Football lesson from Ancelotti’s team who, in the first leg of the quarter-finals, easily overcame the Blues forced to play in 10 for Chilwell’s expulsion in the 59th minute
April 12 – London (England)
Mission accomplished. Real Madrid dominated Chelsea and took the first leg of the quarterfinals 2-0 at the Bernabeu, building an important lead for next Tuesday’s return leg at Stamford Bridge. An advantage which, as far as we have seen on the pitch, should have been much wider, because Ancelotti’s team dominated and Lampard’s team was more careful not to sink than to prove they weren’t the intruder among the magnificent eight who arrived at this point in the Champions League.
Real confirmed that they are superior in all respects in the crossing which in the last two editions has always decided who won the cup: they scored midway through the first half with Benzema, struck with Asensio in the half hour of the second half, put to test Kepa and shown all the limits of the open construction site called Chelsea. However, the Blues managed not to sink despite playing 10 against 11 in the last half hour, after Chilwell was sent off. They still have a very small hope, but for the turnaround in the return leg they will have to be the team they have never been able to be all season. And Real play their worst game of the season.
Real won because they have the best players and are the much better team. And he showed it on the pitch. He put pressure on Chelsea, with Vinicus unleashed on the left and Benzema making moves in the first half before faltering in the second half. The Blues were on the ropes for a long time, they conceded a goal in each half and showed that they are far from the level needed to be competitive in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, especially if up front there is a team like Ancelotti’s, not only full of champions but of players used to this stage, to this competition. Real’s only regret are too many yellow cards (no warnings) and not having made the superiority more concrete, immediately closing the qualification issue. Lampard suffers the second defeat in two games at the helm of Chelsea, in which the team has not scored. The new coach shuffled the cards with a 3-5-2 formation (in his debut he had fielded the team with a 4-3-3 formation), the return of Thiago Silva after a month and a half stop and the insertion of Sterling in attack instead of Havertz. The only one to save himself was Kante, who showed in midfield that he was the top player the Blues had been missing all season. If Chelsea’s intent was not to sink in Real’s home then the mission is accomplished, but a team like the Blues, champions only two seasons ago, should aim for something more than not conceding more than two goals at the home of the champions. ‘Europe. If this is the best Chelsea can do, Tuesday’s game at Stamford Bridge also looks sealed.
Chelsea had the first chance on the counterattack after 2′, but Real made the match and unlocked it in the 22nd minute with Benzema, who tap-in on Kepa’s short clearance following Vinicius’ shot. Courtois overcomes himself immediately after to prevent Sterling’s draw, shortly after Thiago Silva saves Vinicius on the line, Ancelotti’s team controls and creates but is only 1-0 ahead at the break. Chelsea immediately lost Koulibaly to injury in the second half and in the 58th minute remained in 10 with Chilwell, who was kicked out for a foul on Rodrygo launched on the net. Lampard restores the defense to 5 by inserting Chalobah in place of Joao Felix in the 65th minute, but Real continue to dominate and in the 74th minute they double up with Asensio, who comes in from 3′ and puts Kepa in with a shot from the edge of the pool caught by Vinicius . Real controls the game, Chelsea in the 94th minute have the chance to shorten with Mount but Rudiger sacrifices himself on him. And the Bernabeu celebrates a victory that is worth a step and a half towards the semifinal.
April 12, 2023 (change April 13, 2023 | 00:53)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED