Estadio Santiago Bernabéu was the venue for the opening Champions League quarter-final clash between Real Madrid and Chelsea on Wednesday evening. The home side scored in both halves, winning 2-0 after goals from Benzema and Asensio. In addition, the London side played without the suspended Chilwell from the 59th minute.
The first big chance of the match came in the third minute from the visiting Felix. However, his almost independent break was not stopped by a good shot, thanks to a returning defender Militão and an intervention by Courtois.
Moments later came the early yellow cards. Head referee Letexier cautioned first Chelsea’s Fofana and then Real’s Camavinga. Then in the thirteenth minute, Arrizabalaga defused an attempt by Benzema from the penalty area.
Football played at a good pace continued to be seen, with the Spanish big club players having the ball in their possession more often. In the 21st minute their activity resulted in the leading goal.
After Carvajal’s pass into the box, Vinícius still did not beat the goalkeeper, but Benzema was able to direct his shot into the net. It could have been equalised, but Courtois dealt with Sterling’s finish.
And when Arrizabalaga was tackled by Vinícius on the other side in the 26th minute, he was replaced by stopper Silva with a quick intervention. Nothing major happened after that and the teams went into the break with a 1:0 scoreline.
Five minutes after the break, Modrić almost sent his shot into the top right corner of the net, but it just missed. The 59th minute brought an important moment.
Chilwell fouled the escaping Rodrigue just outside his own sixteen, for which he received a red card. Alaba’s subsequent direct free kick was saved by the Chelsea goalkeeper.
A quarter of an hour later, the White Ballet increased their lead. Vinícius crossed to Asensio on the edge of the box, who shot just wide of the left post. The 27-year-old striker had come on just three minutes earlier.
The Blues were unable to reduce the two-goal deficit by the final whistle and will have no easy task in the rematch at Stamford Bridge. On the other hand, Real Madrid took another step in their quest to defend their Champions League triumph from last season.
In the opening match of the Italian quarter-final, AC Milan won 1-0 against Napoli. Ismaël Bennacer scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute.
Source: UEFA, Nova Sport 3
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