UEFA Champions League 2020-21: Chelsea outsmarts Real Madrid in semis to set up all-England final
The semi-final commitments of the UEFA Champions League 2020-21 have come to an end. It would be an all-England final, with Manchester City and Chelsea clashing in Instanbul. Top contenders Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have been knocked out.
After yet another commendable performance, it was an English club that came out on top, as Premier League giant Chelsea overpowered Spanish champion Real Madrid 2-0 in the second leg of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League semis at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday. With a 4-1 aggregate win, Chelsea would now take on fellow EPL rival Manchester City in the all-England UCL final at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on May 29.
The opening half saw four promising attacks until the 26th minute, including a disallowed goal in the 18th from Timo Werner, only to be ruled out offside. Nonetheless, a couple of minutes later, he headed home the opener following an attempted chip over Thibaut Courtois by Kai Havertz hitting the bar. It was followed by a save from Edouard Mendy, as The Blues held on to the lead at half-time.
The second half saw eight promising attempts until the 81st minute, including twin saves from both the keepers. Nevertheless, four minutes later, Mason Mount fired in the winner to the top-right corner, thanks to Christian Pulisic’s assist. It turned out to be the final attack before the referee blew the full-time whistle, sealing Thomas Tuchel and his men’s place in Instanbul.
Stats from the game
- Werner has been involved in 22 goals for Chelsea across competitions this season, which is the best run by a Chelsea player to date, going past Eden Hazard (21 goals and 17 assists) in 2018-19.
- Mount is the second-youngest English player (22 years) to score in the UCL semis after Wayne Rooney (21).
- Mount became the first English scorer for Chelsea in the UCL semis since 2008’s Frank Lampard’s strike.
- Mendy has kept eight clean sheets in the UCL this season, which is the most by a keeper for an English side in the tournament to date.
- Tuchel is the first manager in UCL history to reach the final in consecutive seasons with different clubs.
- Chelsea won against Madrid with the second least possession (32%) in the tournament’s history, while its best happens to be against Barcelona in 2012, with a control of 21%.
Tuchel: “This one match in the semi-final, we did that with a very impressive performance and we need that again. It gave us belief and confidence for every game after that because it is the highest level you can face.”
Zidane: “They were superior; they deserved to win. They were more effective over the course of the match; they had a lot of chances too. Over the course of the two matches, they deserve the qualification. These are matches of a very high level; we missed something tonight. It is not about organisation, even though in the duels it was difficult.”
Mount: “It was a tough, tough game. They’re going to come and give it everything, but we worked hard. We should’ve probably had about five! But the most important thing is we won tonight. We want to go into every game, winning it. I can’t put it into words. Great performance tonight.”
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