Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea, result, summary, goals: Champions League semi-final first leg
Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea: Champions League as it happened
Chelsea the statisticians' clear favourites to reach final
According to sports stats specialists Gracenote, Chelsea now have a 73% chance of sealing their place in the Champions League final in next week's return at Stamford Bridge.
Sergio Ramos: "We know that to win you have to suffer"
Injured Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has praised Los Blancos for putting in a "huge effort" in this evening's first-leg draw with Chelsea, acknowledging that the hosts were given a tough time by Thomas Tuchel's men when he said: "We know that to win you have to know how to suffer".
Hazard: "It could be worse and it could be better"
1-1 draw in the first leg:
“It could be worse and it could be better. We have a second leg to play over there. Now we have to think about the weekend game against Osasuna [in LaLiga], try to take three points and then we have to go there to try to win the game.”
Comeback from injury:
“I just want to go step by step. Of course I want to play, I want to be on the pitch; in the last game I played I think 15 minutes, today I played a bit more […]. Now I feel in a better in condition and the body is better, so I’m just happy I can play again.”
“It’s always good to play against friends. I have a couple of friends over there, but now I’m a Real Madrid player so I just want to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s Chelsea against us or another team; I just want to win.”
Chelsea still unbeaten against Real Madrid
Tonight's 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital means Chelsea preserve their unbeaten record against Real Madrid. Before tonight, the sides had met in the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup final, which was won by the Blues after a replay, and the 1998 UEFA Super Cup, a game in which the West Londoners also tasted victory.
Only one shot on target for Real Madrid
Opta note that Real Madrid only had one shot on target tonight - the only Champions League game in which they were less effective in attack was the 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, when they didn't manage a single attempt on target.
Chelsea's César Azpilicueta speaks to Movistar+
“We started really well, we had chances to maybe get the second goal, but we didn’t manage it […], so we come away from the game with a bittersweet taste in the mouth. We could have done more.”
Failure to take chances:
“When you find yourself in the Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid, you have to take your chances. We didn’t do that. But we played really well, and in London it’ll be another battle.”
Thibaut Courtois talks to Movistar+
Real Madrid struggled to contain Chelsea in the first half:
“Their pressure and penetrative attacks were hurting us. To begin with it was difficult, but then we got level and in the second half we felt more in control.”
Chelsea more intense than Madrid in the first half:
“They played with greater aggression than us; we wanted to start the game in the way they did.”
“Cup final” at Stamford Bridge:
“The 1-1 scoreline tonight makes the second leg a cup final.”
Zinedine Zidane speaks to Movistar+
"A fair result"
“We were more organised in the second half and I think it’s a fair result.”
Madrid still alive:
“We want to press high up the pitch, but when you don’t start the game well it’s very difficult, and that’s what happened until the equalising goal. Then in the second half we were much better. We had better control over the game. In the end, we’re alive and […] in general we’re happy.”
Praise for Chelsea:
“You also have to say that the other team are a very good side; they’d had 16 clean sheets [in Tuchel’s 21 games in charge before tongiht] and in the end you see that out on the pitch.”
What did you say to Karim Benzema when he came off?
“That’s between him and me; it’s personal. I said something nice, in the sense that he was very good.”
Another good display by Éder Militao:
“Mili played well, as did everyone. We struggled to get into the game but then we were better. I’m happy for the players, we’re still alive, they put in a massive shift and now they have to rest.”
Raphäel Varane speaks to Movistar+
Struggling to deal with Chelsea in the first half:
“They started really well with pressure and intensity, they were able to break through our first line of pressure and play very vertically, but with Karim’s goal we got ourselves back into the game.”
Madrid “need to learn” from first leg:
“We couldn’t find those passes that break the opposition press, and they made life difficult for us with their press. We’ll need to learn form this going into the second leg.”
Crucial Benzema strike:
“Karim’s goal was key. It changed the course of the game. We all know what a fantastic player Karim is.”
Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos, now a club ambassador, speaks to Movistar+:
“A really difficult game against a top side. 1-1. We’ll go to London and we’ll try to play our game and go out there to win.”
“Plenty to feel optimistic about”:
“They attacked and we managed to get ourselves level; we created some chances and they had some too, but this is the semi-finals of the Champions League. I think it was a good game [by Madrid], the tie is wide open and we have plenty to feel optimistic about.”
"Abramovich: don't cry victory just yet!"
AS journalist and number-one Real Madrid fan Tomás Roncero has offered his thoughts on tonight's first leg:
"It’ll all be decided at Stamford Bridge. We’re still alive. It’s not a result to write home about, but Real Madrid in London will have Fede Valverde and Ferland Mendy back. Chelsea were all over us in the first 20 minutes, but Karim Benzema dipped into his bag of tricks with a howitzer that hit the post and a fine goal that raised every Madridista’s spirits. Istanbul isn’t as far away as it seems. Madrid have players who are physically struggling and very tired, but they showed their ability to compete and produce a reaction against a side who looked like they were going to take the world by storm. Madrid are alive and kicking. Roman Abramovich: don’t cry victory just yet!”
Marcelo speaks to Movistar+
A different game after the break:
“In the second half when we started to do what we wanted to do, it was a totally different game [...]. In the second leg it’s going to be different.”
Did Real Madrid struggle to adapt to the tempo Chelsea imprinted on the game?
“No, we don’t choose the tempo of the game - we have to be able to adapt. Today was a difficult game, like every game, but we’re in good nick going into the second leg.”
Karim Benzema again on target:
“I’m very happy for Karim that he scored the goal, but most of all I’m happy that we got ourselves back on terms.”
Message to the Real Madrid fans:
“We’re working hard and we’re trying to do all things that we need to do, and the message to the fans is: get behind us right to the very end.”
Peeep peeep peeeeep! 1-1 it ends at the Di Stéfano. After a whirlwind first half, we had a comparatively staid affair after the break, and the tie is beautifully poised ahead of next week's second leg in West London.
Real Madrid make a late substitution, replacing Benzema with Rodrygo Goes. He gets a well-deserved pat on the back from Zidane; he's been the hosts' best player tonight, without doubt.
Rüdiger is up, and looks like he'll be OK to go on.
Three minutes of time added on at the Di Stéfano. It'll probably end up being more than that, as Rüdiger is still getting medical attention after that clash of heads.
Odriozola is booked for bringing down Rüdiger as the German thunders forward down the left wing. The pair clash heads as Odriozola goes flying in on Rüdiger, and the latter needs some treatment.
Kroos pings a low effort towards Mendy's goal, but it takes a touch off Kanté and runs out for a corner.
The German takes, fizzing a fantastic ball right onto Varane's head - but the Frenchman directs the ball just wide! What a delivery that was from Kroos.
Hazard drifts out to the right wing and wraps his foot around a curling cross into the box, but Christensen clears. A minute later, Madrid get Odriozola into a position to fire the ball into the danger area from the right-hand byline, but again Chelsea deal with it.
The defences are on top now; certainly not something you could have said in the first half.
Kanté barrels through two or three white shirts before clipping a cross into the box from the right, but Varane clears. Moments later, Chilwell tries to get Mount into a shooting position just inside the Real Madrid area, but Militao deals with it.
Real Madrid keep it for a long while, before Casemiro lifts it into Hazard, who has peeled away from his marker. However, the Belgian tries a complicated feint-and-go that doesn't work.
Ziyech takes the free-kick, but his shot towards the near post is fairly easily gathered by Courtois.
Varane brings Havertz down on the right-hand corner of the box, earning himself a yellow card and handing Chelsea a dangerous set-piece chance.
Real Madrid make a double change, Álvaro Odriozola and Marco Asensio replacing Carvajal and Marcelo. They both slip into the wing-back roles vacated by the two men brought off; Odriozola on the right, Asensio on the left.
Varane brings down Kroos right-wing free-kick at the back of the box and, after twisting and turning in search of a yard of space to send in a cross, wins a corner off James.
