I have come to a conclusion that – Real Madrid could be sitting 20th on the La Liga table and will still manage to deliver on a Champions League night!
The European Royalty is still alive and thriving and when it comes to the Champions League, Real Madrid are different gravy.
After winning the first leg at Stamford Bridge by a convincing scoreline of 3-1, only a few would have given Chelsea a chance to make a comeback.
Chelsea a side struggling with matters off the pitch needed to come to the Spanish capital and produce a performance that will resonate as one of their greatest European nights.
And they almost, almost, pulled it off!
Story of the match:
Coming into the second leg, Chelsea had to do one thing at all cost. That is, to score first.
When the referee’s watch displayed 15 min, Mason Mount scored for Chelsea and the London boys achieved their non-negotiable – they scored first!
One goal is all it takes to stir up a contest and that is exactly what happened when Mason Mount scored.
All of sudden the Los Blancos were looking like a side without answers. The momentum completely tilted towards Tuchel’s men and despite scoring only the one, Chelsea dominated the first half!
The aggregate scoreline read 3-2 in Real’s favour as the two-legged tie headed into the final 45.
Chelsea continued their dominance in the second half and as a product, they scored their 2nd goal of the match via Rudiger.
In a blink of an eye, Chelsea were back into the contest equal at 3-3 on aggregate.
The domination continued and Chelsea scored another one, only to be ruled out by Var for handball.
Despite playing on their home patch, the home team was struggling by this point. After simmering and simmering, Chelsea ultimately took the lead. This time, there was no business for VAR, and Chelsea was ahead.
Timo Werner stayed on-side for once and scored a sumptuous goal when the clock read 75 min. The comeback was complete with 15 min to play.
But, as they say, in football, it only takes a second to score a goal. After dominating almost the entirety of the second leg, finally, something went in Real’s favour.
Luka Modric – 36 and young – provided a delicious ball to the just substituted Rodrygo who applied the finishing touches and pegged back Real to 4-4.
The unlimited euphoria stagnated for 80 min was finally let out by all Madridistas, with a sigh of relief!
At the end of normal time, the scoreline read 3-1 to Chelsea, a complete identical scoreline to what Real did to The Blues in the first leg.
This contest had been a tale of ebbs and flows throughout both the legs, but heading into ET, the momentum once again favoured the Los Blancos.
Benzema materialised that intangible feeling of momentum by scoring in the 96th min and Real could once again rely upon their main man.
Big Benz stood tall for the Spanish capital against a team from London and that’s the irony!
As I said before, Real Madrid could be sitting 20th on the La Liga table and will still manage to deliver in the Champions League!
No further goals were added to the tie, the match ended 5-4 in real’s favour and they yet again delivered on a European night!
The thing with Real Madrid is they can have an average game or perhaps even a bad one, yet they keep finding these ways to win matches in the Champions League.
Performing well in the Champions League is so embedded in the cultural ethos of the football club, that it has become a common norm to play well in the competition.
People may call it luck or n number of other things, but if one word had to be used to define Real Madrid as a club and the reason they keep coming back from positions of defeat is – ‘MENTALITY’.
Real Madrid are mentality monsters and there is no question about it!
They did it against PSG, they did it against Chelsea, and now they are in the semi-finals yet again.
If it’s a Champions League night, never ever rule the Los Blancos out at any stage of the match!