Real Madrid with a still decisive Benzema against Chelsea offers itself a Champions League semi-final


The Fact: Immortal Real

As against PSG in the round of 16, Real Madrid again came out of nowhere on Tuesday evening. For 80 minutes, the Merengues suffered the intensity of a Chelsea above in all sectors, like an extinct midfielder. The end seemed inescapable when Timo Werner overwhelmed a beleaguered defense to plant the third goal. But, once again, Carlo Ancelotti’s troupe has found the light. With the recipe that made the success of this group of champions: brilliant inspirations from its leaders, clinical success, saving entries but also some favorable refereeing decisions, such as this goal denied to Marcos Alonso for a hand (62nd). The club with thirteen Champions League will be there for the semi-finals.

The game: 2-3 a.m.

This double confrontation between the most successful club in the competition and the outgoing winner will be remembered for a long time. After a first leg marked by the genius of Karim Benzema (1-3), this return match offered a new breathtaking scenario. Because Chelsea came to Madrid with a mastered game plan and the firm intention of selling their skin dearly. The Blues did much better than that, but their success was not enough (3-2 ap).

Organized with a four-man defense for the first time this season in C1, they imposed a physical intensity that made Madrid suffer. After a streak full of mastery, Mason Mount rewarded the good start of his team and drew an incredible comeback (15th). Unable to frame a single shot in the first period, Real found themselves on the ropes when Antonio Rüdiger beat Thibaut Courtois on a contentious corner (51st). A time saved by the VAR on the goal denied to Marcos Alonso, Ancelotti’s men were punished a third time by Timo Werner (75th).


With this new qualification, Carlo Ancelotti joins the last four of the C1 for the eighth time in his coaching career. Before him, only José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola had succeeded.

Faced with such a display from Chelsea, PSG supporters surely brooded over their elimination in the previous round against a brain-dead Real for 80 minutes on Tuesday evening. But they were also able to see everything that separates them from such a team. In the midst of a storm and on the verge of sinking, the Merengues did not disunite and managed to get their heads above water. After the Benzema recital on the first leg, the solution came from a brilliant inspiration from Luka Modric, whose outside foot allowed Rodrygo to send everyone into extra time (80th). And unlike Christian Pulisic, who missed two match points after added time (90 + 2 and 90 + 4), Karim Benzema did not miss his cartridge after an excellent recovery from Eduardo Camavinga (96th). Real will challenge Manchester City or Atlético for a place in the final.

The player: Benzema, obviously

After two hat-tricks in a row, Karim Benzema has added a new stone to the magnificent edifice that is his 2021-22 season. Isolated up front and not helped by a Vinicius who missed almost everything, the French striker was dangerous at the slightest opportunity. Like on this shot deflected by Thiago Silva (23rd) or this header on the bar (66th). Without ever conveying nervousness to his partners despite the turn of events, the captain offered them qualification from the start of the extension with a close range header (96th). The twelfth goal of his European campaign, a first for a French player.



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