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Real Madrid are in the semi-finals after surviving a Chelsea comeback

Real Madrid endured another special night in the UEFA Champions League as they overcame a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu. (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaKarim Benzema - once again the Real Madrid hero - celebrates after scoring a goal in extra time. Real Madrid endured another special night in the UEFA Champions League as they overcame a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu. Once again it was Karim Benzema who made the difference. The Frenchman secured a semi-final spot for Madrid in extra time after losing 3-2 on the night but winning 5-4 on aggregate. Madrid had gone 3-1 in the second leg after Benzema scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last week, but the tie was turned on its head after Chelsea fought back 3-0 in the evening. Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner looked set to give the reigning European champions another legendary win in the competition but Madrid were reluctant to force extra time with just 10 minutes remaining. Madrid's first goal was simply a work of art, orchestrated by the brilliant Luka Modrić. The midfielder executed a perfect pass with the outside of his boot, allowing Rodrygo to kick home from close range. Neutral fans welcomed another 30 minutes of chaotic football and it was Madrid who scored the decisive goal in extra time as Benzema headed home a brilliant Vinícius Jr cross. "The more I suffer, the happier I am," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after the game. After looking lackluster in the first leg, Chelsea were much improved for their trip to Spain, coming so close to a memorable win. The three goals had temporarily silenced home support and Madrid struggled to put the Premier League side under pressure. In truth, Chelsea had chances throughout the game to end the tie and even a goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) after Marcos Alonso was ruled to have handled the ball before taking his shot in the top corner of the net whipped. Chelsea's Mason Mount is comforted by team-mate César Azpilicueta after the game. Even in extra time, where Madrid held on, Chelsea came close a few times but failed to find the all-important goal that would have forced a penalty shootout. Manager Thomas Tuchel, who constantly stalked the sidelines and yelled at his players throughout the game, said he was proud of the team despite his departure. I'm very proud of my players and I think we deserved to qualify, but luck wasn't on our side," said Tuchel, who saw a yellow card for his passionate protests against the referee in the final stages. The demand at Chelsea is very high and the players have responded in a way that makes us all proud." In the end it was 13-time European champions Real Madrid who found a way to win again and now either at Manchester City or Atlético Madrid scores in the quarterfinals.

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Real Madrid reach the semi-finals after enduring Chelsea's comeback on a special Champions League night

Real Madrid endured another special night in the UEFA Champions League as they overcame a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu. (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaKarim Benzema - once again the Real Madrid hero - celebrates after scoring a goal in extra time. Real Madrid endured another special night in the UEFA Champions League as they overcame a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu. Once again it was Karim Benzema who made the difference. The Frenchman secured a semi-final spot for Madrid in extra time after losing 3-2 on the night but winning 5-4 on aggregate. Madrid had gone 3-1 in the second leg after Benzema scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last week, but the tie was turned on its head after Chelsea fought back 3-0 in the evening. Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner looked set to give the reigning European champions another legendary win in the competition but Madrid were reluctant to force extra time with just 10 minutes remaining. Madrid's first goal was simply a work of art, orchestrated by the brilliant Luka Modrić. Neutral fans welcomed another 30 minutes of chaotic football and it was Madrid who scored the decisive goal in extra time as Benzema headed home a brilliant Vinícius Jr cross. "The more I suffer, the happier I am," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after the game. Chelsea's Mason Mount is comforted by team-mate César Azpilicueta after the game. 'There are no regrets' After looking lackluster in the first leg, Chelsea were much improved for the trip to Spain and came so close to a memorable win. The three goals had temporarily silenced home support and Madrid struggled to put the Premier League side under pressure. In truth, Chelsea had chances throughout the game to end the tie and even a goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) after Marcos Alonso was ruled to have handled the ball before taking his shot in the top corner of the net whipped. he's the complete striker': Karim Benzema continues to claim to be the best player in the world. Even in extra time, where Madrid held on, Chelsea came close on a couple of occasions but failed to find that all-important goal that could have forced a penalty shoot-out. Manager Thomas Tuchel, who constantly stalked the sidelines and yelled at his players throughout the game, said he was proud of the team despite his departure. I'm very proud of my players and I think we deserved to qualify, but luck wasn't on our side," said Tuchel, who saw a yellow card for his passionate protests against the referee in the final stages. "I regret nothing . The demand at Chelsea is very high and the players have responded, which makes us all proud. “In the end it was 13-time European champions Real Madrid who found a way to win again and now meet either Manchester City or Atlético Madrid in the last four.