Kroos' corner falls to Benzema on the edge of the box, but the striker's volley is blocked, as is Marcelo's follow-up.
Militao does very well to rob Ziyech as the Moroccan tries to advance into the box, but is forced to knock it behind. The corner finally falls to Ziyech at the back of the box, but Courtois is alive to his attempts to catch the keeper out with a looping effort towards the far corner, and gets his feet in position to grab hold.
Jorginho tries to get James in behind the Real Madrid defence with a long diagonal ball towards the right-hand side of the box, but it's too long and flies out for a goal-kick.
A minute later, Ziyech runs at the Madrid defence on the left and fizzes the ball low across the box towards Havertz, but it's too far in front of the German and the ball again runs behind.
Mount turns on a six pence on the edge of the Real Madrid area, but his shot - which looked to be heading towards Coutois' top corner - rebounds off Varane's head. That's not Mount's first neat change of direction tonight.
Moments later, Reece crosses from the right-hand byline, but it's cleared. It feels like a much tighter game now.
On comes Hazard for Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Chelsea make three changes, bringing on Reece James, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz for Azpilicueta, Pulisic and Werner.
Just as I say that Marcelo is forced to scythe Pulisic down as he scampers towards the Madrid half, and is booked.
Chelsea are struggling to break Real Madrid's press now; they spend a good minute trying to play their way clear, before Militao wins it back off Pulisic and launches a fresh attack for the hosts. Encouraging signs for Zidane's men.
Narrative klaxon: Eden Hazard is preparing to come on for Real Madrid. Chelsea are also getting ready to make a change - a couple, indeed.
Kroos is booked for tugging back Kanté on the right wing, and Chelsea have a chance to swing the ball into the Real Madrid box.
Mount delivers, but it's Kroos who brings it clear, before himself winning a free-kick.
Now it's Chelsea's turn to keep the ball for a minute or so, before Thiago Silva sends a high ball from right to left to meet Chilwell's run into the box. However, Carvajal gets his body in the way and prevents the left-back from getting on the end of it.
Having been a game you could scarcely take your eyes off for the last hour or so, we're having a slightly quieter couple of minutes at the Alfredo di Stéfano.
Karim Benzema celebrates his 28th-minute equaliser.
(Photo: JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA/DIARIO AS)
Real Madrid enjoy their first prolonged spell of possession of the first half, finally working it to Modric, who looks to slip Vinicius in behind the Chelsea defence and into the box. Thiago is watching the pass all the way, though, and steps in to cut out the Croat's pass and bring the ball clear.
First opening of the second 45 for Real Madrid - and guess who is at the centre of it. Benzema cuts in from the left and, with the Chelsea defence backing off, thumps an effort on goal. He sends the ball well over, though.
Back come Chelsea, Jorginho winning it back off Marcelo and feeding Kanté, who in turn slips it on to Werner in the Real Madrid box. He gets it out of his feet and lets fly, but Varane gets himself into position to block.
There's definitely another goal or two out there for Chelsea tonight - if they can start finishing a bit better.
Chelsea go straight on the attack, Mount producing a lovely turn on the left wing before bending a cross into the six-yard box. It's too close to Courtois, however, and Real Madrid clear.
With no fans in the stands, you can hear absolutely everything injured Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is shouting from the sidelines. And he's shouting a lot.
Peeeeep! We're back up and running in the Spanish capital.
No changes for either side.
Benzema out-scoring Cristiano in the UCL
As BT Sport notes, Karim Benzema now has more Champions League goals than Cristiano Ronaldo in the period since his former strike partner hotfooted it to Juventus just under three years ago.
Benzema's fifth UCL semi-final goal
As well as moving up to fourth in the all-time Champions League goalscoring charts, Karim Benzema has also now gone fourth on the list of the competition's leading semi-final marksmen.
His fine equaliser tonight takes him to five in Champions League last-four ties, level with Alessandro del Piero and Jari Litmanen.
Another goal would put him on terms with Lionel Messi, while a hat-trick would see him equal Robert Lewandowski's semi-final haul. Former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is some way ahead at the top of the list, with 13.
Peeep peeep peeeeep! Nary a second of time added on at the end of the first half. That was fun.
Pulisic becomes the first America to score in a Champions League semi-final and the highest scoring American in the Champions League.
Benzema plays it inside to Modric, who looks to release Kroos into space on the left wing. However, the Croat gets a little bit too much on his ball and it skims off the wet turf and out.
Pulisic leads a Chelsea break, before slipping the ball right to Werner. The German puts his head down and runs at Militao, before striking at goal from the right-hand side of the Real Madrid penalty box... but he slices his effort and it flies harmlessly into the side-netting.
Benzema moves up all-time UCL scoring charts
That Karim Benzema strike sees the Frenchman move to joint-fourth in the all-time Champions League scoring charts, alongside fellow Real Madrid legend Raúl González Blanco.
Benzema now trails only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
Pulisic becomes the first Chelsea player to get a yellow card after bringing down Marcelo.
Thiago Silva steps out of defence and thumps a long-range effort towards goal that flicks of Militao's head and out for a corner. A good thing for Real Madrid that it did; replays suggest the shot was on target. The corner comes to nought.
Twice Pulisic crosses from the right; the first is blocked, before the second skims off Werner's head and out. Just too high for the German.
At one end, Chelsea look to respond immediately to that Benzema equaliser, sending in a left-wing corner that Courtois comfortably claims. At the other, Kroos chests it down on the edge of the Chelsea area and curls a shot just past Mendy's far post.
It's beautifully poised at the Di Stéfano.
Real Madrid level! It's a fine strike by Benzema!
Well, well, well, will Chelsea live to regret not taking more of those chances? They've been much the better side, but having survived one moment of Benzema class, they're now pegged back by another.
Modric drifts a deep cross to the far post to Casemiro, who nods it back across the box. Benzema somehow manages to bring the ball under control with his head, before rifling a volley high into the net past a helpless Mendy.
All square in Madrid!
Vinicius is the first man to go into the referee's notebook after bringing down Pulisic.
Now Mount goes close for Chelsea! Kanté carries the ball into the Real Madrid box before feeding Pulisic, who turns it on to Mount in shooting space on the left-hand side of the box - but he scuffs his effort past Courtois' post!
Madrid are really, really struggling to live with Chelsea quick attacks, and are probably fortunate only to have conceded the one.
Benzema hits the post! Chelsea have carried pretty much all the danger in the last 10 minutes or so, but Real Madrid are inches away from levelling through a piece of individual brilliance by the Frenchman.
Benzema gets the ball out of his feet 25 yards from goal and utterly wallops an effort towards Mendy's top corner. The keeper is beaten all ends up, but the ball clips the corner of post and bar and bounces behind.
Every time Chelsea break at pace, Real Madrid look terrified. Kanté feeds it square to Pulisic, who bursts forward into space just outside of the Real Madrid box.
However, the attack loses momentum when Pulisic overhits his ball right to Werner, who stretches to keep it in and can only direct his cross straight at Courtois.
It's absolutely teeming down in Madrid, by the way.
Pulisic the first American to score in UCL semi
That Christian Pulisic goal makes him the first American to score in a Champions League semi-final, note football stats specialists Opta. He's also only the fifth US player to find the net in a Champions League knockout tie.
Kroos receives and curls a ball into the Chelsea box, but it's right down Eduard Mendy's gullet and it's easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper.
Pulisic gives Chelsea the lead!
Chelsea had begun to really threaten in the last few minutes, and they have their reward thanks to a fine piece of control and a cool, cool finish from the American.
Rüdiger lifts a long ball over the Real Madrid backline for Pulisic to run on to, and he brings it down with a lovely first touch before advancing into the box, rounding Courtois and smashing home!
