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Chelsea Lose Out To Real In An All-Time Classic Champions League Quarter-Final

Chelsea Lose Out To Real In An All-Time Classic Champions League Quarter-Final
By Eoin Harrington
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Extra-time, multiple comebacks, refereeing controversy, brilliance from legends of the game, and unpredictability until the last. Real Madrid v Chelsea on Tuesday night was truly a Champions League game that had everything.

In the last 16, it was Real Madrid who pulled off a surprise comeback against PSG. In Tuesday's quarter final second leg, however, it was Chelsea who played theย Madridistasย at their own game, forcing extra time despite a 3-1 deficit from the first leg.

Chelsea brought some of that first leg defeat on themselves, but the brilliance of Karim Benzema in London looked set to knock the defending champions out.

On Tuesday night in Madrid, however, Chelsea fought back with a vengeance. Whereas Real Madrid's win last week owed plenty to individual brilliance and mistakes from the opposition, this was a game of high quality, where both teams went for it for the full 120 minutes.

Champions League: Chelsea through to semis after breathless comeback

Chelsea took the lead in the first half with a fantastic finish from Mason Mount. The Englishman has been in flying form since New Year's, and continued his excellent run by getting Chelsea back into the tie.

It was a fairly even first half, but Chelsea came roaring out of the blocks at the outset of the second half.

Antonio Rudiger has been linked with a move away from Chelsea in the summer, with Real Madrid one of the teams he has been linked with. He did nothing to endear himself to the Real fans on Tuesday, as his header put Chelsea 2-0 up on the night, and levelled the tie up on aggregate.



It was an instant classic of a Champions League quarter final, with both teams going hell for leather in the second half.

The game was breathless, with Karim Benzema hitting the bar, and good saves made by both Edouard Mendy and Thibaut Courtois.

The major flashpoint, however, came when the VAR officials ruled out a third goal for Chelsea from Marcos Alonso.


The Spaniard did brilliantly to spin the ball away from Thibaut Courtois with his weak foot, after the ball bounced back to him. However, after a VAR review, he was found to have used his hand to control the ball, leading to the goal being disallowed.

There was contact with Alonso's hand, but it was minimal, and arguably didn't help the Spaniard to control the ball. As VAR calls go, this was one of the most contentious in recent memory in the Champions League.

By the letter of the law, though, it was the right call, despite the protestations from Chelsea fans and players.


Chelsea wouldn't have to wait long for their third goal to arrive. Timo Werner made a swerving run through the six-yard box and, with the help of a deflection from 'keeper Thibaut Courtois, put Chelsea on the verge of the semi-finals.

The drama was far from over. The best goal of the night was yet to come, as Luka Modric showed once again how he has aged like a fine wine. The Croatian midfielder presented Rodrygo with a stunning cross, which he finished first time to bring Real level with Chelsea on aggregate and force extra time.

Enter Karim Benzema. The Frenchman would have the final say once again, after his first leg hat trick. He scored a powerful header to bring the deficit back to one on the night, and put Real 5-4 up on aggregate.

Benzema spent plenty of his career living in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, but he has made himself the centre piece of this Real Madrid team since Ronaldo's departure in 2018.

He must now be one of the front runners, if notย theย front runner for the Ballon d'Or, after his extra time goal salvaged the tie for Real and broke Chelsea hearts.

Real would ultimately hold on to take a 5-4 win on aggregate, despite losing out 3-2 on the night to Chelsea in Madrid.

It was an instant Champions League classic, with non-stop attacking football, top quality goals, mistakes from crucial players, and some refereeing controversy.

There's nothing quite like the Champions League quarter-finals, and the tie at the Bernabeu on Tuesday was a prime example of why. The sway in momentum that followed Rodrygo's goal was extraordinary, and leaves two Spanish sides in the semi-finals after Villarreal's shock win over Bayern on Tuesday night.

SEE ALSO: Jurgen Klopp Takes Aim At Authorities Over Liverpool's Fixture Schedule

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