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Real Madrid and Villarreal stay alive in the Champions League

MADRID (AP) - Two Spanish clubs. The same magical Champions League night. Real Madrid and Villarreal have both found a way to… (Author: Gardener)

Real MadridMADRID (AP) - Two Spanish clubs. Real Madrid and Villarreal both found a way to advance to the semi-finals of European competition on Tuesday, with powerhouse Madrid surviving a comeback from holders Chelsea and humble Villarreal fending off German giants Bayern Munich. There was drama in both games as Madrid needed an extra-time goal from Karim Benzema at the Santiago Bernabéu and Villarreal needed an 88th-minute goal from Samuel Chukwueze in Munich. Madrid lost 3-2 but improved overall after winning the first leg 3-1 in England. Villarreal's 1-1 draw was enough after winning 1-0 at home in the first leg. We had a very difficult round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain and now again against Chelsea, so we're happy to have made it to the semifinals," said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti. “And we are also very happy for Villarreal. It's a big boost for Spanish football after many people said it's not at the same level as English football. Now we already have two Spanish clubs in the semi-finals.” Madrid, record 13-time European champions, are in the semi-finals for the 10th time in 12 seasons. Villarreal, who won their first major Europa League title last season, are in the last four for the first time in 16 years. The team were saved by a second-half hat-trick from Benzema in a 3-1 win after losing 1-0 in Paris and conceding early in the second leg at the Bernabéu. Villarreal, a town of 50,000 in southern Spain, had stunned Juventus in the round of 16 with a 3-0 win in Italy after drawing 1-1 in the first leg at home. While Ancelotti is a three-time Champions League winner, Villarreal is coached by Unai Emery, who found success in the Europa League but had never progressed past the Champions League round of 16 until this season. "We're going to enjoy the semifinals," said Emery. Emery and some of his players indicated they were upset after Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann reportedly said he wanted Bayern to secure a place in the last four in the first leg at Villarreal, when the six-time European champions lost most of the game game was overplayed . "I think we lacked their coach's respect," said Villarreal midfielder Dani Parejo after Tuesday's game. Villarreal reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 2006 when they lost to Arsenal. The club are currently seventh in the Spanish league, a competition they have never won. Madrid, the current leaders of the Spanish league, played in the semi-finals of the Champions League for eight straight seasons before eliminating consecutive round of 16 in 2018 and 2019. It won three consecutive European titles from 2016 to 2018. Madrid were eliminated by Chelsea in the semifinals last year. "You don't play with the king," said the mosaic behind one of the goals at the Bernabéu on Tuesday. "Once again," Ancelotti said, "the magic of this stadium, the magic of Real Madrid, helped us stay alive."

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Thomas Tuchel reveals Chelsea won't be rushed against Real Madrid to allay summer transfer concerns

Chelsea's players produced one of the club's greatest Champions League performances against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last night and although it wasn't enough for the Blues to reach the semi-finals, Thomas Tuchel found a true unbeatable in his squad (Author: Gardener)

Thomas TuchelOdds with Antonio Rudiger as Chelsea nearly pulled off the impossible against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals. Shortly after joining Chelsea on loan in the summer of 2018, Mateo Kovacic explained why he had to leave Real Madrid after three seasons with the LaLiga giants. "It was two years of struggle in Madrid, playing and not playing, it was difficult," explained the Croatian midfielder. In Kovacic's first season at Stamford Bridge, he shared a role on the left of Maurizio Sarri's third midfielder with Ross Barkley. However, with the Blues serving a transfer ban in the summer of 2019, converting Kovacic's loan deal to permanent made sense. He made 47 appearances in all competitions and was named Chelsea's 2019/20 Player of the Season. It was deserved, but also an indication of the inconsistency of those around the midfielder in Lampard's side. READ MORE: What Karim Benzema wanted from Reece James as Chelsea star Thomas Tuchel becomes assistant Last season, Kovacic was firmly stuck behind Jorginho and N'Golo Kante in the midfield pecking order. There was even a spell under Lampard that used Mason Mount and Kai Havertz as an eighth in a three-man midfield. There was a real debate about how Kovacic fits in at Chelsea and whether he can really fulfill the potential he showed early in his career at Dinamo Zagreb and Inter Milan. Kovacic played a supporting role at the end of last season's Champions League triumph. Injury prevented him from playing against Real Madrid in the semifinals and he only played ten minutes in the final against Manchester City – the Croatia international replaced Mount as Chelsea closed the game to lift their second European trophy. But in Thomas Tuchel, Kovacic had a great admirer. And after the midfielder made a strong start to the current season, the Chelsea boss was quick to praise the 27-year-old. He would always pass the ball over the goal line if there was someone who could score and he wasn't.” Kovacic has infused more determination into his game this season. He has six assists in all competitions - one fewer than in the previous three seasons - and in the Premier League his expected assists have risen to 0.32 per 90. This, coupled with his care on the ball, his ability to break an opponent's press with a hip shake and quick dribbling, and his tireless pace of work, made Kovacic indispensable to both Chelsea and Tuchel, so it's still puzzling that the Croatia international won the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League against Real Madrid wasn't in the starting XI but came on at half-time for Kante, then the Blues, came on 2-1 down, that soon became 3-1 when Edouard Mendy gave Karim Benzema an easy hat-trick chance, but for much of the second half at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were able to control the game in a way they didn't during the op end of 45 minutes. Tuchel corrected that mistake last night at the Bernabeu. Kovacic was deployed alongside Kante in midfield as Chelsea attempted to accomplish the near impossible and win by three clear goals in the Spanish champions' home game. But the Blues almost did it when they were 3-0 up with ten minutes to go. Kovacic was key - it was he who helped Chelsea dominate possession in the Real Madrid half. According to FBRef, no member of the Tuchel team completed more passes (91) and only Thiago Silva had a better pass execution than Kovacic (93.9%). Not only was he in possession, he injured Real Madrid when 13 of his passes came in the last third, another highlight among blues players. Outside of possession, Kovacic covered an inordinate amount of space to close passing lanes and angles for Real Madrid midfielders. He also quickly put pressure on Luka Modric and Toni Kroos when receiving the ball and was successful with more pressure (13) than any of his teammates. At half-time forced by a late Rodrygo goal, Kovacic had nothing left in the tank and was replaced by Jorginho in the final 15 minutes, during which Chelsea were unable to find an equalizer after Benzema proved the net winner. Kovacic certainly didn't deserve to be on the losing side overall on his Bernabeu return. But what he has proven is that he has finally usurped Jorginho and Kante in the midfield pecking order. With the duo out of contract in the summer of 2023 and with decisions to be made about their future at the end of the current season, this is hugely important for Chelsea. The Croatian has become a real undropfable for Tuchel, a key cog in the highly functioning Chelsea system. If only that had been acknowledged before the first leg against Real Madrid, the Blues might have secured a spot in this year's Champions League semi-finals.

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Timo Werner thought Chelsea had completed their Champions League comeback against Real Madrid

Chelsea forward Timo Werner thought his side had completed their unlikely Champions League comeback against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. (Author: Gardener)

Timo WernerChelsea forward Timo Werner thought his side had completed their unlikely Champions League comeback against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. Chelsea forward Timo Werner thought his side had completed their unlikely Champions League comeback against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. The Blues won 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu but their opponents reached the semi-finals of the competition thanks to a 5-4 aggregate win over both legs. Werner was on hand to score his side's third goal of the evening but Rodrygo's goal shortly afterwards sent the tie into overtime. The Germany international spoke to the official Chelsea website after the game and revealed he thought his goal sealed the comeback against the Spanish hosts. "We almost didn't give Madrid a chance, but in the end we have to say that the goals they scored were very good. "There was a moment in regulation time when we weren't like we were the whole game and Madrid have the quality to score against you and they showed it 3-1. Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rüdiger and Werner gave the Blues hope for a comeback. However, Rodrygo and Karim Benzema were on hand to send Madrid through to the semi-finals of the competition once again.

