Chelsea 0-2 Real Madrid (0-4 agg): Blues woes continue as Lampard’s men exit Champions League

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Chelsea vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid star Rodrygo netted a second-half brace as the Spanish giants comfortably beat Chelsea on aggregate to reach the Champions League semi-finals.

Rodrygo skipped beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga and scored the second of two goals 10 minutes before the end to ease the European champions through to the semi-finals.

It was a 2-0 win for Real that Chelsea had never looked likely to rescue. This is even with them spurning two glorious chances either side of half-time for Marc Cucurella and N’Golo Kante.

At 0-0 on the night, they could have turned the tie in Chelsea’s favour. But over 180 minutes Real were too good for Lampard’s side, who now look destined to limp to the end of the season with nothing left to play for and an uncertain future beyond.

It had begun promisingly for Chelsea. Trevoh Chalobah drilled the ball wide to Reece James who took it well on the chest. He whipped an early cross in towards Kai Havertz who tried to meet it first time, but as the ball spun out from his control, Kante was there 12 yards out to stride onto it and lash wide.

With James and Cucurella playing high up the pitch on either flank, Chelsea looked to use width to get in behind Real.

When not in possession, the hosts were quick to press, with Mateo Kovacic and Kante stifling Luka Modric.

Vinicius Junior was having far less success against James than he enjoyed in the Bernabeu, and Karim Benzema, off-colour in the first half, barely featured.

Rodrygo at last gave the first reminder of Real’s threat, finding space in the box and cracking a right-foot shot that span behind off the outside of the post, though the angle was tight.

Then when finally on 27 minutes Vinicius did find space to run at Chelsea, he cut in off the left, stepped inside Thiago Silva but thumped his shot against the palms of Kepa.

It had been for Chelsea the kind of promising start to make Stamford Bridge believe there was hope but on the stroke of half-time came the moment on which the second leg seemed to turn.

Havertz worked it to James who found a channel to scamper into down the right. He carried it into the box and crossed low, the ball spinning across the face of goal until it reached Cucurella arriving at the far post. He had time, but not as much as he thought. With Thibaut Courtois bearing down upon him he smacked his shot against the advancing goalkeeper, and Chelsea’s moment to change the face of the tie had passed.

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Kante again was inches away from the goal his team craved at the start of the second half, reacting quickest to a header down from Conor Gallagher after Eder Militao’s clearance went straight up in the air from Havertz’s cross. The Real defender recovered to throw his body at Kante’s shot and turn it wide.

Chelsea had had their chances, and now came Real’s. The holders would not be so profligate.

Chalobah attempted to cut out a long ball by going to ground rather than racing toe-to-toe against Rodrygo, allowing the Real forward to run it to the byline.

Benzema was inches away from the resultant cross, but arriving at the far post was Vinicius, who had time and space to look up and return it to Rodrygo, who tapped it home.

With Chelsea’s season hanging by a thread, Lampard turned to attacking reinforcements. On came Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix in a final, desperate bid to salvage the tie and what remained of a dismal campaign.

Instead, all they got was more pain. Vinicius was now enjoying the same space he enjoyed in Madrid. Skipping inside the box he fed a square ball to Federico Valverde who with an impetuous shimmy rolled it Rodrygo to belt it in from a yard out.

Home fans streamed for the exits, not knowing when they will next see the Champions League come to west London.

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