It’s round two of the rising stars of London vs. the galacticos of Madrid. Chelsea vs Real Madrid are about to square off in the second leg of the Champions League Semi-Final with the tie evenly poised following the 1-1 draw in the first leg! Will Tuchel’s men build on from their good performance from the first leg and use their slight advantage to their advantage, or, will Zidane’s seasoned campaigners do what they’re used to doing, that is, somehow find a way to get the job done. With all to play for in what’s expected to be another memorable night at Stamford Bridge, the writers at The Chelsea Social give their thoughts on how the Chelsea vs Real Madrid second leg semi-final clash will unfold.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid – Introduction
We’re here! The second leg of the Champions League semi-final!
While the Blues would have been proud of their performance in Spain during the first leg, there would have also been a sense of frustration and annoyance for not having taken a more significant advantage back with them to the Bridge. In particular, the first half from Chelsea was quite immaculate in which the hosts were stunned by the pace and movement of the Blues’ passing and dynamism in the middle of the park. The only downfall from the half was that the Blues somehow went into the sheds at the break level, following Benzema’s stunning equaliser.
This is where the danger lies for Tuchel’s men. While Madrid collectively didn’t pose too many threats against the youthful and resolute Blues, they do have some superstar quality individuals that, at any given moment, have the ability to do something special and change a game (and tie) on its head. Although Los Blancos will be without certain key players, with the latest seemingly being defender Raphael Varane, there is still enough overall quality in critical positions that can really punish the Blues, particularly if they adopt a complacent mindset.
Notwithstanding on who may or may not be available for our illustrious visitors, the focus should only be on ourselves as that is what we can control. From an availability perspective, it appears as though that aside from the continued absence of Mateo Kovacic, and to a lesser degree Antonio Rudiger, the Blues look to be in pretty good shape, at least relative to Real Madrid. Tuchel would have been pleased with how his team were able to get the job done against Fulham without certain regulars given he opted to give them a rest ahead of this monumental clash.
But, the benefit from resting key players will only mean something if the team can get the job done and progress to the Champions League Final. Given Tuchel’s propensity to change things up both personnel and tactical wise, it will be intriguing to see how we line up for this almighty clash.
Adding to this mouth-watering Chelsea vs Real Madrid match is the return of former Blues Eden Hazard, and to a lesser extent, Thibaut Courtois to Stamford Bridge. While they’ll have a point to prove since leaving, current Chelsea stars such as Azpilicueta and Kante will be keen to show them that the show goes on without them.
Chelsea fans will be keen to know:
- Will Tuchel set out the team to play like they did in the first leg, particularly like they did from the beginning?
- Will the team be more ‘experience’ or ‘youthful/dynamic’?
- Which player/s will make the difference for Chelsea (and hopefully not Real Madrid)?
Either way, the objective is clear – progress to the Final is what Blues fans are after! Make it happen Tuchel and co!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what our team at The Chelsea Social think how the Chelsea vs Real Madrid semi-final second leg clash will turn out.
It’s Chelsea vs Real Madrid – what a blockbuster we have in store! The first leg was a fascinating clash given it was the relatively inexperienced Tuchel’s tricky Blues who really took it to the seasoned campaigners and the more illustrious Los Blancos. While Chelsea didn’t win the game (which they really should have), they will be warmed by the fact that 1) they performed really strongly for large parts of the game, and, 2) they secured a precious away goal which could be telling – especially if the score ends 0-0.
As I noted in my preview, I am concerned by the continued absence of our Croatian sensation Mateo Kovacic given the silky skills and incredible dribbling he brings, but that said, I have full faith in the dynamic duo of the super athlete N’Golo Kanté and the supremely intelligent Jorginho. Watching their battle alongside Kroos, Modric and Casemiro will be tantalising to say the least.
Ultimately it will be down to a moment(s) of brilliance or unfortunately, a mistake. For Chelsea’s sake, I genuinely hope they play with the belief and confidence that Tuchel continues to praise about his team. If they do, there should be enough in this talented Blues squad to overcome the vastly experienced Real Madrid who have ‘been there, done that’ all too many times in recent seasons.
In the end, I’m anticipating Chelsea to progress to the Final in yet another memorable night at Stamford Bridge. Come on you Blues!
Final Score: Chelsea 2 – 1 Real Madrid (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate)
Another big game lies ahead for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues as we take on Real Madrid in the second leg of our Champions League semi-final and therefore a chance for us to reach the final of Europe’s elite competition for the first time in nine years. The first leg against Los Blancos last week ended in a 1-1 draw with Christian Pulisic netting a vital away goal for Chelsea in Madrid which gives us the slight edge heading into the return leg. In what is a huge month ahead for Tuchel’s men, which includes an FA Cup Final, one more game could potentially be added to the final run of the season in the UCL final and a chance for us to complete a double just like we did in the 2011/12 season.
On Saturday, the Blues defeated Fulham 2-0 in the West London Derby with Kai Havertz netting a brace as the German showed exactly why he was worth such the hefty fee we paid to bring him to the club. Based on that performance, he will certainly be in Tuchel’s plans to start against Real Madrid. A number of players were rested for the Fulham game to get them ready for this game including N’Golo Kante as the Frenchman will be determined to put in another solid performance in central midfield. The same goes for Pulisic, who has been excellent recently and just as he did last season, he’s been a key player for the Blues heading into the end of the season.