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still have it! Ancelotti is the first coach to reach the UCL semi-finals in four decades

If a coach deserves to be called "Mr. Champions League”, then Carlo Ancelotti, who broke new ground with Real Madrid's victory over Chelsea. (Author: Gardener)

AncelottiReal Madrid have been pushing for a classic Champions League comeback as the 13-time winners edged out reigning champions Chelsea 5-4 on aggregate in the quarter-finals after two thrilling games. Los Blancos took over a 3-1 lead from the first leg but soon squandered that at the Bernabeu as goals from Mason Mount and Antonio Rüdiger leveled the aggregate within 51 minutes of the second leg. Another goal for both sides of Timo Werner and Rodrygo saw the encounter dragged into extra time as Karim Benzema again emerged as a hero for Real by scoring a winner in the 96th minute – the 12th Champions Veteran French striker's League goal in his career of the season. That secured Real Madrid a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the 15th time in their history, significantly more than any other club (Barcelona and Bayern Munich are both at 12). In terms of omens, the Spanish giants have now come through all five knockout stages in the Champions League in which they have faced the holders since 1992/93, winning the competition in all previous four instances. It helps the team and the players a lot to never give up and we never gave up," said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti after the game. Mr. Champions League," he is. Few can claim the sheer longevity of the 62-year-old Italian, who has become a fixture of European elite competition in the latter stages of elite European competition, lifting the trophy three times in the Ancelotti has now reached the semi-finals of the competition in four different decades as a manager - and that total rises to five if you include his career as a player with trophies in 1989 and 1990, a feat that hasn't changed for another quarter century was to repeat until Real Madrid won for a third consecutive year in 2018. Almost exactly a decade later, Ancelotti returned to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time as manager when he successfully guided Juventus into the last four in 1998/99 after winning in February took over from Marcello Lippi this season.1 with Manchester United in the first leg of their semi-final in O ld Trafford before suffering a 3-2 home defeat in the second game two weeks later. While Juve were sidelined and limping to a disappointing seventh place in Serie A, United completed the treble by beating Bayern Munich in the final. Ancelotti coached Milan for eight years between 2001 and 2009, guiding them to the semi-finals of the Champions League no fewer than four times. The first instance came in 2002/03 when the Rossoneri defeated rivals Inter Milan on away goals before defeating Juventus in a thoroughly boring final that was decided by a penalty shoot-out. In the 2004/05 season, Milan easily defeated PSV Eindhoven in the semi-finals before taking a 3-0 first-half lead over Liverpool in the final in Istanbul, only to be at the wrong end of one of the most impressive comebacks of all time Lose end on penalties. Back-to-back semi-finals followed in 2005/06 and 2006/07, the latter culminating in Ancelotti lifting the trophy for the second time as manager after clinching a 2-1 revenge win over Liverpool in Athens. After stints at Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain brought little success in Europe, Ancelotti landed the job at Real Madrid in 2013 and promptly returned to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. First, Real defeated Bayern Munich 5-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals to reach the 2013/14 final, where they scored another four goals against Atletico Madrid to win 'La Decima' - the club's record tenth win in the competition, they claimed an agonizing 12 years past her ninth. Ancelotti brought Real back to the semi-finals in 2014/15 only to see their title defense stopped by Juventus, who went away with a 3-2 aggregate win. It took seven years and tenures of varying degrees of success at Bayern Munich, Napoli and Everton, but Ancelotti's return to the Bernabeu also coincided with the extension of his cherished Champions League semi-final record.

