Chelsea 0-2 Real Madrid (Rodrygo Goes x2). A good result in a tense atmosphere. Here is the immediate reaction to the big win. Keep an eye out for: Player ratings, post game quotes and a ManagingMadrid Champions League podcast.
2-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu was a good result, but the performance was not the best we have seen from Real Madrid so far this season - and with the second leg upon us at Stamford Bridge, two goals is far from impossible to overcome. The Champions League is a competition famous for it’s crazy comebacks, with Los Blancos enjoying a fair few of their own in the past. To try and avoid this, Carlo Ancelotti went with a strong starting side against his former club. Eduardo Camavinga was deployed on the left side of defence, with Dani Carvajal opposite him. Fede Valverde sat in midfield, with Karim Benzema and the two Brazilian superstars forming the front three. Benzema wore the armband against a side he just loved to score against.
The atmosphere really influenced the tone of the game from the start in London. Madrid were initially composed on the ball, looking to play forwards and create chances through Karim Benzema and the forwards. Chelsea then realised they were lacking the urgency needed, and a huge miss from N’Golo Kanté sparked them into action. Reece James then opted to control it in the box under pressure rather than to take a first time strike, but was pulled up incorrectly for handball. Just as they were getting pushed back, Rodrygo Goes then hit the post after bursting into the box. This settled the play a little, and Chelsea were no longer swinging as hard with their attacking punches. The visitors even had another chance to go ahead when a Luka Modrić cross only just missed Vinícius Júnior in the box. Chelsea also had their final chance of the half, when Thibaut Courtois had to make a brilliant save to deny Marc Cucurella. Half time, 0-0 - and good news for Real Madrid.
RODRYGO PUTS REAL MADRID AHEAD AND HITS THE SIUUU pic.twitter.com/xBBCbxmpGM— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 18, 2023
After taking their foot of the gas for a spell in the first half, Chelsea really need to stand up and push for something now. They did come out with more intensity, and Kanté came close for the first chance but his effort was well blocked. Enzo Fernández then had a go from further out, but his effort was wide of the target. Typically, just as the hosts were gaining momentum, Madrid would deal the ultimate blow. Rodrygo Goes would burst away from a defender, before almost picking out Karim Benzema in the box. The Frenchman’s failure to connect with the ball would benefit Rodrygo, who picked the ball back up off Vinícius Júnior before poking home. Enzo Fernández tried to respond quickly, but the tone had now changed for good. It would only get worse for Chelsea. Some good team play would end up with Fede Valverde taking a great touch into the box before setting up Rodrygo for a tap-in, and his second goal of the game. From this moment the game was all but dead, with Madrid enjoying a few passes until the final whistle blew. Tense at times, but a good result in the end. How satisfying was that for you?