Will Real Madrid End Chelsea’s Title Reign?by Alex Al-Kazzaz April 9, 2022 0 comments
Since their last Champions League title victory in 2018, Real Madrid’s tournament runs have ended on bad terms. From suffering back-to-back eliminations in the tournament’s Round of 16 in 2019 and 2020, to falling out in the final four last season, it’s been tough for the 13-time champions. At this point, Los Blancos are more determined than ever to reach the top of the mountain again.
After eliminating Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16, Real Madrid was drawn against defending champions, Chelsea. Chelsea ended Real Madrid’s run last season, going on to beat Manchester City in the final to hoist the title. Los Blancos are looking to extract revenge by ending Chelsea’s title reign. Thanks to a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, Real Madrid are close to getting the job done. With the second leg taking place in Madrid, Los Blancos’ advantage increases.
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Karim Benzema. Two perfect headers in three minutes.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 6, 2022
Real Madrid’s Two Early Goals
Within the first twenty minutes of the first match, both sides were challenging each other. Each wasted no time inflicting pressure on each other, but both sides were well-organized and resilient. Things began to go bad for Chelsea when they conceded two goals in a three-minute span, courtesy of Karim Benzema. Benzema would go on to score a third goal, becoming the third player player in Champions League history to register a hat-trick against the current title holders. Despite trailing early by two goals, Chelsea cut the lead in half in the 40th minute, courtesy of Kai Havertz.
Edouard Mendy’s Mistake, Chelsea’s Unluckiness
Chelsea entered the second half full of confidence as they were still well in the game. Unfortunately, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy committed a terrible blunder, failing to clear the ball and losing possession to Benzema who was able to put the ball into the net with ease. One could argue that defender Antonio Rüdiger was also at fault.
Chelsea had about half a dozen scoring opportunities in the second half. Although they put heavy pressure on Real Madrid, Chelsea was unable to capitalize on their golden opportunities. Their inability to score really hurt them. Now they go into the second leg with a 3-1 aggregate deficit.
The second leg is Tuesday. Real Madrid has to be the favorite, considering their home field and aggregate advantages. In addition, the team’s strength may be too much for Chelsea. Therefore, Chelsea’s title reign could come to an end next week. Los Blancos sit on top of La Liga.
There has only been one team in Champions League history that has overcome a two-goal deficit with the second leg taking place on the road. Chelsea is certainly facing seemingly insurmountable odds, but there is no reason to count them out considering they are a talented club. Anything can happen now.
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