Chelsea out despite Champions League fightback in Madrid

Real Madrid 2 Chelsea 3

(Real Madrid win 5-4 on aggregate)

Holders Chelsea went out of the Champions League despite a scintillating comeback at the Bernabéu.

The holders, 3-1 down from the first leg, wiped out Real Madrid’s aggregate lead with goals from Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger before Timo Werner’s goal put Chelsea within sight of victory.

But Rodrygo’s goal took the tie to extra time and Karim Benzema’s header put Real Madrid into the semi-finals.

Chelsea got the early goal they wanted when Werner nudged Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s flick-on through to Mount, who superbly fired into the far corner.

And Rudiger levelled the tie with a thumping header from Mount’s right-wing corner six minutes into the second half.

Chelsea thought they had gone ahead on aggregate when Marcos Alonso belted in a fabulous strike. But VAR established that the ball had hit the former Real Madrid player’s hand and the goal was disallowed.

However, soon after Benzema headed against the bar, Chelsea did get a third.

The excellent Werner cut in from the left and his shot beat former Blues keeper Thibaut Courtois with the help of a deflection.

But with Chelsea looking set for a sensational victory, there was another twist, with Rodrygo hauling Real level again on aggregate with an 80th-minute volley after being brilliantly found by Luka Modric.

And in the final seconds of normal time, Christian Pulisic missed two glorious chances to take Chelsea through.

The American, on as a substitute, volleyed over after being teed up by Rudiger’s header and again failed to hit the target following Kai Havertz’s knock-down.

They proved to be costly misses, because nine minutes into extra time Benzema netted what turned out to be the winner.

Vinicius Jr, who caused havoc in the first leg but this time was largely kept quiet by Reece James, found space on the left and crossed for Benzema, who took advantage of Rudiger’s slip by nodding past the exposed Edouard Mendy.

Havertz missed a great chance to equalise when he headed James’ cross wide.

Chelsea: Mendy, James, Silva, Rüdiger, Alonso, Kanté (Ziyech 100), Kovacic (Jorginho 105), Loftus-Cheek (Saul 105), Mount, Werner (Pulisic 83), Havertz
Subs not used: Kepa, Bettinelli, Christensen, Chalobah, Azpilicueta, Sarr, Vale.