With a hat-trick from Karim Benzema, Real Madrid beat Chelsea 3-1 in London on Wednesday in the first leg of the European Champions League quarter-finals and opened an important lead to decide the clash in home next week.
In the 21st of the first half, the French forward opened the scoring with a header for the Merengue team, taking advantage of a cross from the Brazilian Vinícius Júnior. Three minutes later, he scored the second after receiving a pass from Croatian Luka Modric. At 40′, Kai Havertz decreased for Chelsea also with a header, but Benzema scored the third in the first minute of the second half.
Chelsea started the match keeping possession of the ball, while Real Madrid scored in the opponent’s field to try to attack.
The English team tried to approach Courtois’ goal from the sides, but ran into the Merengue defense.
The ‘Blues’ also had problems with the slowness of their defensive system, which made life easier for Real Madrid, who soon took the lead with Benzema.
In a move from the left, Vinícius Júnior lifted the ball in the area and the Frenchman went up with his head to beat goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Just three minutes later, Benzema made it wide as he braced Modric’s cross, this time on the right.
Behind on the scoreboard, Chelsea launched the attack and, at 40, managed to pierce the defense of Real Madrid. Jorginho crossed on the right and Havertz headed in.
With less than a minute of play in the second half, Benzema took advantage of goalkeeper Mendy’s pass error in the middle, got the better of the tackle with defender Antonio Rüdiger and played into the empty net to score his third goal of the match.
“It’s a magical night, like the other day at the Bernabéu against Paris Saint-Germain. We go on the pitch to win and show what Real Madrid is all about,” the striker said in an interview after the match.
At a disadvantage on the scoreboard, Chelsea began to create more problems for the home team’s defense with the entry of striker Romelo Lukaku in place of Christian Pulisic.
In the last minutes, Real Madrid began to show signs of fatigue and closed in on the defense to hold the result until the final whistle.
“We have to regain our level. Our first half today was the replay of the second half against Brentford (lost 4-1 last Saturday)”, lamented Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel after the game.
“The confrontation is open. Chelsea are a team that we respect a lot. Today Real Madrid were better, but we still have another game in which anything can happen”, said, in turn, the coach of the Spanish team, Carlo Ancelotti.