London: Holders Real Madrid breezed past Chelsea into the semi-finals of the Champions League with Rodrygo’s double securing a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) for a 4-0 aggregate victory that sets up a likely mouth-watering clash with Manchester City.
Trailing 2-0 from last week’s clash in the Bernabeu, Chelsea had their moments but failed to take their chances in the opening half and at the start of the second and were made to pay as Rodrygo sent the silky Spaniards through.
He opened the scoring in the 58th minute and tapped in again in the 80th to spark a mass exodus of Chelsea fans.
N’Golo Kante had twice come close to cutting the deficit and Real’s former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois made a crucial save just before half-time to frustrate his old club.
And when Rodrygo finished off a sweeping counterattack there was no way back for the London club who have lost all four games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager.
It is the first time Chelsea have lost four games in a row since 1993.
The closing stages were almost academic and Real turned on the style with Federico Valverde teeing up Rodrygo’s second.
While Chelsea’s season will end trophy-less under their new American owners despite a £500 million ($925m) outlay on new players, 14-time European champions Real march on with manager Carlo Ancelotti eyeing the trophy for a fifth time.
“People will make a lot about this season for Chelsea because we’ve had so much success,” Lampard said. “The reality is this club is going to be back, but it will take work.”
Manchester City lead Bayern Munich 3-0 heading in to their quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.
Real were content to play a containing game but still looked capable of killing the tie whenever they moved forward and Rodrygo, who scored a vital goal for Real against Chelsea at the same stage last year, smashed a shot against the post.
Home keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga then beat away a Vinicius jnr effort before Real’s master craftsman Luka Modric found himself through on the right but Arrizabalaga saved.
A Chelsea goal before half-time would have energised the mood. It almost arrived in stoppage time when James fizzed a ball across the area and Marc Cucurella looked poised to score only for Courtois to smother his effort brilliantly.
“The big Courtois save was very important. We didn’t want them to go ahead,” Ancelotti said. “That could have been worrying. As the second half developed, we were stronger, we created space to open up quality transitions.
“By the end, we had produced a very complete performance. We hit a good level.”
Shortly after half-time Kante’s deflected effort went agonisingly wide and that proved Chelsea’s last hope as Real switched gears and took control.
Rodrygo skipped past Trevoh Chalobah’s wild lunge and his cross eventually was played back to him by fellow Brazilian Vinicius for him to slot home.
With a safety cushion established, Real’s fans wedged in the corner were already serenading their team by the time Real picked apart Chelsea’s defence again for Rodrygo to deliver the knockout blow into an empty net.
In Tuesday’s other second-leg quarter-final match, a late equaliser to Victor Osimhen wasn’t enough for Italian champions-in-waiting Napoli, who fell 2-1 on aggregate to compatriots AC Milan.
Olivier Giroud’s strike shortly before half-time doubled the advantage the Rossoneri took to Naples following last week’s win. Napoli had a glimmer of hope eight minutes from time when Fikayo Tomori handled the ball inside the box, but Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s penalty was saved by Mike Maignan.
Osimhen was shackled all night until his added-time header but it came too late for Napoli and their disappointed fans.
The win ensured seven-time champions AC Milan made the final four for the first time since 2007. They are likely to face another familiar foe for a place in the final, with city rivals Inter holding a 2-0 lead over Benfica heading into the second leg of their tie.
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com