Real Madrid took a big step towards the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Chelsea at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. The hosts scored a goal in each half through Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, while Chelsea had a man sent off in the second half and failed to register a shot on target.
The result leaves Real Madrid in a strong position ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge next week, while Chelsea face an uphill battle to turn the tie around. The Blues have now gone 374 minutes without scoring a goal in all competitions, their worst run since 1993. They also have only one win in their last six games, putting pressure on manager Frank Lampard.
Real Madrid dominated the game from start to finish, with 57% possession and 18 shots to Chelsea’s seven. Benzema opened the scoring in the 21st minute with a tap-in, his fourth goal in the Champions League this season. Asensio doubled the lead in the 74th minute with a cool finish after a pass from Vinicius Junior, who was Real Madrid’s best player on the night:
Vinicius tonight: 4 dribbles, 4 key passes, 1 assist.— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) April 12, 2023
19 touches in the box (most of any player in a single UCL game this season, per Opta)
Treated this like a Sunday barbecue. pic.twitter.com/yndjX4yUKi
in the span of 1 week, Vinicius has faced his 3 'bogeymen' -- Araujo, Foyth, Reece James -- and has gotten the better of them all. That's growth.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) April 12, 2023
Chelsea’s chances of a comeback were dashed when Ben Chilwell was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle on Rodrygo in the 59th minute. The visitors struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities, and those they did were met with heroic defending from Antonio Rudiger, Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Thibaut Courtois. Eduardo Camavinga and Dani Carvajal also have important interventions on the wings, and Fede Valverde was a ball-winning machine in Real Madrid’s midfield. Lampard tried to change things by bringing on Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, and others in the second half, but it was too little too late.
Real Madrid will be confident of reaching yet another Champions League semi-final. Chelsea, on the other hand, will need a miracle to keep their hopes of a second Champions League trophy alive. They will have to score at least three goals at Stamford Bridge without conceding any, something they have not done since October.