What a chance for Werner to give Chelsea the lead! Mount scampers into Real Madrid’s box, before delivering it into the middle, via a deflection off Luka Modric. The looping ball falls to the back post, where Pulisic heads it back across to Werner in shooting space six yards out… but Courtois saves!
What an opportunity for Chelsea. Fine goalkeeping from Courtois.
And moments later, Azpilicueta curls in a tantalising low cross into the box that Werner is inches away from connecting with! Had he managed to get a touch, that would surely have been 1-0.
Chelsea slightly get away with it there: Real Madrid win it back right on the edge of the Blues' box, but when Vinicius tries to play it square to Karim Benzema to shoot, it's cut out.
The away side clear, and go oh so close to scoring!
Jorginho hoofs a cross into the Real Madrid box from deep, but he doesn't connect well with his delivery and it bounces straight into Courtois' hands. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel looks a touch displeased with the Italian's decision-making there. He could possibly have shown a little more patience.
Chelsea get their first real chance to attack Real Madrid at pace, Timo Werner leading the break before slipping it right to Christian Pulisic, who's forced slightly wide by the German's pass. The visitors finally work the ball over to Mason Mount on the left-hand side of the penalty box, but the England international is run off it and Real Madrid bring it clear.
Real Madrid enjoy a long old early spell of possession, albeit all they manage to do is inch into the Chelsea half before taking it all the way back to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Nacho then looks to play a penetrative ball into the left-hand channel, but it's cut out.
Peeeep! We're underway at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano!
Can Hazard come good at Real Madrid?
Since joining Real Madrid from Chelsea in a 100m-euro-plus deal in 2019, Eden Hazard has suffered injury after injury, and has managed just 34 appearances and only four goals.
He returned from his latest spell in the Madrid sick bay as a substitute against Real Betis at the weekend, but starts on the bench tonight against his former employers.
Can the Belgian turn things around in the Spanish capital? AS English's Johnny Meaney investigates.
(Photo: Realmadrid.com/Diario AS)
Tuchel unbeaten against Real Madrid
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has a very good record indeed against Real Madrid, by the way.
The German is so far unbeaten against Los Blancos, accruing one win and three draws from his four meetings with the club so far - all of which saw him come up against Zinedine Zidane.
During his tenure in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel oversaw a pair of 2-2 draws with Madrid in the 2016/17 Champions League group stage. Then, as Paris Saint-Germain boss, the 47-year-old earned a 3-0 win and a 2-2 draw with Zidane's men in the 2019/20 groups.
Gerard Houillier is the only other coach to have taken on Real Madrid as many times as Tuchel and also avoided defeat.
Further reading: Check out some more Champions League semi-final stats
If you're still wondering how you can tune into tonight's game at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano, we recommend you take a look at our guide on how and where to watch.
Ceferin says Real Madrid, Chelsea and the rest of the ESL 12 set to face sanctions; Pérez defiant
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said the 12 clubs who signed up as founder members of the European Super League (ESL) can expect to face sanctions, suggesting that Real Madrid will be among the clubs who receive the stiffest punishment, because they have thus far refused to pull out of the project.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ceferin said: "For me there are three groups of this 12 - the English Six, who went out first, then the other three [Atlético Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan] after them and then the ones [Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus] who feel that Earth is flat and they think the Super League still exists. And there is a big difference between those."
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with AS at the weekend, a defiant Real chief Florentino Pérez - who is the president of the ESL - insisted that the breakaway competition will still go ahead in some form - and that its founder members cannot simply walk away.
"I’m not going to take my time to explain what a binding contract is here," Pérez told AS' Joaquín Maroto. "But the fact is, the clubs can’t leave. Some, because of the pressure, have had to say they’ll leave. But this project, or something very similar, will happen, and I hope it’s in the near future."
Exclusive interview with Florentino Pérez: "Either we do something soon or a lot of clubs will go bankrupt"
(Photo by Richard Juilliart / UEFA / AFP)
What the coaches said: Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea
Clubs involved in European Super League breakaway attempt haven't been kicked out of this season's Champions League - although UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin says sanctions are set to be handed down:
"We deserve to be in the semi-final, like Real Madrid deserve to be. We have come a long way. Of course we deserve to play in a semi-final. If problems persist on a sports political level then they have to be solved at that level, not on the pitch. We deserve, through the competition, to be here."
