We’ve got a month of the season to go and we’ll fight until the end, come what may. We’ll have difficulties, of course, but so will all teams. Once again Thomas Tuchel’s side are in the top four of the Premier League but aren’t in the title race. Tuchel’s charges have not been firing on all cylinders of late, but the bounce backed in style against Southampton, and that victory will have given them renewed belief. Tuchel’s side suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at home against Brentford at the weekend and with the growing uncertainty around the club about their potential new owners, they need a big display in the first leg at home against Real Madrid. Real Madrid will welcome Chelsea on Tuesday to the Bernabeu for the second leg of their quarterfinal match in Champions League action. Real Madrid was able to hold off Chelsea in the first leg by the score of 3-1 and the comeback kids, Chelsea will look to keep up the momentum after knocking off Southampton 6-0 in their last match. 55′ Chelsea want another corner as Militao intervenes to stop Havertz reaching a wicked Ziyech cross, but a goal kick is given, with replays showing the last touch came off the Chelsea man.
46th minute: Two substitutions and a change of shape for Chelsea, with Kovacic and Ziyech replacing Kante and the bereft Christensen. The substitute Romelu Lukaku missed a terrific chance to make it 3-2 and Hakim Ziyech shot just over in injury-time. His scintillating form comes in stark contrast to Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku, who cost the club 115 million euros ($125 million) last summer but has fallen out of favour under Tuchel. Last week, Real Madrid stunned the Stamford Bridge crowd with a comprehensive 3-1 victory thanks to a hat-trick by Karim Benzema. City will look back on a convincing win against Lampard’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this season that really kick-started their campaign into action. Tuchel’s side, totally rejuvenated under their impressive German manager, were starting to assume dominance as the first half drew to a close before totally over-running a Real side that suddenly started to look its age in the face of the energy of Havertz, Werner and Mount – as well as Pulisic when he came on – allied to the all-round brilliance of Kante in midfield. Casemiro also leapt to the defence of Gareth Bale, who was whistled by a section of the Real Madrid fans on Saturday as he came off the bench against Getafe to make his first appearance at the Santiago Bernabeu since February 2020. “We’re all affected when one player is whistled,” said Casemiro.
Ben Chilwell is out for the season but Chelsea’s only other injury concern is Callum Hudson-Odoi who has an Achilles issue. The outstanding Kante, who was also instrumental in the opening goal, fed substitute Christian Pulisic and his cross was turned in by Mount with five minutes left. The lanky Belgian threw up a strong hand to deny the Blues their fourth when Havertz rose highest from a corner, and Real levelled the tie through substitute Rodrygo moments later. Ramos and Luka Modric, while still making key contributions, are both 35 and Real must now start looking even beyond those Bernabeu legends when plotting the future. “In the old days strikers would hang around the box and just tap the ball in when they could. It means that Chelsea will go to Madrid needing to win by two goals just to take the tie to extra-time. Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick against Chelsea last week, with the Frenchman now on 42 goals in 42 games this season.
Tuchel will be burning to make up for last season’s final loss with PSG and he has already proved he can come up with a plan to beat Manchester City after Chelsea’s 1-0 win in the FA Cup semi-final, which has set up a Wembley meeting with Leicester City. Odds were last updated Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. ET. The only downside was their failure to take one of the many chances they created until late on, leaving the door open for a potential reprieve for Real that would have amounted to grand larceny given how they were being let off the hook. Chelsea were rock solid at the back, have a strong platform in midfield and were a real threat – albeit one that often went unfulfilled because of their own profligacy. Because he shared the pitch with Cristiano Ronaldo, his contributions at Real Madrid have often been overlooked. The most prolific team in Champions League history has been blanked in three of its previous six matches, with multi-goal efforts against middling La Liga clubs Cadiz and Osasuna making up the majority of the offensive output over that span.
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