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Real makes the impossible seem inevitable again

When Ancelotti's team was down and seemingly out against Chelsea, they came up with another absurd and epic response (Author: Gardener)

AncelottiJust not quite as he had hoped; Real Madrid had rewritten the ending as they seem to do so often. "The magic of the Bernabéu", Carlo Ancelotti called it. Scribble out where PSG is and write Chelsea instead. Just don't touch the mentions of Madrid, the club that makes the impossible seem inevitable. It doesn't matter if it's absurd how bad things are - how bad they are - when that final scene comes, there they are: still standing, debris all around. Just as you imagined it, just as you like it. When asked how much they suffered, Ancelotti replied: "A lot, a lot." In the dressing room, Dani Carvajal said: "It's better this way." You don't know how they're going to do it, but you know they will somehow will do. At least the Bernabéu knew it, and that's part of it, like a self-fulfilling prophecy with each story feeding the next. Casemiro had expressed it the day before: "This club lives to win impossible games, games that nobody believes in." Modric called it "another incredible night", the keyword is different: He was reminiscent of epic evenings against Juventus , PSG, Schalke. Nacho Fernández explained it through Madrid's DNA. "There are things that we need to improve on," admitted the defender, and beyond the emotions there is an analysis, deficiencies that need to be addressed, more purely footballing elements that need to be explored in search of their success here, even beyond an excellent first leg in London. Firstly, Eduardo Camavinga coming on for Toni Kroos - crucial here as it was against PSG, with Modric noting that "the manager made good substitutions". Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema. This Modric pass: so perfect, so be. "But," Nacho added, as if that explained everything, "this is Real Madrid." There are flaws, but there's something, a mystic, a magic, a something. Of course there is also a lot of talent, even if that comes in moments more than in full games. And that part of the story, that idea of ​​something almost spiritual, is more seductive on nights like this, even if it doesn't explain everything, even if Madrid will also lose a few days. Even if others win wild sometimes too. This is not a sport that always has to make sense and often doesn't. Especially with Madrid. "You can't explain miracles," said Jorge Valdano. "The Bernabéu is becoming a place of pilgrimage." Marca called it "the biggest madhouse in Europe", home to the "only team capable of such a feat". El País opened his match report with: “This is how Madrid wins. Don't ask any more questions like this. Nobody in the football universe has the illogical logic of Madrid. It's Madrid, fool." In the dressing room, Karim Benzema said to the club's cameraman: "Ask David how you explain that." David Alaba laughed, not giving a real answer. "Different." On the pitch, Alex del had hugged Piero Modric, who said goodbye with a face that said God knows what happened and walked into the tunnel with his tongue hanging out. "Incredible," he called it, only it was so incredibly believable. In the end, Chelsea had fired 29 shots and had 10 corners to Madrid's. Madrid had an improvised and very small back four: Lucas Vázquez on the right, Marcelo on the left, Dani Carvajal in the middle. Benzema could hardly move. Modric played as a defensive midfielder. Vinicius could no longer. Chances dropped until the end: Christian Pulisic twice, Kai Havertz, Jorginho. There was a moment, Modric said afterwards, when Real Madrid were 'dead'. When Madrid fell 3-0 behind, Ancelotti said it 'freed' them; Until then, you had "pulled the reins" too much, he said. In El Mundo's words, it was like they had to "face death" before reacting. When Chelsea's third goal was ruled out for a handball, something felt changed at the stadium, a collective feeling that this was the moment, the first stirrings of a resurrection, time to do it again. Benzema immediately headed against the crossbar. "This is pure Madrid," said Dani Garrido on radio station Cadena Ser, laughing at the absurdity of it all as if everyone had seen what was to come. "How could I not love you?" the Bernabéu began to sing, something awakening in everyone that even Chelsea, who got the third soon after, didn't stop. A moment later, Courtois made an excellent save to prevent Chelsea's fourth goal, this fantastic script ended them instead. "And then the magic of the Bernabéu appeared, the magic of this club," said Ancelotti. "It's hard to explain the magic of the Bernabéu, but it helps the whole team have the energy to reach the semis and never give up. I'm very, very happy to reach the semifinals, which are suffering a lot. The more we suffer, the happier I am.”

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Real Madrid's veteran Thoroughbreds are keeping the European Cup dream alive

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid suffered a massive scare from Chelsea on Tuesday but the eternal brilliance of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema have prevailed and now their 14th European trophy is on the horizon. With the Santiago Bernabeu almost empty apart from the Chelsea fans who are still singing in the highest corner, […] (Author: Gardener)

Real Madrid'sMADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid suffered a massive scare from Chelsea on Tuesday but the eternal brilliance of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema have prevailed and now their 14th European trophy is on the horizon. While the Santiago Bernabeu was almost empty save for the Chelsea fans still singing upstairs in the highest corner, there was already talk below that Madrid not only reached the final, but won the tournament again. "Nobody can say that we won't win it," said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti. It is Real Madrid's eighth semi-final in 10 years and they have been crowned champions four of the previous seven. Since the start of the Champions League era, they have reached a total of 15 semi-finals and won the cup seven times. This will certainly be a particularly difficult year as Manchester City and Liverpool are so well a notch above the rest of Europe's elite. Madrid didn't do themselves any favors with the draw. Having beaten Paris-Saint Germain in the last 16 and Chelsea in the quarters, their most likely route is now City in the semis and Liverpool in the final. It's reminiscent of their incredible run to the trophy in 2018 when they also had to get past most of the favorites including PSG, Juventus, Bayern and then Liverpool in the final. Liverpool are a different beast now, perhaps even at their peak under Jurgen Klopp, while four years later Madrid are a reduced version of themselves as Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos have both left and Gareth Bale has been relegated to insignificance. Given their record in the derby, Madrid would love to meet Atletico Madrid in the semifinals. A showdown with City, who won convincingly in 2020 when they met over two legs, would surely have Guardiola's side as favourites. But Real Madrid will think they've had enough. Not least because Benzema is now more influential than ever, suddenly a talismanic figure and with a chance to make this Champions League his own, a trophy for which his contributions - already two hat-tricks and an overtime winner against Chelsea - would be remembered forever. It could also earn him the Ballon d'Or. Modric showed against Chelsea how he can still manipulate the biggest nights in Real Madrid's favor with this mesmerizing pass to Rodrygo with the outside of his right foot. "We were dead until the goal we scored," said Modric. With those two, Madrid have a pair of trump cards, but there are others that are briefly overlooked in the haze of Chelsea's triumph. Vinicius Junior, who converted Benzema's winning header, has become one of the most intimidating wingers in the world. There should also be an advantage in the broader context of Madrid's season. The head-to-head battle between Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title leaves them little leeway and while Villarreal will be almost entirely focused on their Champions League fairy tale, Atletico Madrid are still struggling to get under the top four of La Liga to come. In comparison, Real Madrid's 12-point lead at the top of La Liga means they can use domestic games to rotate and refresh while keeping their veterans in top shape for the semi-finals. And there are the less tangible benefits of Real Madrid's European hegemony: their confidence, their experience, a sense of ownership the club has towards the Champions League. Even when they lost 3-0 to Chelsea, Madrid never panicked. "Nothing ever gets lost at the Bernabeu," said Ancelotti. It's the psychological reward that comes from 13 European victories and - for the likes of Modric, Benzema, Casemiro and Kroos - four wins in five years.

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Real Madrid reach the semi-finals after enduring Chelsea's comeback on a special Champions League night

Real Madrid endured another special night in the UEFA Champions League as they overcame a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu. (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaKarim Benzema - once again the Real Madrid hero - celebrates after scoring a goal in extra time. Real Madrid endured another special night in the UEFA Champions League as they overcame a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu. Once again it was Karim Benzema who made the difference. The Frenchman secured a semi-final spot for Madrid in extra time after losing 3-2 on the night but winning 5-4 on aggregate. Madrid had gone 3-1 in the second leg after Benzema scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last week, but the tie was turned on its head after Chelsea fought back 3-0 in the evening. Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner looked set to give the reigning European champions another legendary win in the competition but Madrid were reluctant to force extra time with just 10 minutes remaining. Madrid's first goal was simply a work of art, orchestrated by the brilliant Luka Modrić. Neutral fans welcomed another 30 minutes of chaotic football and it was Madrid who scored the decisive goal in extra time as Benzema headed home a brilliant Vinícius Jr cross. "The more I suffer, the happier I am," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after the game. Chelsea's Mason Mount is comforted by team-mate César Azpilicueta after the game. 'There are no regrets' After looking lackluster in the first leg, Chelsea were much improved for the trip to Spain and came so close to a memorable win. The three goals had temporarily silenced home support and Madrid struggled to put the Premier League side under pressure. In truth, Chelsea had chances throughout the game to end the tie and even a goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) after Marcos Alonso was ruled to have handled the ball before taking his shot in the top corner of the net whipped. he's the complete striker': Karim Benzema continues to claim to be the best player in the world. Even in extra time, where Madrid held on, Chelsea came close on a couple of occasions but failed to find that all-important goal that could have forced a penalty shoot-out. Manager Thomas Tuchel, who constantly stalked the sidelines and yelled at his players throughout the game, said he was proud of the team despite his departure. I'm very proud of my players and I think we deserved to qualify, but luck wasn't on our side," said Tuchel, who saw a yellow card for his passionate protests against the referee in the final stages. "I regret nothing . The demand at Chelsea is very high and the players have responded, which makes us all proud. “In the end it was 13-time European champions Real Madrid who found a way to win again and now meet either Manchester City or Atlético Madrid in the last four.

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Luka Modric's highlights against Chelsea prove he ages like fine wine

Luka Modric may be just a few months away from his 37th birthday, but he's still one of Real Madrid's most important assets - as he proved in Tuesday's epic Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea. Modric has already played a leading role this season in bringing Los Blancos to the brink of […] (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaLuka Modric may be just a few months away from his 37th birthday, but he's still one of Real Madrid's most important assets - as he proved in Tuesday's epic Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea. Modric has already played a key role this season in guiding Los Blancos to the brink of La Liga title but his Herculean effort in helping Real overcome Thomas Tuchel's blues was on a whole other level. After last week's first leg at Stamford Bridge, Real went into the game 3-1 ahead and suffered a major shock at the Bernabeu when Chelsea bounced back in good fashion to lead 3-0 with just 15 minutes remaining on the evening . Carlo Ancelotti's men went out of contention until a magic moment from Modric Rodrygo set the stage to level the tie 4-4 on aggregate. The Croatian superstar deflected a great ball with the outside of his boot over a helpless Chelsea defense and found his Brazilian colleague absolutely perfect before Rodrygo volleyed past Edouard Mendy. Chelsea only held their lead for a few minutes... It's now 4-4 on aggregate! As outstanding as this brilliant display from Modric was to force the tie into overtime, it was just the icing on the cake of a titanic individual performance. While his younger midfield colleagues Toni Kross and Casemiro were replaced by Ancelotti well before the end of regular time, Modric, 36, made a stubborn substitution throughout the 120-minute period on Tuesday. Not only was Modric at the heart of what Real did well from an attacking standpoint, but he also threw himself wholeheartedly into his side's defensive efforts. MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 12: Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea is challenged by Luka Modric of Real Madrid during UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match two between Real Madrid and Chelsea FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 12, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) His resolve seemed to be even greater when Karim Benzema put the home side ahead in the first period of extra time. As the minutes ticked by, Modric fought for every ball, flying into tackles with the energy of a player 20 years his junior to ensure his side held on to the semi-finals against either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid. Modric's phenomenal performance earned him UEFA's Player of the Match award. Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Modric praised Real Madrid's fighting spirit. We were dead until we scored the goal. “Chelsea have scored three goals, perhaps the first with a bit of luck from a deflection. They took their chances well and scored the goals. MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 12: Luka Modric of Real Madrid acknowledges the crowd after UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match two between Real Madrid and Chelsea FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 12, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) We kept believing, fighting and showing great character in the end. We didn't give up until the end. "Despite the 0:3 I don't think we played badly. Can you name these final stages of the UEFA Champions League? Modric's current deal in the Spanish capital expires in the summer and according to 90min.com negotiations over a new deal have stalled as Real are reportedly unwilling to meet the midfielder's salary expectations. Chelsea crash out of Champions League (Via The Football Terrace)

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