Real Madrid defeated Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to go to the Champions League semifinals by a final aggregate score of 4-0. Rodrygo scored a second-half hat trick for Real Madrid.
For the first time since 1993, Chelsea has lost four straight games.
As Chelsea started out strong before the visitors got into the game and were mostly in control up to halftime, the first 45 minutes of the quarterfinal match appeared cagey and comparable to Madrid’s 2-0 victory in the first leg.
Marc Cucurella was left all alone at the far post and had a chance to score just before halftime, but a scurrying Thibaut Courtois stopped his close-range shot. As a result, the sides headed into the break deadlocked 0-0.
“Getting to the semifinals or a final is difficult. We’ve been to a lot of them over the last three years,” Courtois remarked after the victory. “Obviously, you don’t celebrate it when you play in a semifinal and lose, as against [Chelsea] three years ago.It’s not easy to reach a semifinal, but if you do, losing doesn’t seem like much of a loss.Our goal is to succeed and prevail.
When Rodrygo scored just before the hour mark, whatever dreams Chelsea may have had of an unlikely comeback were shattered. A little over 20 minutes later, the Brazilian doubled Carlo Ancelotti’s team’s advantage, kicking off the celebrations in Madrid.
“I’m not sure how to describe it. Every time I compete, I can assist the squad, therefore it’s a really meaningful competition for me, Rodrygo stated after the game. “I’m happy and I hope to carry on like that, scoring more goals, providing more assists, and winning the Champions League again.”
Rodrygo completed a sweeping counterattack against hapless Chelsea, who have lost all four games under interim manager Frank Lampard. He skipped past Trevoh Chalobah’s wild lunge and received Vinicius Junior’s cross from another Brazilian player before he scored.
The last minutes were practically academic as Real cranked up the flair, Federico Valverde setting up Rodrygo’s second goal, which caused a large number of Chelsea supporters to leave the stadium.
“It’s a pleasure to be here at Real Madrid, the biggest team in the world,” Rodrygo said. “We are aware that winning the Champions League and advancing to the semifinals and championship match is nearly a need. We’ve had that in the back of our minds ever since I got here: we need to play well and go far in this tournament. And that’s exactly what we’ve done.
Despite spending $621 million ($500 million) on new players, Chelsea’s season will conclude without a trophy under its new American owners. Meanwhile, 14-time European champions Real Madrid continue to compete with Ancelotti targeting the trophy for a fifth time.
Ancelotti remarked, “We understood you had to suffer in this sort of game. They gave their everything. They gave us issues in the first half, particularly on the left, but we were able to address it in the second. Suffering is natural; our level was excellent and our defence was strong. We’re delighted after a strong game and well-earned victory.
On an otherwise happy night, Madrid did get one piece of unfavourable news when Eder Militao received a yellow card that would prevent him from playing in the first leg of the semifinals owing to accumulation.
Going down to 10 men would have been challenging, but after that, he had an outstanding game at the back, according to Ancelotti. Hopefully, David Alaba will be available for the second leg of the semifinal because he will miss the first one.
Madrid will probably play Manchester City in the semifinals; Pep Guardiola’s squad has a 3-0 lead over Bayern Munich with one leg remaining in their quarterfinal.