Chelsea heroes come up just short as UCL holders sent packing by Real Madrid in game of the season

Reigning champions Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League despite a gutsy 3-2 victory over Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi-final at the Bernabéu, losing 5-4 on aggregate after extra time. .

It looked like an impressive game was on the way for Chelsea as they won 3-0 on the night thanks to goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner. However, goals from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema sent the Champions League winners through to the quarter-finals.

Mount carried the visitors to a 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the clash in Madrid. The English striker’s elegant volleying effort left Chelsea trailing 3-2 on aggregate, providing the perfect launching pad for the Blues to battle back.

Chelsea leveled the tie on aggregate early in the second period with Antonio Rudiger’s hard-hitting header from a corner. The Germany star shrugged off his marker to bring the ball home for his first European goal.

It seemed that Marcos Alonso had given the Blues the advantage on aggregate with a thunderous shot that VAR ruled out as a heavy hand.

Real then came close to restoring their lead through otherwise calm Karim Benzema, who hit a header off the crossbar.

But Chelsea’s dominance on the night was rewarded with 15 minutes left for Werner. The German worked some space in the box before his shot deflected off Thibaut Courtois’s outstretched hand and bounced into the far corner.

Real submarines make a difference

However, the tie was leveled again on the night with 10 minutes to go when a brilliant cross from Luka Modric was volleyed off by substitute Rodrygo.

Chelsea twice came close to winning the tie in stoppage time, with substitute Christian Pulisic the culprit when he should have done better, and the match went into extra time.

It didn’t take long for Real Madrid to make it 5-4 on aggregate when Vinicius’s cross was met by an unmarked Benzema in the box, who headed in for his 38th goal of a remarkable season.

Kai Havertz and Jorginho squandered chances to equalize Chelsea at the end of extra time when Real finally snuck into a jaw-dropping game in Madrid.

Chelsea (4-3-2-1)

Edward Mendy: He had nothing to do until the 56th minute when he stopped a Toni Kroos free kick. He produced a clever save to deny Modric but nothing could over Rodrygo’s equalizer on aggregate or Benzema’s header. 7/10

Reese James: He had his hands full with Vinicius Junior but managed well despite receiving an early booking. He landed a vital touch to deny Benzema a clear shot on target in the second half. He began to run out of legs as the game progressed. 8

Thiago Silva: He kept the fit Karim Benzema very calm in the first half before the Frenchman woke up in the second and headed in against the crossbar to put Real ahead in the tie. Otherwise excellent. 8

Rudiger shows his class

Antonio Rudiger: Solid as a rock and he finished Chelsea’s second goal of the night from a corner. He clearly wanted it more than Real Madrid defenders in typical Rudiger fashion. His unfortunate slip allowed Benzema to give Real Madrid the aggregate lead. 8

Mark Alonso: He gave Chelsea great width down the left. He produced a brilliant finish that seemed to have given Chelsea the aggregate lead, but VAR detected a heavy hand just before his goal. 7

Rueben Loftus-Cheek: He provided a constant threat down the left for Real and showed great quality in possession. He should have been playing more this season! Removed for fresh legs in extra time. 8

N’Golo Kante: He made a tremendous change, but gave away possession cheaply at times as the game went on. Taken off in extra time as Chelsea looked for an equalizer in the tie. 7

Matthew Kovacic: He did a brilliant job with international teammate Luka Modric for 75 minutes before the legendary playmaker began to find his feet and passing range. Substitute in extra time. 8

Mount gives Chelsea a perfect start

Mason assembly: He received his goal brilliantly, keeping his cool to volley home after a clever run into the box. He was a constant threat to the Real with the clever move of him. 8

Tim Werner: His charming flick played at Mount for Chelsea’s first match. His first touch wasn’t always very good but his pace was always threatening and he took his goal well, albeit with the help of a handball from Courtois. Subtitled 7

Kai Havertz: He worked incredibly hard but messed up his lines with his only chance in the second half of extra time, driving wide. Reserved. 7

Substitutes:

Christian Pulisic (Werner’s backup, 83): Wasted two great chances in stoppage time at the end of regulation time to send Chelsea through. 5

Hakim Ziyech (substitute for Kante, 99): Chelsea almost leveled on aggregate again in the second period of extra time, but Courtois stopped their effort. 6

Saul Niguez (instead of Loftus-Cheek, 105): N/A

Jorginho (instead of Kovacic, 105): He seized the opportunity to make it 5-5 on aggregate in the final minute of extra time. 5

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