Real Madrid breezed past Chelsea into the semifinals of the Champions League with Rodrygo’s double securing a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday for a 4-0 aggregate victory that sets up a likely mouth-watering clash with Manchester City.
Trailing 2-0 from last week’s clash in the Bernabeu, Chelsea had its moments but failed to take its chances in the opening half and at the start of the second and were made to pay as Rodrygo sent the silky Spaniards through.
He opened the scoring in the 58th minute and tapped in again in the 80th to spark a mass exodus of Chelsea fans.
N’Golo Kante had twice come close to cutting the deficit and Real’s former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois made a crucial save just before halftime to frustrate his old club.
And when Rodrygo finished off a sweeping counter-attack there was no way back for the London club which has lost all four games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager.
The closing stages were almost academic and Real turned on the style with Federico Valverde teeing up Rodrygo’s second.
While Chelsea’s season will end trophy-less under its new American owners despite a 500 million pounds ($621 million) outlay on new players, 14-time European champion Real marches on with manager Carlo Ancelotti eyeing the trophy for a fifth time.
Chelsea’s fans cranked up the volume more in hope than expectation from the kickoff and the host almost got the perfect start when a Reece James cross sat up kindly for Kante but he bounced a volley wide.
Real was content to play a containing game but still looked capable of killing the tie whenever it moved forward and Rodrygo, who scored a vital goal for Real against Chelsea at the same stage last year, smashed a shot against the post.
Home keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga then beat away a Vinicius Junior effort before Real’s master craftsman Luka Modric found himself through on the right but Arrizabalaga saved.
A Chelsea goal before halftime would have energised the mood and it almost arrived in stoppage time when James fizzed a ball across the area and Marc Cucurella looked poised to score only for Courtois to smother his effort brilliantly.
Kante’s deflected effort went agonisingly wide early in the second half and that proved Chelsea’s last hope.
Rodrygo skipped past Trevoh Chalobah’s wild lunge and his cross eventually was played back to him by fellow Brazilian Vinicius for him to slot home.
With a safety cushion established, Real’s fans wedged in the corner were already serenading their team by the time Real picked apart Chelsea’s defence again for Rodrygo to deliver the knockout blow into an empty net.
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