Champions League: Real beat 10-man Chelsea as Bennacer seals Milan win

Chelsea will have to turn things around to advance to the Champions League semi-finals after losing 2-0 to defending champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.


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Karim Benzema scored a tap-in to make it his 90th goal in the competition giving Real boss Carlo Ancelotti the perfect start against his former club.

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Real Madrid struggled to add to their lead before Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card in the 59th minute for fouling Rodrygo as Brazil forward threatened to go clean through on goal.

Substitute Marco Asensio finished well after Chelsea was caught out following a short corner. However, Chelsea produced a battling performance but Real scored what could be a decisive second goal.

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Joao Felix forced Thibaut Courtois into a smart save when the game was goalless before the former Chelsea keeper produced a fine diving stop to deny Raheem Sterling an equaliser.

Chelsea’s Nightmare at the Bernabeu

Next Tuesday’s quarter-final return leg at Stamford Bridge must see Chelsea score at least twice.

Chelsea is now without a goal in their past four matches. However, they were denied a late goal when former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger produced a superb block for denying substitute Mason Mount a goal that would have sent the Blues into the second leg in high spirits.

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The return of N’Golo Kante improved Chelsea’s engine room, while Felix continued to keep Courtois on his toes before he was replaced after Chilwell was sent off in the 59th minute.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly said in an interview with Sky Sports before the game said:

“we’re excited about the future” while also predicting his club would win 3-0 against Real Madrid.

This was Chelsea’s ninth Champions League game with their third different manager.

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Since Ancelotti was sacked by the Blues in May 2011 after finishing second in the table, Chelsea has gone through 10 permanent managers – sacking seven, including Lampard in January 2021.

Lampard had been due to work at this game as a television pundit until he answered Chelsea’s call to take charge until the end of the season.

The club legend, however, has now suffered 13 defeats in his past 16 matches in all competitions across spells with Everton and Chelsea this season.

Bennacer gives Milan a lead over Napoli in the first leg

Ismael Bennacer’s first-half goal gave AC Milan a slender advantage over Napoli in the first leg of their all-Italian Champions League quarter-final.

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The Algeria midfielder struck home from the edge of the area after Braham Diaz broke superbly on the halfway line.

Napoli had Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa sent off in the second half and were well held by an organised Milan. However, Milan also came close to a second goal when Simon Kjaer’s header bounced off the underside of the bar.

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Napoli, in the Champions League last eight for the first time, were straight out of the traps, demonstrating a belief that comes from being 16 points clear at the top of Serie A.

Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had their best chance of the game in the opening minute after a poor clearance fell at his feet, but his effort from eight yards out was blocked on the line.

Napoli, the highest scorers in the competition this season, continued to push, with former Fulham midfielder Anguissa and Piotr Zielinski having efforts tipped over the bar.

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Milan, who won 4-0 at Napoli 10 days ago in Serie A, weathered the storm and then grew into the game as Portugal winger Rafael Leao broke forward from his own half and slid an effort inches wide of the far post.

The 40th-minute winner was sparked by former Manchester City youth product Diaz, who showed great skill to let the ball run and turned to take two Napoli midfielders out of the game.

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Bennacer, who played once in two years for Arsenal, then met Leao’s cut-back with a left-footed finish, which was helped into the roof of the net by the outstretched foot of visiting goalkeeper Alex Meret.

Napoli will also be without defender Kim Min-Jae for the second leg, which takes place next Tuesday after he was booked for dissent in a frustrating second period.

Despite being a man down, though, Napoli almost found a late equaliser but Mike Maignan did superbly to claw Giovanni di Lorenzo’s effort behind for a corner.

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“It is so important to have a positive result,” Milan forward Diaz, named man of the match, told BT Sport. “Not conceding a goal was great. We need to play to win next week.”


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