We’ve put a lot of hard work into helping the podcast network grow and evolve over the years. 14′ ‘Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool’ Mason Mount scores the first goal for Chelsea, a great pass for Mount, who penetrated from deep and hit the ball hard to the left of Courtois. Chelsea wiped out Madrid’s 3-1 lead from the first leg in stunning fashion at the Santiago Bernabeu as Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner put Europe’s reigning champions on the brink of a incredible victory. Mason Mount – who will play his 100th Chelsea game tonight if selected – could be asked to drop deep if necessary to help N’Golo Kante and Jorginho against the three men in Los Blancos’ creative engine room. The extra energy from those substitutes seemed to be exactly what we needed, as we followed that break in play by penning Real Madrid back in their own penalty area for the next five minutes, and then Ziyech charged into the left channel and squared across goal, but Havertz couldn’t get on the end of it in the middle.
Real still hadn’t learned to deal with our press, as Kante won possession and quickly fed Werner, but this time his shot was charged down by Raphael Varane. Upfront, Karim Benzema accounts for a quarter of their shots on target in this competition and almost a third of their goals. Just what he was bought for. Chelsea must not lack intensity and concentration as the Merseysiders did if Edou Mendy is to match the record of just two goals conceded by a goalkeeper in his first 10 Champions League outings; a record set by Real’s Keylor Navas. Centre-halves Varane and Militao will be confident of repelling the Blues’ crosses when they are set in position, but break behind Real’s high full-backs and inviting acres have the rearguard back-pedalling. Notoriously, Real Madrid are one of those teams that does not really start to play well until the business end of this competition, when their ring-craft is at its most valuable. Chelsea TV’s global available matchday shows – including early team news, exclusive interviews and analysis – are on the 5th Stand app, Facebook Live and the official YouTube channel. Neither Chelsea nor our coach, Thomas Tuchel, have ever lost to Los Blancos and confidence should be high going into tonight’s first leg in Madrid after a positive weekend domestically.
Los Blancos’ first-choice right-back returned to action at the weekend after six months out, but talismanic centre-back and skipper Sergio Ramos, their most rounded left-back, Ferland Mendy, and Fede Valverde, a major source of creativity, may not feature until the decisive leg in London. It created breathing space ahead of another derby to come on Saturday against Fulham and produced a long-awaited goal for Timo Werner.The German dropped deep to hold off Hammers’ centre-back Ogbonna and start the move, then left the out-of-position central defender in his wake to meet Ben Chilwell’s shrewd cross. 79′ Havertz is heavily involved in a patient Chelsea move, but last year’s Champions League final match-winner can only shoot straight at Courtois from 20 yards out with few options available. If the more reticent Nacho starts at left-back, we can expect Marcelo to appear alongside his compatriot at some stage. Auréolé, lui, de son premier titre de champion d’Afrique, après la victoire du Sénégal en Coupe d’Afrique des Nations (CAN) le 6 février dernier, Sadio Mané a vu sa cote grimper en flèche.
Le Portugais pousse son ballon, puis oriente le jeu sur la droite de la surface, où Riyad Mahrez vient claquer une frappe au premier poteau ! Real have had the benefit of this all season in La Liga.The Video Assistant Referee system is used in all games and viewing the pitch-side monitor is more prevalent than in the Premier League. That was a sign that the full-throttle approach to the game we had instigated was making way for something more measured as the tempo dropped a bit, which suited the hosts more than us, given the success we had enjoyed earlier in the game. This is the Blues’ eighth appearance in the Champions League semi-finals – the most by any English side – and Real Madrid’s 14th. The hosts’ track record of securing 19 European trophies may put Chelsea’s six in some shade, but the Blues do have one or two claims over our hosts. Real Madrid reach their 10th Champions League semifinal in the last 12 seasons. Chelsea were humbled last week at home and they will need to dig deep if they are to have any joy at the Bernabeu. Coaches are permitted to select 12 substitutes and introduce five of them in three different spells (plus half-time) throughout the course of the match.
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