Real Madrid’s European campaign ended with a whimper with a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in the second leg of the 2020/21 Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge.
Los Blancos were out-played pretty much from start to finish, with just two Karim Benzema chances in the first half serving as scoring opportunities. Otherwise, the Blues ran the show and got goals through Timo Werner and Mason Mount for a 3-1 aggregate win, setting up an all-Premier League final against Manchester City.
Zinedine Zidane’s starting XI included a return of Sergio Ramos at centre-back, while both Eden Hazard and Vinicius got the nod to accompany Benzema in attack.
Chelsea enjoyed the better start of the two and Real Madrid were fortunate that a Werner goal was ruled out due to offside after Casemiro had lost the ball in a precarious spot in midfield.
Real Madrid soon found their footing and Benzema fired a warning shot midway through the half that forced Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy into a stretch save.
The first score, though, would go Chelsea’s way, with N’Golo Kante slipping a pass into Kai Havertz, who chipped over the onrushing Thibaut Courtois, only to see the ball bounce off the crossbar. Yet standing right there all alone was Werner, who had the easiest of headers into goal for a 1-0 Chelsea lead.
Benzema was presented with another great chance to score, this time thanks to the playmaking of Luka Modric, but the French striker’s header was tipped over the crossbar by Mendy.
In the early stages of the second half, Havertz hit the crossbar for a second time with a header, signaling that the Blues were going for the kill. That was followed by a chance for Mount off a back-heel from Werner that the former failed to finish and then Havertz being denied by Courtois in a one-on-one.
Just after the hour mark, Zidane went to his bench for a spark, so Fede Valverde and Marco Asensio were summoned for Ferland Mendy and Vinicius.
If it wasn’t for Courtois, Real Madrid’s chances of advancing would have been done and dusted midway through the second half, but another stop from the big Belgian on Kante kept Los Blancos in it.
It was all Chelsea and there was hardly anything that Real Madrid mounted that suggested it could end with a goal. The Londoners were winning every 50-50 ball, whether on the turf or in the air.
Zidane was running out of chips, with Rodrygo on for Casemiro, but it mattered little. Chelsea completely bossed the match and the nail in the coffin was hammered in when Christian Pulisic found Mount, who fired in from a few yards out to complete the 2-0 scoreline.
2.- Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta (James, min. 88), Rudiger, Christensen, Thiago Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho; Havertz (Giroud, min. 94), Mount (Ziyech, min. 89), Werner (Pulisic, min. 68).
0.- Real Madrid: Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Ramos, Mendy (Fede Valverde, min. 63); Casemiro (Rodrygo, min. 76), Modric, Kroos; Vinicius (Asensio, min. 63), Hazard (Mariano, min. 89), Benzema.
Goals: 1-0, min. 28: Werner; 2-0, min. 85: Mount
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy).
Yellow cards: Jorginho (Min. 14) for Chelsea, Ramos (Min. 36) for Real Madrid, Christensen (Min. 39) for Chelsea, Nacho (Min. 62) for Real Madrid, Kroos (Min. 72) for Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Min. 90) for Real Madrid
Red cards: None
Stadium: Stamford Bridge