Chelsea are through to the Champions League final with a convincing victory over the 13-time European champions Real Madrid. Goals in either half from Timo Werner and Mason Mount sent Thomas Tuchel’s Blues on their way to a 3-1 aggregate victory and book their place in the final where they will meet Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. On a memorable night at Stamford Bridge, it ended Chelsea 2-0 Real Madrid.
Both Chelsea and Real Madrid started the game strongly and each side had chances to make the breakthrough. The home side thought they had taken the lead as Ben Chilwell’s cross was put home by Werner but the goal was ruled out for offside. However, not long later, Chelsea broke the deadlock after Kai Havertz’s lob came off the crossbar before Werner headed home the rebound from close range. Meanwhile, Los Blancos had chances to score themselves but Chelsea had Edouard Mendy to thank by making some important saves. However, the Blues were in front at half-time.
After the restart, Thomas Tuchel’s men once again threatened and had multiple chances to score. The most notable chances being from Mount, who shot just over the bar before Kai Havertz was played clean through on goal but the German was denied by Thibaut Courtois. However, with five minutes to go, the Blues, at last, found the all-important second goal. N’Golo Kante intercepted possession before passing to Christian Pulisic, who squared the ball to Mount as the youngster tapped home into the empty net and the goal to secure Chelsea’s place in the Istanbul final.
Thomas Tuchel made four changes to the Chelsea side that defeated Fulham in Saturday’s West London Derby. Edouard Mendy kept his place in between the sticks whilst the one defensive change saw Antonio Rüdiger come in for Kurt Zouma, playing alongside Andreas Christensen and the veteran Thiago Silva. Meanwhile, at right wing-back, Cesar Azpilicueta captained the side, replacing Reece James in what was the second change made by Tuchel while Ben Chilwell continued to start on the left.
N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho were rested on Saturday but came back into the starting eleven for this game with Billy Gilmour and Hakim Ziyech making way. Mason Mount played in central midfield in that game and moved back into the attack alongside Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who started up front for the Blues. Christian Pulisic scored in the first leg against Los Blancos but had to settle for a place on the bench though the American was still a valuable asset to come on during the match.
As for Real Madrid, manager Zinedine Zidane also rested a few key players at the weekend in their win against Osasuna in La Liga as five changes were made. Former Blues player Thibaut Courtois started in goal, making a return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his move to Spain while at right-back, Nacho replaced Alvaro Odriozola. The second change came on the left-hand-side with Marcelo making way for Ferland Mendy, who returned to the team after missing last week’s game.
Another player who came into the side after missing the first leg was captain Sergio Ramos, which was a huge boost for Los Blancos as the Spaniard was alongside Eder Militão as Raphael Varane dropped out with injury. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric were rested on Saturday and return to the starting eleven ahead of Marco Asensio and youngster Antonio Blanco. However, the front three remained the same in Vinicius Junior, prolific striker Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard, who just like Courtois, was making a return back to the Bridge where he was loved very much by the Chelsea supporters.
The first ten minutes started quietly as both sides looked to settle into the match. However, it was to be Real Madrid who had the first shot of the game as Toni Kroos tried his luck from distance but Edouard Mendy was on hand to make a comfortable stop. Meanwhile, up the other end, the home side looked to threaten Thibaut Courtois in the Madrid goal as Antonio Rüdiger’s long range shot was parried by Belgian. A few moments after, Mason Mount did well to dribble his way into the penalty area as his attempt was kept out by the legs of Courtois.
With 16 minutes gone, Los Blancos had another chance this time through Luka Modric as the Croatian’s shot was caught by Mendy. Just moments after, Chelsea thought they had taken the lead as the ball was played through to Ben Chilwell, whose cross was slotted home by Timo Werner. However, the flag was up for offside to the despair of the German but despite the goal being disallowed, it was certainly going to give the home side some encouragement. The first quarter of the game was already proving to be an exciting affair as both Chelsea and Real Madrid showed their attacking intent.
Midway through the half, the away side had an excellent chance to break the deadlock as Karim Benzema’s shot on the edge of the area drew a brilliant save out of Mendy. However, it was to be Thomas Tuchel’s men that drew first blood in the second leg. Kante slid through to Kai Havertz as the German lifted the ball over Courtois as his attempt came back off the crossbar but the rebound fell kindly to Werner, who headed in on the goal line. A vital goal to make it Chelsea 1-0 Real Madrid.
Up the other end, Los Blancos had a big chance to get back into the tie as the cross was floated into the area to Benzema, whose header was tipped over superbly by Mendy. The Chelsea shot stopper had already made some important saves during the first period to prevent the visitors from scoring. Three minutes before the break, the Blues had an opportunity to add another as a shot by Werner was safely into the arms of Courtois.
Chelsea were 1-0 in front heading in at half time as it was a solid showing in the first half from Tuchel’s men. Werner will have been disappointed that his goal earlier in the game was chalked off for offside but that will have given him some encouragement to help get his side in front, which was exactly what he did on 28 minutes. However, Real Madrid have looked threatening at times and the job was not yet completed and it was to be a huge 45 coming up for the West Londoners.
HT: Chelsea 1-0 Real Madrid
Two minutes after the restart, the home side came close to making it 2-0 as Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross fell to Havertz as the German’s header came back off the crossbar having hit the woodwork for the second time in the game. Not long after, Chelsea had another opportunity on goal this time from a free-kick as Chilwell’s delivery was headed just over by Thiago Silva. Despite making the breakthrough, Tuchel’s men continued their threat going forward in the hope of doubling their lead.
With 53 minutes gone, Mason Mount had a glorious opportunity to make it two as Werner’s flick played through the youngster before shooting just over. The Blues were in control of the second half and looked the more likely of the two to score the next goal. With nearly an hour gone at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will have felt as though they should have doubled their advantage as Havertz was played clean through on goal – finally Chelsea 2-0 Real Madrid? – but his attempt was saved by Courtois. It was yet another chance wasted by the hosts.
Real Madrid made a double substitution on the hour marks as Federico Valverde came on in place of Ferland Mendy while Marco Asensio replaced Vinicius Junior. On 64 minutes, the away side had their first real shot on goal in the second half as Eden Hazard’s attempt was kept out by Mendy. Not long later, Chelsea had yet another chance to make it 2-0 as Werner raced away through on goal before playing the ball to Kante as the Frenchman’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper.
Heading towards the latter stages of the match, Christian Pulisic was brought on for Tuchel’s men as the goalscorer Werner came off having put in a solid shift. Heading into the final 15 minutes of the game, the Blues were determined to see out the tie with an all important second goal. Meanwhile, Casemiro made way for Rodrygo as Los Blancos made their third change on the night. Pulisic had made a bright start for the hosts since coming off bench as he delivered an excellent ball into the middle but no one was able to get on the end of his cross.
However, with five minutes to go, Chelsea at last doubled their advantage to surely send them to the Champions League final in Istanbul. Kante did brilliantly to intercept possession off Nacho before passing to Pulisic, who squared the ball to Mason Mount, who made no mistake by tapping into an empty net. A goal to send the Chelsea players into scenes of celebration and a huge one to make it Chelsea 2-0 Real Madrid.
After the goal, Azpilicueta and the second goalscoring Mount came off with Reece James and Hakim Ziyech taking their respective places.
Meanwhile, for Real Madrid, Eden Hazard was brought off on his return to the Bridge as Mariano Diaz was on his place while the fifth and final change made by the Blues saw Olivier Giroud replace Havertz. In the closing stages of the game, Reece James had a shot on the edge of area but his effort was wide of the target. However, it didn’t matter as the referee blew for full time as the Blues booked their place in the Champions League final against Manchester City.
FT: Chelsea 2-0 Real Madrid
Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy (GK); Christensen, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta (c), Kanté, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Werner, Havertz
Subs used: Pulisic (for Werner, 67 mins), James (for Azpilicueta, 88 mins), Ziyech (for Mount, 89 mins), Giroud (for Havertz, 90+4 mins)
Goals: Werner (28 mins), Mount (85 mins)
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois (GK); Nacho, Militão, Ramos (c), Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Hazard, Vinicius Junior, Benzema
Subs used: Valverde (for Mendy, 63 mins), Asensio (for Vinicius Junior, 63 mins), Rodrygo (for Casemiro, 76 mins), Diaz (for Hazard, 89 mins)
Post-Match Thoughts: Chelsea 2-0 Real Madrid
An excellent result for Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel, who made it through to the Champions League in what was a brilliant performance against Real Madrid. The likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz flourished in attack and were a constant threaten to the Los Blancos defences. Considering the amount of chances the Blues had, the result could have been more comfortable but nonetheless, it ended in a deserved win. Put simply Chelsea 2-0 Real Madrid only flattered one team.
Since his appointment at the end of January, Tuchel has done a remarkable job getting Chelsea into both the FA Cup and now the Champions League Final along with fighting for the top four in the Premier League. The German will be hoping he can achieve a brilliant double come the end of the season. However, tonight is all about the win over Real Madrid that puts the Blues in a fifth European final.
Chelsea will play Manchester City in the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul.
Written by Matt North (@MattNorth_)
Edited by Rob Pratley
Follow us on: