomas Tuchel’s delight, Chelsea went into half-time with a respectable 1-0 lead.

Second Half:

After yet another positive start to play, the reigning European Champions levelled things up on aggregate on the 50th minute as Antonio Rüdiger found the net with a strong header. Controversy sparked over the decision to give the initial corner, with Madrid furious at the officials.

From here the hosts saw their best spell of the game, with Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde and Ferland Mendy all showing signs of encouragement for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.


On the 63nd minute, the Blues however thought they had found an all-important third as Marcos Alonso fired past Courtois on his weaker right to put Chelsea ahead. Instead, the goal was disallowed for a harsh handball on the Spaniard, which kept the score at 3-3 on aggregate.


Two minutes later, the ever-present Karim Benzema struck the crossbar for Madrid. It was end-to-end drama under the lights at the Bernabéu, with a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League hanging in the balance.


On the 75th minute, Timo Werner emerged to find Chelsea’s dream third goal as he squeezed the ball into the bottom corner following a combination of fake shots.

Two minutes later, Kai Havertz was nearly the hero on the night again as he came close to finding a fourth – only to be denied by Courtois who got low to deny the German.


Despite holding the momentum, Chelsea’s lead lasted all but a matter of minutes, as a moment of magic from Luka Modrić saw the hosts peg one back. The Croatian found substitute Rodrygo with a sublime cross from the outside of his trusted right foot, with the Brazilian converting excellently on a first-time volley.

The Blues had two great chances in the dying minutes to seal the game, but Christian Pulisic couldn’t capitalise. Consequently, the game rolled on into extra-time.

Extra-Time:

After courageously showing heaps of character to push the game this far, Thomas Tuchel and his side now faced 30 minutes of action to try and book their place in the competitions final four.


However, just six minutes into extra-time, a defensive error from the visitors allowed for Madrid to advance into a dangerous position where Vinícius Júnior found the head of Karim Benzema – with the Frenchman firing his side back ahead.

From here, it was an even more uphill battle for the Blues who now needed to dig deep once again. Tuchel’s side had chances through Kai Havertz and substitute Hakim Ziyech, but the best fell for the German on the 115th minute. Reece James found the 22-year-old in space, but Havertz failed to direct the ball with his head with the attempt landing just wide.


The opportunities continued to come for the Blues, with Jorginho also slashing a shot wide from a great position in the 118th minute. With the full-time whistle later blowing, it marked the end of Chelsea’s European campaign this season, with Real Madrid advancing to the semi-finals once again.

After the Whistle:

Tuesday night’s defeat marked the first ever time that Chelsea have not reached the final of a competition since the Tuchel’s arrival last January. Since his appointment, the Blues have proven to be incredibly successful with the victory in Madrid another example of their growth and development.


Although it may be difficult to see when blinded by defeat, there is plenty to be positive about when considering the history that was very nearly made at the Bernabéu despite the difficult circumstances.


Regardless, the Blues can leave Madrid with their head firmly held high. On Sunday, they return to Wembley where they are set to face Crystal Palace in the semi-final of the FA Cup.


Final Score:

Real Madrid 2-3 Chelsea (AET).

- Mount (15’).

- Rüdiger (51’).

- Werner (75’).

- Rodrygo (80’).

- Benzema (96’).


BBC Sports Player of the Match:

Mason Mount (Chelsea).


Line-ups:

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho (88’), Alaba, Mendy (78’); Modric, Casemiro (78’), Kroos (73’); Valverde, Benzema, Vinícius Júnior (115’).

- Subs: Camavinga (73’), Marcelo (78’), Rodrygo (78’), Vázquez (88’), Ceballos (115’).


Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Mendy; James, Silva, Rüdiger; Loftus-Cheek (105’), Kanté (99’), Kovačić (105’), Alonso; Mount; Havertz, Werner (83’).

- Subs: Pulisic (83’), Ziyech (99’), Saúl (105’), Jorginho (105’).


Referee:

Szymon Marciniak.


Attendance:

59,839.


Possession:

Real Madrid (43%) vs Chelsea (57%).


Shots:

Real Madrid (10) vs Chelsea (28).


Shots on Target:

Real Madrid (4) vs Chelsea (7).


Corners:

Real Madrid (1) vs Chelsea (10).


Fouls:

Real Madrid (17) vs Chelsea (20).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match Highlights:

- (credit | BT Sport).

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