Putting in another professional European display on Tuesday night, Real Madrid booked their Champions League semi-final ticket as they claimed a second-leg 2-0 victory against Chelsea.
Firmly sat in pole position as they secured another 2-0 win when they welcomed the Blues to Madrid last week, Carlo Ancelotti’s men look set for what should be a heavyweight semi-final showdown against Manchester City.
Eventually breezing their way to the final four as Brazilian international Rodrygo bagged a second-half brace, Los Blancos also piled more pressure onto a Chelsea side who find themselves at the heart of a public nightmare.
Once again showing a string of attacking issues and watching their Champions League adventure come to an end thanks to a 4-0 aggregate drumming, Frank Lampard’s side face a huge amount of scrutiny.
Now losing each of their last four straight appearances for the first time since way back in November 1993, the Blues also know that they will have no European football on their agenda for next season.
On a night when Real Madrid claimed yet another English scalp, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Stamford Bridge.
Real Madrid claim another Premier League scalp
Long since accepting that they won’t be able to defend their La Liga title this season, it is no secret that Real Madrid have placed all of their eggs in the Champions League basket.
Although the Spanish giants might have shown some extended domestic issues on either side of the World Cup’s winter break, Los Blancos have enjoyed yet another European romp in 2023.
Making the trip to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night already holding a two-goal lead, Ancelotti’s superstar squad now have their sights set on making even more Champions League history this season.
Eventually edging past Chelsea thanks to a 4-0 aggregate romp and making another European statement in west London, the former AC Milan boss also collected a second Premier League scalp.
Shocking many last month as they breezed past Liverpool thanks to a famous 6-2 aggregate victory, Real Madrid will now be looking to keep up their English record when they should meet a high-flying Manchester City.
Watching the Sky Blues travel out to Munich on Wednesday night after storming to a stellar first-leg 3-0 win last week, neutrals look set for what could be another Champions League classic.
Attacking issues haunt Chelsea again
Slumping to a first-leg 2-0 loss out in Madrid last week, Chelsea would have been more than aware that they faced a huge uphill struggle on Tuesday night.
However, while the Blues might have been praying for a Champions League miracle at Stamford Bridge, it was a similar store for Lampard and his downbeat squad.
Although the hierarchy in SW6 might have welcomed Lampard back to west London during March’s international break, the former Everton boss has failed to fix any of the glaring problems in Chelsea’s camp.
Really gaining a reputation for their extended struggles in the final third, the midweek hosts have now remarkably scored just a single strike in any of their last six straight appearances across all competitions.
With the Blues’ starting 10 outfield players scoring just 17 goals between them this season, there is no doubt that Lampard’s side are set to come under even more scrutiny over the coming days.
Now destined for a season of European action and still battling it out in the bottom-half of the Premier League table, Lampard is also yet to claim a single victory since returning to Stamford Bridge last month.
Rodrygo steals the show in SW6
Although it might be the superstar attacking duo of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior who have stolen most of Real Madrid’s headlines this season, it was another Brazilian ace who took center stage on Tuesday night.
While Rodrygo might not be seen as one of Los Blancos’ poster boys, the 22-year-old has certainly cemented his spot as one of the key parts of Ancelotti’s plans.
Bagging a second-half brace in west London and causing Chelsea’s leaky defence a string of issues from the opening whistle, the one-time Santos starlet has hit a rich vein of form since returning from March’s international break.
Now notching 10 Champions League strikes over the past two seasons and pinning down his place as the third man in Madrid’s attacking trio, Rodrygo has quickly become a real fan favourite around the Bernabeu.
Putting in a Man of the Match display at Stamford Bridge, Madrid’s €45million investment now seems like a smart piece of business.
Chelsea: Kepa, Chalobah, Silva, Fofana, James, Kante, Fernandez, Kovacic, Cucurella, Gallagher, Havertz
Subs: Felix, Sterling, Mudryk, Mount
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Vinicius Junior, Rodrigo, Benzema
Subs: Rudiger, Asensio, Nacho, Ceballos, Tchouameni
Goals: Rodrygo (58’, 80’)
Yellow Cards: Chelsea: James, Cucurella, Mudryk – Real Madrid: Militao
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Daniele Orsato
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