Timo Werner opened the scoring for Chelsea against Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge in their Champions League semifinal second leg.
Chelsea and Real Madrid meet at Stamford Bridge in a Champions League semifinal matchup of European heavyweights looking to book a ticket to the final in Istanbul.
While Real has become a fixture of the Champions League final with four UCL titles in the last seven seasons, Chelsea will be seeking its third final appearance since 2008.
In the first leg in Madrid, Christian Pulisic became the first U.S. player to score in a Champions League semifinal, but his goal was canceled out by Karim Benzema’s 29th-minute equalizer. However, Pulisic will start the second leg on the bench for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Real won’t have defenders Raphaël Varane and Dani Carvajal available in London after the duo picked up injuries in the first leg, but Sergio Ramos returns to captain the side.
After the 1-1 draw in Madrid, a scoreless draw would be enough to see Chelsea through to the final while Real need a win or a multiple-goal draw.
With the start, Eden Hazard made his return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his €100 million ($113 million) transfer that set a Real Madrid record in 2019. Meanwhile Ramos started for Real for the first time in more than a month.
Los Blancos started with lots of buildup early, finally managing their first shot in the 11th minute when Toni Kroos sent a shot from distance that was easily picked up by Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy.
Knowing that a scoreless draw gets them through, the Blues looked comfortable sitting back and jumping on the counter attack, the first coming in the 13th minute when Mason Mount’s cross into the box was cleared at the near post.
Chelsea seemed to take the early lead in the 18th minute when Timo Werner turned in Ben Chilwell’s cross, but the German international was well offside.
Mendy made a brilliant, leaping save in the 26th minute to keep the game scoreless when Karim Benzema ripped a shot off a quick turn from the edge of the area.
The hosts broke through just two minutes later in an attack led by N’Golo Kante. The versatile midfielder found Kai Havertz cutting down the left of the Real defense as the German chipped Thibaut Courtois. The shot bounced off the crossbar and back down into play where Werner was waiting for the easy header for his 11th goal in all competitions.
Mendy thwarted Benzema’s goal-bound effort once again in the 36th minute as the keeper tipped the header over the bar and out of play.
Havertz started the second half by hitting the crossbar once again when his powerful header from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross clanged off the woodwork in the 47th minute.
Just minutes later, Thiago Silva had a free run at a header off a set piece but sent it wide. Chelsea continued to come up short on a second as Mount skied a wide-open chance over the goal following a quick one-two in the 53rd minute.
Havertz had another golden chance in the 59th minute when he was through on goal with only Courtois to beat. But the former Chelsea star continued to keep Real in the match as Havertz sent his shot directly at the keeper.
Courtois stepped up yet again in the 66th minute as he stared down a rampant Chelsea counter attack. With three-on-two, Werner passed off to a wide open Kante, whose low shot was confidently saved by Courtois.
Christian Pulisic came on in the 67th minute and injected a bit of pace into the Chelsea side. The USMNT star broke away with a couple of chances, coming closest in the 80th minute but his shot while trailing away from goal was collected by Courtois.
Stay tuned here for live updates and highlights of goals and key plays from throughout the match (refresh for most recent updates).
Here are the lineups for both teams:
The winner will face Manchester City, which defeated Paris Saint-Germain on a 4–1 aggregate, in the Champions League final in Istanbul on May 29.