Chelsea took on Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge for the 2nd Leg of the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night. The aggregate score was a 1-1 with Chelsea having got a crucial away goal in the 1st leg. This meant that Real Madrid had to score against Chelsea to stand any chance of going through. Zidane picked a strong XI with all the top players starting. Mendy, and Ramos also made the starting XI with Hazard starting as well. Tuchel went with a trusted XI with Mendy in goal, Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger made up the back 3. Azplicueta returned as wing back with Chilwell starting on the left. Jorginho and Kante returned as well with Mount, Werner, and Havertz starting up front. Pulisic was dropped to the bench for this game as Tuchel said he wanted more height up front.
The opening minutes were even with both teams getting time on the ball. The first real chance came in the 18th minute when Chilwell found space down the left and was able to cross into Werner who finished past Courtois but was a margin offside. The next big chance fell to Benzema in the 26th minute as his low shot was saved by Mendy who strongly palmed it out of the way. The opening goal came in the 28th minute as Werner won the aerial ball and passed it to Kante who passed it to Havertz. The German drove forward and was able to chip over Courtois but the ball hit the post, luckily though it fell straight back in and Werner was there to head it into an empty net. A massive goal for Chelsea started and finished by our Germans. Mendy then made another strong save from Benzema as he was able to head a Modric cross. The 1st half ended with Chelsea in the lead and 45 minutes away from a CL Final.
The 2nd half was all Chelsea and we could have easily put the game to bed. Havertz hit the post in the 47th minute following a brilliant header from distance. Mount and Werner then combined really well to send Mount through on goal but his shot went over the goal in the 53rd minute. The 59th minute saw Jorginho send a ball over the top and Havertz had a clear run on goal but his shot was saved by Courtois. Werner then drove forward in the 66th minute and passed the ball to Kante who’s shot was saved by a last ditch effort from Valverde. Silva’s header then went wide in the 74th minute. The goal then finally came in the 85th minute and was largely down to Kante. Kante sensed a tackle and he charged down a loose ball to pass it into Pulisic who drove down and cut back to find Mount. A pin point pass into Mason and he finished past Courtois to send Chelsea into pandemonium and book a place in the Champions League Final.
Chelsea Team Review
What a game from Mendy. The keeper’s saves from Benzema in the 1st half were crucial in keeping Chelsea in the game and he was a rock at the back. Mendy has brought so much confidence to this team and a clean sheet against Real Madrid adds another check to his brilliant season. Distribution, vocally everything top to bottom Mendy is doing really well.
Azpilicueta, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, and Chilwell were amazing throughout the game. The back 3 were defensively solid with Christensen having Hazard in his pocket while Rudiger handled Benzema throughout the game. Chilwell dominated Vinicius as well leaving the Brazilian frustrated. Azpilicueta and Silva showed so much fight throughout the game and led from the back. Reece James came on for the final 10 minutes to see out the win in place of Azpilicueta. Also on top of that another clean sheet.
Jorginho and Kante are so so good. Kovacic has been missing due to injury but these 3 have formed a great trio of midfielders in this team. Jorginho got an early yellow but managed the game well, defensively and offensively. Kante was Man of the match though. Absolutely outstanding. Kante was everywhere and was crucial in both goals and it was amazing to watch. The Frenchman is elite he is probably the best in his position in the world. Mount was amazing and he has been throughout this season. The goal was a cherry on top of the cake and he arguably should have had one more. Top class from all.
Everyone was a bit surprised to see Pulisic on the bench and Werner selected but the Germans repaid the selection in full. Werner was crucial in creating chances and probably should have had an assist or two. The goal was slightly lucky but again he was in the right position at the right time to take advantage. Havertz was at his majestic best. The German glided along the pitch and should have had a goal or two of his own. They seem to be gaining form at a crucial point in the season. Ziyech, and Pulisic came on late in the game and Pulisic got a crucial assist. The American ran the Madrid backline ragged and was great to watch. Ziyech played some good passes in his limited time. Giroud came on for the final minute or so to see out the win.
Tuchel has made such an impact at Chelsea its amazing. A successive Champions League final for him is a great personal achievement but he will want to win it this time. The belief and strength he has drilled into the team is great to see. This is only the beginning under him and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
So, Chelsea book a place in the Champions League final for the 3rd time in recent history. Before we face Man City at Istanbul though we have 5 crucial games to play domestically. 4 very important league games and 1 FA Cup final. Next up is a trip to the Etihad to play the one and only Man City. COME ON CHELSEA!!!