The round of 16 of the Uefa Champions League has become “an absolute must-watch”. BBC said last year. And this season, the ‘pinnacle’ of European club football has once again proven to be one of the greatest shows in world sport.
In the two quarter-final second legs on Tuesday evening, both duels were dramatic. In Spain that night, Real Madrid lost 3-2 to holders Chelsea and needed extra time to seal a 5-4 aggregate win. In Germany, Villareal struck an 88th-minute equalizer against six-time winners Bayern Munich to secure a 1-1 draw in the evening and progress 2-1 on aggregate.
The Spanish press celebrated “wildly” after the two LaLiga teams progressed to the semi-finals Daily Mail reported. ‘What a night, what a delirium!’ was the headline in Marca, who launched a ‘double-page cover edition, with each half dedicated to each page’.
Benzema breaks Chelsea’s hearts
Fans at the iconic Santiago Bernabéu stadium witnessed “arguably one of the best games of the season,” according to the Mail. In a dramatic Champions League night, Real Madrid survived a rousing comeback from Chelsea to reach the last four.
Real, who needed their own comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, took a 3-1 lead thanks to Karim Benzema’s hat-trick in the final game at Stamford Bridge. Defending champions Chelsea traveled to Spain and needed a miracle to reach the semi-finals – and the miracle was “so close,” continued Daniel Childs Football.London.
Thomas Tuchel’s team took a 3-0 lead that evening, 4:3 in the overall standings, after goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rüdiger and Timo Werner. The “biggest comeback result in the club’s history has begun,” said David Hytner The guard.
But shortly after Werner’s goal in the 75th minute, Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo forced extra time with a superb volley, and in the 96th minute in-form French striker Benzema “broke Chelsea’s heart” with a header win, the Mail said. The Blues “will not get the credit they deserve for this performance, which is a shame.” It will count as a loss “if Chelsea win on the night”.
The clash in the Bernabéu will go down in history as a “Champions League classic”, said James Stroud GiveMeSport. And the night “will be remembered for a long time by all those present,” Hytner added.
When are the semifinals?
Things could get even more dramatic when the remaining quarter-final second legs are played on Wednesday evening. After last week’s 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium Premier League champions Manchester City will travel to Spain to face Atlético Madrid. Liverpool host Benfica at Anfield and will be confident of reaching the last four after beating the Portuguese side 3-1 in the first leg.
Real Madrid and Villarreal are the first two teams in the semi-finals of the Champions League, which will be played on April 26-27 and May 3-4. 13-time winners Real play against Man City or Atlético and Villarreal meets Benfica or Liverpool.
Champions League semi-final draw
- Manchester City or Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid
- Benfica or Liverpool vs Villarreal
- Ties will be played on April 26-27 and May 3-4
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/football/956417/champions-league-real-madrid-knock-out-chelsea Champions League: “What a night, what a delirium” as Real Madrid beat Chelsea