Chelsea’s win over Real Madrid capped by Mason Mount but built by the Blues’

It should have been a thrashing. Chelsea should have blown Real Madrid away with the number of clear chances they created at Stamford Bridge. But Mason Mount’s strike, which confirmed Chelsea’s passage to the final, was just as sweet a moment as any big win would have been.

Born and bred in a blue shirt, Mount’s ecstatic celebrations, when he tucked in from close range to add to Timo Werner’s first-half goal and wrap up a 3-1 aggregate semi-final win, will go down as an iconic moment in the club’s history.

He feels this achievement as much as the fans who had lined the King’s Road before kick-off to welcome the team buses.

Another iconic moment is on the way. On May 29, Mount, the homegrown star, will walk out in the Champions League final in Istanbul against Manchester City, who have a rather handy academy graduate of their own in Phil Foden.

It’s a mouth-watering match-up.

Mount is a shoo-in to win Chelsea’s player of the year prize – but really the incredible success this side have sustained since Thomas Tuchel took over has been all about the collective. And their second leg defeat of Real Madrid summed Tuchel’s Chelsea up.

At the back, they’re so mean it is almost cruel to the opposition. This was clean sheet number 18 in 24 matches under Tuchel. Such was their defensive brilliance on Wednesday, Real Madrid managed just one shot on target in the final hour of the match.

The imposing, aggressive Antonio Rudiger, alongside the cool experience of Thiago Silva, and technically assured Andreas Christensen makes for a winning combination, with Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta blocking off the flanks.

And even when the in-form Karim Benzema had a couple of sights of goal early on, Edouard Mendy was there with two sharp stops to keep him out. That’s eight shutouts in this season’s competition for the Blues goalkeeper – a record for an English side.

While Chelsea’s control of the ball in midfield was not as evident against Real as it has been in other fixtures under Tuchel, the team’s appetite to win it back was as ravenous as ever.

Jorginho’s six interceptions and N’Golo Kante’s four showed how well the central pair disrupted Real’s build-up play. Mount’s joint team-high tally of three tackles demonstrated the Blues’ desire to shut them down all over the pitch. “We never lost the desire to defend,” Tuchel said afterwards.

That solid base has allowed Chelsea to come out on top in the tight games under the German – although, as against Real, wasteful finishing has led to Chelsea needing to edge more tight games than they might have.

Kai Havertz hit the bar and was denied by former Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one, while Thiago Silva and Mount sent efforts flying into the stands as the hosts wasted chance after chance in the second half.

As well as Chelsea were playing, their slender advantage meant they could never be comfortable – until Mount finally booked their plane ticket to Turkey.

Since Tuchel took charge, Chelsea have the fourth-worst conversion rate in the Premier League and it is surely an area they will address in this summer’s transfer market.

But before then their current crop will have to sharpen up against Man City. Chances are unlikely to be flowing for Chelsea in Istanbul as they were in west London: City have faced the fewest shots in England’s top flight.

Chelsea know all about that test, though. They passed it in the FA Cup semi-final last month and they’ll get an up-close look at their competitors for the Champions League crown this Saturday, live on Sky Sports, when they meet at the Etihad in the Premier League.

That knife-edge element adds to the intrigue of this third all-English Champions League final, though.

Two sides packed with talent. Two managers with big-match experience who relish the tactical battle. And only one winner.

More iconic moments will be made…

When is the Champions League final?

This year’s final 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 say detailed information regarding the capacity for the match, travel and ticketing details will be communicated publicly by the end of the week.

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 that 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.

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