As for Real Madrid, captain Sergio Ramos is expected to be back in the centre of defence which is a boost for manager Zinedine Zidane, although Raphael Varane will be unavailable having picked up an injury during Real’s La Liga match vs Osasuna at the weekend. Given the return of a few key players for Madrid, the Blues will need to be wary of this. There is no doubt Los Blancos will be a tough side to break down and are a strong side defensively along with the prolific Karim Benzema up front, therefore the likes of Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva in defence will have their work cut out for them in this game.
Providing we get through in this tie, reaching both a Champions League and FA Cup Final will be a monumental achievement for Thomas Tuchel having only been at the club for less than four months. This team are capable of anything and though I do expect a challenge, I reckon we can win this one and book our place in the final in Istanbul.
Final Score: Chelsea 2 – 1 Real Madrid (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate)
At last we are here at the pivotal moment in Chelsea’s Champions League campaign: the all important second leg. Going into the game, Chelsea have the slight advantage of an away goal, but many pundits after the game believe they should feel hard done by not to have more.
Having the pedigree of 13 titles to fall back on and a handful of players who have been involved in the last four of those, widespread reasoning seems to suggest somewhat of an onslaught from Los Merengues in this match as they chase title number 14, staggeringly double what next closest team, AC Milan, have on seven.
In the first leg, Madrid were restricted to scraps by a highly disciplined, impressive Chelsea side. Full of verve, energy and the application of a fine tactical plan, the Blues will need to be every bit as impressive if not moreso this time around. The platform is nonetheless there. Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-2-1 is a formation that has made Chelsea arguably the best defensive team in Europe in the latter half of the 2020/21 season. Facing a side like Real who, in Karim Benzema, need little invitation to score as the first leg proved, the Blues will need every ounce of defensive solidity to make it through this game by shutting Real out.
Given that it is Chelsea vs Real Madrid in a Champions League Semi Final Second Leg, the likelihood is that Real will throw everything and the kitchen sink at Chelsea. This means that keeping the game goalless will probably prove to be very, very difficult. So, Chelsea must score. And to do that, they need a goalscorer. Something that has proven to be hard to come by this season, manager Tuchel may nonetheless look to a player like Kai Havertz or Christian Pulisic to do just that. After his excellent First Leg, you wouldn’t bet against the American talent to send former Blue Courtois for more ballet lessons again. What a sight that would be!
The stakes are at their highest tonight. This is Chelsea’s biggest European game in nine years, save perhaps for the two Europa League finals. It is must win and, as a Blue, although trepidation may reign supreme right now, you have to back an exciting crop of youngsters and older greats like N’Golo Kanté, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva to leave everything on the field in what is the biggest club game of some of their careers. It is an incredible opportunity and now is the time to back Chelsea to get the job done. Come on Chelsea!
Final Score: Chelsea 2 – 1 Real Madrid (AET) (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate)
Can it get any bigger than this? Chelsea are on the precipice of their first Champions League Final since 2012. However, there is a monumental task and body of work that has to be completed before that achievement can become reality. The Blues head back to the Bridge with a slight advantage through away goals as the tie is currently 1-1 and therefore Madrid has to score a goal to knock Chelsea out which could be a tough task given Chelsea’s defensive record under Tuchel. Further, Madrid only registered one shot on target in the first leg which was Benzema’s goal. This would seemingly bode well for the Blues but Los Blancos are no lightweight, they are the most successful club of the last decade in this competition for a reason.
This match will require laser-focused determination and execution. But, I predict that Thomas Tuchel will have the squad more than ready, motivated, and yearning to prove a massive point and beat Madrid. I predict the starting XI will be a 3-4-1-2 with Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Pulisic, Mount, and Havertz as the false 9. I predict that Werner will be brought on in the second half as Madrid are chasing the goal they have to score.
Final Score: Chelsea 1 – 0 Real Madrid (Chelsea win 2-1 on aggregate)
Chelsea vs Real Madrid – it all comes down to this. The second leg of the Champions League semi-finals. The ticket to the big show. After a first leg that ended in a draw, Chelsea came away with a hugely important away goal. However, the task is nowhere near complete. Real Madrid knows what they are doing in the Champions League, this game will be one of our toughest in the history of the club. Chelsea impressed in the first match. Great control and tempo, crisp passing, tough duels and all that through pouring rain and away from home.
Now we return to Stamford Bridge with the Champions League Final in sight. The hard reality is, we cannot just sit back and hope to end this in a 0-0 draw. That is not the way to do it against Madrid. Their fire power is too great. We need to keep possession and play the game we have been playing. Chelsea have looked great both defending and going forward on attack. There is no need to switch up anything we have been recently doing. Real Madrid will obviously look to strike hard, fast and first. What Chelsea should look to do is be lethal on the counter. Which has been incredibly effective for us.
Winning this game will be a tall order for the Blues to fill. Real Madrid are dangerous. Karim Benzema is in the form of his life, which is saying something. Ramos, Mendy, Valverde and Marcelo should all available for the match. Chelsea will still be missing Mateo Kovacic, which is a big blow, but we’ve proven we can win important games without him. However, to be the best you have to beat the best. I do believe Chelsea can do it, but it will be an extremely difficult game. One that will have us on the edge of our seats.
Final Score: Chelsea 2-1 Real Madrid (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate)
Written by Matt, Dan, Travis, John and RJ
Edited by RJ Bonaccorsi (@RJ_Goodthings)
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