The stage is set for the first semi-final game of this year’s UEFA Champions League.
Tuesday’s tie pitches 13-time champions, Real Madrid against single winners, Chelsea at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano with both teams on a mission to qualify for the final billed for next month in Istanbul.
Despite being the most successful club in the history of this competition, this is Real Madrid’s first Champions League semi-final appearance in the last three years.
Los Blancos booked their spot in the final four courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate victory over Liverpool in the quarter-finals, while Chelsea survived a late scare against Porto to beat the Primeira Liga giants 2-1 over two legs.
Though they both feature regularly in the UCL, Real Madrid and Chelsea have never crossed paths in the Champions League.
Real Madrid and Chelsea have only ever met three times down the years, and the Spanish side failed to win any of those meetings – losing twice and drawing once to the Blues since 1971.
Aside from Real Madrid heading into Tuesday’s tie on the back of two barren draws in La Liga, Chelsea will be buoyed by the fact that their manager, Thomas Tuchel has not lost any of his four games against Real Madrid.
For many, this semi-final tie could go either way hence predicting a likely winner is a difficult call.
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Kickoff is 8.00 pm
Thomas Tuchel has picked the same team that beat West Ham 1-0 on Saturday. With Vinicius Junior as Real Madrid’s main attacking arrow head, Tuchel has opted for the defensive solidity and experience of Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of Reece James at right wing-back to nullify that threat while Zinedine Zidane has matched up to Chelsea with three at the back.
Real Madrid team news
Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Militao, Nacho, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Benzema, Vinicius
Subs: Lunin, Altube, Hazard, Asensio, Odriozola, Isco, Mariano, Rodrigo, Arribas, Blanco, Miguel
Chelsea team news
Chelsea XI: Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Werner, Pulisic.
Subs: Kepa, Caballero, Alonso, Emerson, James, Zouma, Gilmour, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Abraham, Giroud
The game has officially kicked off
Throw in for Real Madrid
Chelsea pushing well for an early goal but still barren after the first five minutes
Eder Militao charged Mason Mount from behind and it’s a free-kick for Chelsea
Chance… Chelsea come quite close to the opening goal Mason Mount and Timo Werner with a good combo… Courtois makes a brave save there
another in swinger by Chelsea but the final touch did not come
Chelsea with the upper hand so far but still goalless
Chelsea with the first corner kick
Goal.. Pulisic puts Chelsea ahead
Antonio Rudiger deserves some accolades for this opening goal
That goal was Pulisic’s second Champions League goal this season
Ball possession: Real Madrid: 48%, Chelsea: 52%.
Chelsea have had four attempts and three were on target with one resulting in a goal.. Real Madrid yet to get any shot on target
20’Mins Real Madrid 0-1 Chelsea
It’s raining, making conditions difficult for the players.
Yellow card.. Vinicus gets booked for a foul on Pulisic
Chelsea pushing for another goal but they have been checkmated by Real defenders
Goal!!! Benzema pulls Real Madrid level
Fantastic overhead kick inside the box by the French man
Casemrio down after a shot to his stomach
Real Madrid appears to have turned the game on its head. They are piling the pressure now
Ball possession : Chelsea 53% while Real Madrid have 47%
Half Time : Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea
Second half already underway
Chelsea get the proceedings started
Benzema shoots off target
Free kick as Marcelo from Real Madrid trips Christian Pulisic
End-to-end stuff now.. Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea
Yellow card.. Toni Kroos booked for a foul on Kante
Chelsea playing dangerously in their own half
Another Yellow card this time for Marcelo
Substitution. Eden Hazard in for Vinicus
Triple substitution by Chelsea as Christian Pulisic is replaced by Hakim Ziyech.
Timo Werner replaced by Kai Havertz and Cesar Azpilicueta replaced by Reece James
N’Golo Kante from Chelsea goes a bit too far there as the pulls down Karim Benzema
Varane booked for a foul as Chelsea win a free-kick in a position
Marco Asensio from Real Madrid is ruled offside
Odriozola cuts off the run of Antonio Ruediger. A free-kick is awarded to Chelsea
Rodrygo in for Bezema for the last minutes
FT: Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea
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