Dominant Chelsea roar into all-English finals

N'Golo Kante

Updated: 25/11/2022

UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg – Stamford Bridge – Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Chelsea 2 Real Madrid 0 (Chelsea win 3-1 on aggregate)

Goals: Timo Werner 28m, Mason Mount 85m

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea have set up a final with fellow English club Manchester City after they overwhelmed an insipid Real Madrid 2-0 in the second leg of a semi-final tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Coming on the back of an away goal in Madrid, Chelsea were very much on the front foot with Timo Werner almost giving them the lead in the 18th minute when he tapped home from a Ben Chilwell cross but was judged offside.

Zinedine Zidane recalled the great Champions League veteran Sergio Ramos and former Chelsea forward Eden Hazard but both had little impact on the proceedings. Real Madrid had more of the ball from the beginning but rarely threatened the Chelsea goal.

In fact, Chelsea looked the side more likely to score on the break, which they did in the 28th minute.

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After a brilliant one-two with N'Golo Kante, Werner picked out Kai Havertz in the box. The ex-Bayer Leverkusen forward’s chipped shot over goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hit the crossbar but an alert Werner was at hand to nod it in over the line.

Stung by the goal, Real tried hitting back and the threat came quite expectedly from Karim Benzema as he forced Eduardo Mendy into a diving save off a curling shot that seemed to be going in. Mendy was again committed into a superb overhead save as he tipped a Benzema header from a Luka Modric cross over the bar.

Chelsea came guns blazing after the interval, creating a flurry of chances. Havertz nearly extended the hosts' lead when he rose to meet Cesar Azpilicueta's pass but his header thudded against the crossbar.

A Ben Chilwell free-kick found an unmarked Thiago Silva inside the area but the Brazilian headed over. Some fine work from Werner set free Mason Mount free in the box at an angle but the young Englishman blazed his effort over.

Christian Pulisic came in place of Werner in the 67th minute and continued the latter's good work as he made inroads into the Real defense with his pace. Madrid hardly created chances in the second half but being only a goal down were still in the game.

But their fate got sealed with just five minutes of the match to go. Led by the indefatigable Kante, Chelsea attacked for the umpteenth time with the Frenchman's ball finding Pulisic on the right.

The American drove into the edge of the box and squared to Mount who promptly turned the ball in, much to the delirious celebration of players and staff on the sidelines.
The result typifies the remarkable transformation under Tuchel since he took over from Frank Lampard in January and gives him an opportunity to make amends for the 2020 Champions League final, when his Paris St-Germain side went down to Bayern Munich.
As for Real, the age factor really seemed to be telling with yesteryear champions Benzema, Ramos, Modric and Toni Kroos all now into their mid-thirties. They indeed looked a side that was tired, uninspired and well and truly beaten when the final whistle came.

Chelsea starting XI: Mendy (goal); Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Werner

Subs: Pulisic, James, Ziyech, Giroud

Real Madrid starting XI: Courtois (goal); Nacho (5), Militao (4), Ramos (6), Mendy (5), Kroos (6), Modric (6), Casemiro (5), Hazard (4), Vinicius Junior (5), Benzema (6)

Subs: Valverde, Asensio, Rodrygo, Mariano

Man of the match: N'Golo Kante

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