MADRID – Karim Benzema scored again against Chelsea to lead Real Madrid to a 2-0 win in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday.
After Benzema scored his sixth goal in five games against the English side in the most recent encounter between the two European champions, Madrid substitute Marco Asensio also scored.
Chelsea finished the game with 10 men after Ben Chilwell was sent off for interfering with a Madrid breakaway. It was the second defeat in a row for new Chelsea interim coach Frank Lampard, who replaced Graham Potter amid the team’s poor performances.
The second part will take place in London next week. In the second quarterfinal encounter on Wednesday, AC Milan defeated Napoli 1-0.
In the 22nd minute, Benzema opened the score by hitting the open net after the rebound of a save by Kepa Arrizabalaga after a close-range attempt by Vinicius Junior.
final season, Benzema scored four goals against Chelsea in the final eight, including the game-winning goal in extra time in the second leg in Madrid. In the first leg in London, he scored a hat trick. The French veteran has 20 goals in 27 games against English opponents. His past 14 goals in the competition have all come in the playoffs.
Vinicius assisted Asencio’s second goal in the 74th minute.
“We performed admirably. “It was one of our best games of the season,” stated Vincius. “It’s fantastic to win at home like this, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, and we need to win the second game.” We’ll have to fight hard there as well.”
It is the third time Madrid and Chelsea have met in the Champions League, with Madrid winning at this level last season and Chelsea defeating the Spanish powerhouse in the quarterfinals the year before.
Madrid is attempting to reach the semifinals for the 11th time in 13 seasons, while Chelsea has only made it to the last four once since 2013-14.
Lampard’s new Chelsea tenure began with a 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Wolverhampton in the Premier League over the weekend. From 2019 to 21, the former midfielder guided the team.
Chelsea’s losing streak now stands at five games. It has only won two of its previous 11 Premier League games, leaving it in 11th place.
Two minutes into the game, the visitors had their first big chance on a breakaway, with former Atletico Madrid player Joao Felix having his shot saved by Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one situation.
The game was pretty level until Madrid blew it open with Benzema’s tap-in. A minute later, Chelsea nearly equalized when Raheem Sterling’s close-range shot was blocked by Courtois’ stunning reaction save by the post. The shot appeared to ricochet off Real Madrid defender Eder Milito, making Courtois’ save all the more difficult.
In the 59th minute, Chilwell pulled Rodrygo from behind to prevent the Brazilian attacker from entering the area on a breakaway. Chelsea signed Chilwell to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday.
In the 71st minute, Asensio came off the bench and added to Madrid’s advantage three minutes later with a low drive from just outside the box.
Chelsea failed to create any danger near the finish, but a shot by Kai Havertz in stoppage time was blocked by Madrid defender Antonio Rüdiger in front of the goal.
Madrid had just lost 3-2 at home to Villarreal, thereby ending the team’s chances of winning the Spanish league.
In the last eight, Real Madrid defeated Liverpool, while Chelsea defeated Borussia Dortmund.