Chelsea missed a host of chances but had more than enough to beat a woeful Real Madrid 2-0 and reach the Champions League final on Wednesday night.
The Blues were happy to cede possession early on, knowing they had the pace and movement to get at their Spanish opponents after turnovers in possession – and that proved a route to goal more than once.
Timo Werner side-footed home after a low ball from the left, only to see his effort ruled out for offside, but there was no reprieve for Zinedine Zidane’s team minutes later as Kai Havertz chipped onto the crossbar and Werner headed in the rebound from two yards out.
Real needed a response after the break but it was Chelsea who threatened most, Havertz hitting the bar once more straight after the restart, before Mason Mount also blazed over when well-placed.
Further great chances were spurned by the home side as Havertz and N’Golo Kante raced clear through only to be denied by saves by Thibaut Courtois and Thiago Silva headed wide off a corner before Mount finally settled the tie to give Thomas Tuchel’s team a deserved 3-1 aggregate win.
Here are the player ratings from the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Edouard Mendy – 8. Huge save from Benzema’s curling effort in the first half, then tipped a header over the bar.
Andreas Christensen – 7. Stuck tight to Eden Hazard when he went wandering and gave no room to Real’s midfield runners.
Thiago Silva – 7. Utterly unruffled, not tested with any great consistency and undertook all his work in simple, effective fashion.
Antonio Rudiger – 7. Strong on the cover and ferocious in the challenge. Defended very well all-round.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7. Excellent on the cover inside his centre-backs. Quickly released the ball from the flank and didn’t try to do too much as an outlet.
N’Golo Kante – 9. Great drive and timing to open Real’s defence for the first goal of the night. As good as ever with his ball-winning. Should have scored but vital to exploiting Real on the break.
Jorginho – 6. Booked for a silly tackle in the first half. Defended with good work rate and clipped a few passes out into space to start counters.
Ben Chilwell – 7. Got forward to great effect in the first half, overlapping with regularity and combining with Mount and Werner.
Kai Havertz – 7. Once or twice didn’t have the first touch or pass which could be expected, but still linked play well and got himself into dangerous areas. Clipped a cool finish onto the bar which resulted in the opener, hit the woodwork again later and then missed a one-on-one. Almost perfect, but ultimately lacking the final touch.
Timo Werner – 8. Should have kept himself onside when he had a ‘goal’ ruled out – but showed great instincts to follow in for the one which did count. Teed up several other chances and was tactically vital to the cause.
Mason Mount – 7. Marginalised early on but worked himself into the game and never relented in tracking back Real’s attackers. Should have scored early in the second half, finally did so late on.
Christian Pulisic – 7. Caused havoc immediately with his speed on the turn and willingness to run at the defence.
Reece James – n/a
Hakim Ziyech – n/a
Olivier Giroud – n/a
Kurt Zouma – n/a
Thibaut Courtois – 8. Left exposed a couple of times, could do nothing about the goal but made a huge save one-on-one with Courtois on the hour mark and another from Kante soon after.
Eder Militao – 7. Real’s best defender on the night, did everything fairly well and kept his passing game simple enough.
Sergio Ramos – 4. Arguably cost his team the first goal with a typically rash attempt to win the ball which failed. Lost a header and failed to cut out a cross for the second. Well short of rhythm.
Nacho Fernandez – 4. Argumentative and looking to rile Chelsea’s players almost right from kick-off. Over-dramatic after being fouled and under-effective in his own challenges.
Vinicius Jr – 5. Played a role in between wing-back and wide forward and struggled to have an impact in either half as a result.
Casemiro – 7. His typical excellent self in terms of destroying Chelsea’s build-up play and putting his own team on the front foot. Aggressive and forward-thinking on the ball and at set-pieces.
Luka Modric – 4. Bypassed so often, simply didn’t have the athleticism to cope with Chelsea’s counters. Fine as ever with short-range passing but had no runners to aim for and didn’t attempt to get forward himself.
Toni Kroos – 6. Allowed to have the ball in deep areas but Chelsea denied the Real attackers room to run into to let Kroos’ passing range take full effect.
Ferland Mendy – 5. Never really got himself into prime attacking positions, other than a couple of crosses. Subbed after the break.
Karim Benzema – 7. Real’s big threat and the one attacker with the quality to create his own chances. A couple of great touches and turns, but denied by Mendy.
Eden Hazard – 5. Not fit, not sharp, not involved and not a threat.
Marco Asensio – 5. Barely had a touch in the attacking third.
Federico Valverde – 5. No real impact as a second-half sub.
Rodrygo – n/a.
Mariano Diaz – n/a.
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