Chelsea 2 – 0 R Madrid

Chelsea set up an all-English Champions League final with Manchester City after beating Real Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the semi-final second leg, going through 3-1 on aggregate.

Timo Werner put Chelsea ahead (28), nodding into the empty net from under the crossbar after Kai Havertz’s chip had hit the woodwork, before Real rode their luck as the hosts missed four big chances to double their lead in the opening 20 minutes of the second period.

Chelsea finally got their second to kill off the tie with five minutes remaining as Mason Mount stuck home substitute Christian Pulisic’s centre at close range, capping off a fine display and marking an extraordinary turnaround at the club since Thomas Tuchel joined in January.

Chelsea will now play in their third Champions League final (2008 and 2012) in Istanbul on Saturday May 29, and have set up just the third all-English Champions League final after 2008 (Man Utd-Chelsea) and 2019 (Liverpool-Tottenham) as Manchester City look to complete a treble.

When is the Champions League final?

This year’s final between Chelsea and Manchester City will take place in Istanbul on Saturday May 29.

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium famously staged the 2005 Champions League showdown, when Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties.

UEFA has not yet confirmed the kick-off time, but says detailed information regarding the capacity for the match, travel and ticketing details will be communicated publicly by the end of the week.

How Chelsea booked ticket to Istanbul with another shut-out

Real Madrid needed to score in west London, giving former Chelsea favourite Eden Hazard, largely ineffective at his old home, just his second start in three months, but it was the hosts making most of the early moves.

Chelsea targeted the right side of Real’s defence; Mount’s cross-shot forced a save from Thibaut Courtois, another former Blues player, while Werner converted at close-range from Ben Chilwell’s centre, only to be flagged offside. Only Jamie Vardy has been offside more times than Werner (36) for a Premier League side in all competitions this term.

And after Edouard Mendy brilliantly kept Karim Benzema’s goalbound, curling effort out with a fingertip save, Chelsea were soon celebrating the opener.

Werner was involved in starting the move, holding up the ball well in a brilliant one-two with N’Golo Kante, who picked out Havertz in the box. Havertz chip lifted over Courtois and hit the crossbar, but fell to Werner, who was in the right place at the right time to simply nod the ball over the line.

The hit-and-miss nature of Werner’s debut season in England was epitomised just minutes later as Chelsea broke with men over, the German picking the wrong pass, before Mendy had to be at his best again to tip over a Benzema header from Luka Modric’s cross.

Forty-five minutes from a Champions League final, Chelsea just needed to keep another clean sheet, something they’d become specialists at doing under Tuchel, registering 18 in his 24 games in charge.

But they came out looking to blow Real out in the second half with an attacking blitz.

Havertz nearly made Real’s task even harder, rising to head Cesar Azpilicueta’s delivery against the crossbar, while Thiago Silva headed over unmarked from a Chilwell free-kick. Werner’s fine hold-up work then also set Mason Mount free in the box at an angle, only for the Englishman to blaze over the bar.

Despite having one of the best defensive records in the Premier League since Tuchel joined, Chelsea’s shot conversion rate is among the lowest (17th), and it showed once more as Courtois denied Havertz low down after being put through on goal.

Team news

Eden Hazard started against his old club, only his second start for Real Madrid since January, and Sergio Ramos also returned from injury to make the XI, replacing the injured Raphael Varane.

Federico Valverde missed out from the start, and Marcelo dropped to the bench for Ferland Mendy.

Chelsea made one change from the first leg in result as Kai Havertz replaced Christian Pulisic.

Luck was with Real at this stage as Kante emulated Havertz’s miss, denied by Courtois low down after being put through on goal by Werner, before Thiago Silva glanced wide from a Mount corner.

Somehow, in the closing stages, Real were still in the tie, but Chelsea finally killed it off through Mount. Breaking with numbers for the umpteenth time in the second period, Chelsea found their clinical edge as Pulisic composed himself to square for Mount, who turned home to prompt a huge outpouring of relief and joy from players and staff.

Including the missed chances, this was a typical Chelsea performance, and with their FA Cup semi-final win as evidence, there is a real feeling that Tuchel’s side can properly test Pep Guardiola’s rip-roaring City side in Istanbul.

What’s next for Chelsea in bid for top four?

Chelsea now go to Man City on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm, knowing a City victory will wrap up the Premier League title for Pep Guardiola’s side.

They then host Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday evening, also live on Sky Sports Premier League at 8.15pm.

And what’s next for Real in La Liga title race?

Real Madrid host Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday night at 8pm, currently sitting two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with four games of the season remaining.

Read More: Sports News

Source

Leave a Reply