Real Madrid recorded 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea at Bernabeu

Real Madrid recorded a 2-0 victory over 10-man Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Karim Benzema made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute of the contest before Marco Asensio doubled Real Madrid’s advantage in the 74th minute, meaning that the reigning champions will take a two-goal lead into the second leg of the contest at Stamford Bridge next week.

Chelsea were forced to play the final 31 minutes of the match with 10 men due to a red card for Ben Chilwell, who was dismissed for a challenge on Rodrygo.

Real Madrid knocked Chelsea out in the quarter-finals of last season’s competition, and the La Liga giants are now on course to eliminate the Blues in the final eight once again.

Chelsea had a golden chance to take the lead in the second minute of the contest when N’Golo Kante released Joao Felix into a one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois, but Eder Militao did brilliantly to put pressure on the forward, whose effort was ultimately comfortably kept out by the Real Madrid goalkeeper.

Real Madrid, as expected, were the team dominating possession, but Chelsea looked a big threat on the counter, with Felix and Raheem Sterling operating as a front two for the Blues.

The home side’s first attempt of the match came in the 12th minute when Benzema worked space inside the Chelsea box before attempting to beat Kepa Arrizabalaga, but the Spaniard was equal to the effort.

Real Madrid had a shout for a penalty in the 16th minute when Vinicius Junior went down inside the penalty box under a challenge from Reece James, but the referee was not interested and VAR agreed; Federico Valverde then sent one wide of the Chelsea goal with a strike from distance.

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The home team did make the breakthrough in the 21st minute of the contest, though, and it was not a surprise that Benzema was the player on the scoresheet.

It was a simple finish from the Frenchman, who converted into an empty net from close range after Kepa could only palm a Vinicius effort into a dangerous area.

Chelsea actually came close to levelling less than one minute later when Sterling met a low cross from James, but Courtois was on hand to make a stunning reaction save.

Thiago Silva then produced a goal-line clearance down the other end to keep out Vinicius, who lifted the ball towards the back of the net after breaking past Wesley Fofana.

Kepa had to make another smart stop to keep out an effort from Rodrygo in the 34th minute, before the Chelsea goalkeeper saved from David Alaba five minutes later, with Real Madrid looking to double their advantage in the closing stages of the first period at Bernabeu.

The home side also had the final chance of the opening half, with Valverde firing into the body of Kepa after a fast break led to the Uruguay international dribbling into a dangerous position.

Chelsea had the first half-chance of the second period, but Felix’s effort from a promising position was comfortably claimed by Courtois between the Real Madrid sticks.

Luka Modric then just missed the target with a curling effort in the 50th minute after smart work from Vinicius and then Benzema in the final third of the field.

Chelsea were reduced to 10 men in the 59th minute when Chilwell was sent off for a last-man challenge on Rodrygo, pulling the Brazilian to the ground when he was through on goal.

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From the resulting free kick, Kepa kept out Alaba’s strike, with Chelsea surviving conceding a second but facing an uphill task to prevent the deficit from increasing in the final 30 minutes of action.

Chelsea managed to settle in the period that followed, but the Blues conceded a second in the 74th minute when Asensio’s strike from outside the box went through Fofana’s legs to find a route into the bottom corner.

Asensio whistled another effort just wide of the away side’s post in the 79th minute, before Benzema headed over in the final exchanges after meeting a deflected cross from Alaba.

Mason Mount then had a golden chance to halve the deficit when the ball broke for him inside the box, but Antonio Ruidger was on hand to make a brilliant block, with Real Madrid winning 2-0, leaving Chelsea in a difficult position in the tie ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge next week.


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