"We have a strong bond; I feel a strong bond within the squad. I feel us very involved physically in the games, ready to work together, to suffer together and, when it's needed, to respond to the questions. If it's necessary to fight, then fight; if it's necessary to run, then run.
"The good thing is we have had the experiences together, tough matches, tight matches, very important matches in the Premier League and the FA Cup, so we feel it's a good moment to play this match.
"Hunger and enthusiasm":
"We want to play hungry; we want to play adventurous. Maybe, considering a lack of experience in semi-finals, to compensate with hunger and enthusiasm."
Further reading: More from Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel
(Photo: Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)
What the coaches said: Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid
Potential UEFA sanctions for Real Madrid over the club's role in the European Super League:
“It's absurd to think that we won't be in the Champions League next year. Everything has been said. There is much talk about whether we will be there next year... What we have to do is focus on tomorrow's game. There is going to be a lot of talk and we can’t control that. My opinion is that we want to see Madrid in the Champions League next season.”
Is Real Madrid's reputation affected by the European Super League saga?
“We have a game tomorrow. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to answer you.”
Challenge posed by Chelsea:
“It's a semi-final, it's going to be difficult. But I don't think Chelsea are going to play a closed game. They are a complete team that attack and defend well. We must be focused and, when creating chances, we must be at our best to hurt them.”
Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard:
“I do not see him with any doubts. He played the other day and very well ... He is with us and I am happy. He will contribute a lot.”
Further reading: Zinedine Zidane's pre-match press conference in full
(Photo: REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo)
Kroos, Marcelo in for Real as Zidane goes with back three; Chelsea unchanged
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane makes two changes to the side that drew with Real Betis in LaLiga at the weekend, as Marcelo comes in at left wing-back and Toni Kroos returns from injury to start in the midfield.
Nacho had played at left-back in a back four against Betis, but he now shifts over into a three-man central defence alongside Raphäel Varane and Éder Militao.
Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who got a cameo appearance against Betis as he returns from injury, starts on the bench for the hosts.
Chelsea, who as is customary will also be playing with a back three, are unchanged from the side that started their Premier League victory over West Ham on Saturday.
Chelsea team news
Starting line-up: Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta, Kanté, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Werner, Pulisic
Substitutes: Kepa, Caballero, Alonso, Emerson, James, Zouma, Gilmour, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Abraham, Giroud
Real Madrid team news
Starting line-up: Courtois, Varane, Militao, Nacho, Carvajal, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Marcelo, Benzema, Vinicius
Substitutes: Lunin, Altube, Hazard, Asensio, Odriozola, Isco, Mariano, Rodrygo, Arribas, Blanco, Gutiérrez
Real Madrid vs Chelsea: Champions League preamble
Hello! Welcome to our live coverage of a heavyweight Champions League clash which, if you ask me, is made all the more appetising by the fact that these two sides don’t play each other every other week.
Indeed, this is the very first time that Real Madrid and Chelsea have met in the competition.
Hitherto, they have only ever crossed paths in the 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup final, won by Chelsea after a replay, and the 1998 UEFA Super Cup, which again brought victory for the Blues.
Both sides come into this semi-final first leg in really rather decent nick. Madrid, who are featuring in their 30th last-four tie in the European Cup, are now 17 games unbeaten in all competitions, albeit Saturday’s goalless draw with Real Betis dented their LaLiga title hopes.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s 1-0 win over West Ham at the weekend boosted their prospects of a top-four finish in the Premier League, and was their 16th clean sheet in 21 games since Thomas Tuchel took over as head coach in January.
Madrid’s defence has hardly been porous of late, either: Zinedine Zidane’s men have conceded only two in their last seven matches, and none in their last four.
Anyway, the teams are in, so let's get straight to that!