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Champions League Match Report & Player Ratings | Real Madrid take one step toward a semi-final birth after comfortable 2-0 win over Chelsea

Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio on either side of a Ben Chilwell sending-off was the difference on the night as Real Madrid move closer to a date with one of Manchester City or Bayern Munich

Pre-Match Social Media Commentary

Chelsea’s woes continue across the 2022-23 campaign both at home and abroad after their unexpected inclusion in the quarterfinals of the Champions League put them on a collision course with holders Real Madrid, with the Spanish giants taking a 2-0 lead into the second leg in Stamford Bridge after a consummate win in front of home support at the Santiago Bernabeu.

On a night when Frank Lampard was hoping to instill some measure of grit and determination in a Blues outfit that have endured hardship all season long, the iconic former midfielder was unable to conjure up a performance good enough to outstrip the thirteen-time winners.

The Blues nearly got off to a dream start inside three minutes when João Félix was released into space behind the last defender but the Portuguese bungled his opportunity by taking too much time on the ball before the chance was snuffed out.

Lampard’s troops continued to knock on the door in the opening ten minutes before Madrid finally settled into a rhythm while asking one or two half-questions of their own, but it remained clear that Chelsea was much more up for the fight compared to their performance at the weekend against Wolves.

Real took the lead right on 22 minutes thanks to a moment of madness from Chelsea when the Blues turned possession over in the defensive third while trying to play out of the back before Dani Carvajal played a ball over the top for Vinícius Júnior only for the Brazilian star to volley across goal to find Karim Benzema who tapped home after Kepa Arrizabalaga failed to collect.

But Chelsea nearly leveled matters just after the restart after Sterling’s first-time effort on the back of Reece James’ ball across the face of goal was expertly turned away by former Blues shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois, with Madrid still susceptible to being cut open via direct play.

Resumption of play saw both sides pick up where they left off from a tactical level, but Chelsea’s night went from bad to worse when Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card and given his marching orders in the 60th minute for bringing down Rodrygo after the Brazilian was in behind the back line and through on goal.

The man advantage would finally come home to roost in the 74th minute through second-half substitute Marco Asensio after Madrid continued to pile on the pressure before the Spanish international found the back of the net with a low-bending effort from just outside the box to cap off a short corner to create space.

Madrid coasted from then on and probably could have scored a third at the very least, but a comfortable 2-0 lead going into the return leg in west London should be more than enough against a Chelsea outfit that still has it all to prove. Though the Blues did have their chances, they once again fell short in front of goal while consistently showing themselves incapable of finding the back of the net at a rate commensurate with their stature across Europe.

Key Stats & Performers

Real Madrid Player Ratings

  • GK: Thibaut Courtois – 7
  • RB: Dani Carvajal – 7
  • RCB: Éder Militão – 6.5
  • LCB: David Alaba – 7
  • LB: Eduardo Camavinga – 7
  • DM: Toni Kroos – 7.5
  • RCM: Luka Modrić – 7.5
  • LCM: Federico Valverde – 7.5
  • RW: Rodrygo – 7
  • LW: Vinícius Júnior – 8
  • CF: Karim Benzema – 8
  • Sub: Marco Asensio – 7.5
  • Sub: Antonio Rüdiger – 6.5
  • Sub: Dani Ceballos – 6
  • Sub: Aurélien Tchouaméni – 6

Chelsea Player Ratings

  • GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 7.5
  • RCB: Wesley Fofana – 6
  • CB: Thiago Silva – 6
  • LCB: Kalidou Koulibaly – 6.5
  • RWB: Reece James – 6
  • DM: N’Golo Kanté – 7
  • LWB: Ben Chilwell – 5
  • RCM: Mateo Kovačić – 6
  • LCM: Enzo Fernández – 6
  • RF: João Félix – 6.5
  • LF: Raheem Sterling – 6
  • Sub: Marc Cucurella – 6
  • Sub: Kai Havertz – 6
  • Sub: Trevoh Chalobah – 6
  • Sub: Mason Mount – 6
  • Sub: Conor Gallagher – 6

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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