In the 22nd minute at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Benzema managed to score his sixth goal in five games against Chelsea by finding the back of the net with an open shot, capitalizing on a rebound save by Kepa Arrizabalaga after Vinícius had attempted a close-range shot.
Karim Benzema continued his impressive form against Chelsea, as Real Madrid took a significant step towards eliminating the English club for the second consecutive season in the Champions League. In a remarkable performance, Vinícius Júnior shone with two assists, while Marco Asensio also found the back of the net, leading Madrid to a 2-0 win in the first leg of the quarterfinals on Wednesday, in what was a highly anticipated showdown between the last two European champions.
Chelsea was forced to play with 10 men in the final half-hour after Ben Chilwell received a red card for disrupting a Madrid breakaway. This defeat marks the second consecutive loss for new Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard, who recently took over from Graham Potter following the team’s poor performances. The second leg will take place next week at Stamford Bridge. In the other quarterfinal match held on Wednesday, AC Milan secured a 1-0 victory against Napoli.
Benzema continued his scoring streak against Chelsea, finding the back of the net in the 22nd minute at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. This was the Frenchman’s sixth goal in five matches against Chelsea, and his 20th goal in 27 matches against English opposition. Vinícius set up the goal with a close-range attempt, and Benzema pounced on the rebound after Kepa Arrizabalaga’s save.
Vinícius was in top form and created another assist for Marco Asencio’s goal in the 74th minute. The Brazilian was a constant threat to the Chelsea defense with his impressive runs and dribbling skills, earning the game’s most valuable player title.
Chelsea’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when Ben Chilwell was sent off for stopping a Madrid breakaway, and they had to play the final half-hour with 10 men. The result marks a second consecutive defeat for new Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard after replacing Graham Potter.
Real Madrid is now a step closer to eliminating Chelsea for the second straight season in the Champions League. The second leg of the quarterfinals will be played at Stamford Bridge next week. Meanwhile, AC Milan secured a 1-0 victory over Napoli in the other quarterfinal match on Wednesday.
The two football clubs have faced each other in the Champions League for three consecutive years, with Real Madrid winning at this same quarterfinal stage last season before ultimately clinching their record-extending 14th title. In the previous year, Chelsea defeated the Spanish powerhouse in the semifinals en route to securing their second Champions League trophy.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, saying, “We managed the game well and earned an advantage ahead of the second leg, which was the objective tonight. It was a good game and a good result.”
Real Madrid has made it to the semifinals 11 times in 13 seasons, while Chelsea has only made it to the last four once since the 2013-14 season. The second leg of the quarterfinal will take place at Stamford Bridge. Additionally, in the other quarterfinal match held on the same day, AC Milan secured a 1-0 victory over Napoli.
After suffering a 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals, Chelsea’s new interim coach Frank Lampard started his second stint with the club on a bad note with a 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton in the Premier League over the weekend. The team’s winless streak now extends to five games, having only won two of their last 11 Premier League matches, leaving them in 11th place on the table.
Despite the loss, Lampard remains hopeful about his team’s chances in the second leg against Real Madrid. “It’s a big challenge, of course,” he said. “There is always hope. We have to believe. I need to be the first one to believe that it’s possible.”
In the quarterfinal match against Madrid, Chelsea had the first significant chance to score when former Atletico Madrid player João Félix attempted a shot two minutes into the game, but was saved by Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one situation.
After a tight start, Benzema finally broke the deadlock with a tap-in, but Chelsea responded immediately, and Sterling’s shot was only kept out by an impressive save from Courtois. The Madrid defender’s deflection made it a more difficult save to make. Chelsea’s hopes of a comeback took a hit when Chilwell was shown a red card for pulling down Rodrygo during a breakaway in the 59th minute. Chilwell had recently signed a new two-year deal with Chelsea.
In the 71st minute, Marco Asensio was substituted in and scored Madrid’s second goal three minutes later with a shot from just outside the area. Chelsea faced difficulty in creating any threat in the final minutes, but almost scored a consolation goal in injury time when Kai Havertz’s shot was blocked by Madrid defender Antonio Rüdiger in front of the goal.
Real Madrid’s La Liga hopes were dealt a major blow with a 3-2 home defeat to Villarreal prior to their match against Chelsea. Despite this setback, Real Madrid managed to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Chelsea advanced to the quarterfinals after overcoming Borussia Dortmund.