13-times European champion Real Madrid faced Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League 2020-21 season. The youthful Chelsea squad were expected to give a tough fight, but not many expected the experienced Real Madrid team to give up almost without any fight.
After the first leg, the semi-final tie was evenly poised at 1-1 and it seemed that Real Madrid were getting close to an impossible La Liga and Champions League double. But things were very different in the second leg.
Zidane changed his formation to 3-5-2 with Mendy and Vinicius playing as wing-backs, but both of them were very ineffective and were subbed off in the second half. Ramos and Hazard returned from injury and started the match but failed to have any impact on the game.
It’s fair to say Zidane lost the tactical battle to Tuchel and his side had less intent compared to the energetic Chelsea side. Real Madrid have had a lot of injuries this season and it’s really great that they have progressed so deep into the competition. They are also in the La Liga race. But going out of the UCL without actually giving a fight is something which you don’t expect from a Real Madrid side.
Real Madrid had more ball possession, but they never looked threatening except for two efforts from Benzema in the first half. They didn’t make use of the possession and just played square passes as Chelsea’s defenders held a strong line. There was almost no urge from the men in white to take the fight to the opponent’s camp.
On the other hand, Chelsea were far more energetic and whenever they got the ball they looked threatening and capable of scoring a goal. They also got numerous chances but Courtois, Valverde and some poor finishing made sure the scoreline was 1-0 till late minutes when Mason Mount finally managed to tap the ball into the net from a Pulisic pass.
Chelsea thoroughly deserved this win and now they will face Manchester City on 29th May in the Champions League final that will take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. This will be the third time in total that two Premier League sides will meet in a UCL final.