What result does Real Madrid need to qualify against Chelsea and what happens in case of a tie?
Los Blancos have an unexpectedly healthy lead going into the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final game, but a semi-final place is by no means assured.
Real Madrid welcome Chelsea to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday night with, some would say, more than half the work already done. Los Blancos defeated the London side at Stamford Bridge in the first leg with a comfortable result (1-3, with a tremendous hat-trick from Karim Benzema). That paved the way - even in the public eyes of Thomas Tuchel - for Carlo Ancelotti’s side to make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they would meet the winner of the tie between Manchester City and Atlético Madrid, Guardiola with just a single point advantage and the second leg to be played at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.
But this is football, and we’ve seen comfortable leads flipped time and time again, on several occasions in recent memory with more than a two-goal cushion, as is the case for the Spanish giants.
Results that would see Real Madrid qualify for the semi-finals
Los Blancos know that they cannot be complacent as the Londoners arrive, especially given Tuchel’s side’s 0-6 Premier League domination at the weekend. Despite the size of their away win, and their substantial lead at the top of LaLiga, anyone who has seen them across this season knows that they can be got at, and are far from the consistent machine of old. And it is also important to remember that the away goals rule that has decided many a European tie over the years has been scrapped this year.
As well as those doubts, Madridistas will also be mindful of a recent example where things didn’t go as planned after a good first leg. In 2019 against Ajax, after winning in Amsterdam (1-2), the Ajax youngsters shook off their fears and thrashed Los Blancos (1-4) at the Santiago Bernabeu. Out.
On other occasions they came close to disaster. In 2015 against Schalke 04, for example, and with Ancelotti on the bench, a win in Germany was followed by defeat in the Castellana. Then there was Juventus, who in 2018, after losing in Turin (0-3), came within a whisker of taking it to extra-time: a Benatia penalty on Lucas Vázquez led to Cristiano making it 1-3, which sealed a place in the Kyiv final. Bayern Munich also arrived in Madrid in 2017 after losing at the Allianz Arena. They forced extra time, but Los Blancos went through to the next round. They won (4-2).
So, for Madrid, as long as they can avoid a two-goal defeat on Tuesday, they will be in yet another semi-final. If Chelsea win by two - 0-2, 1-3, 2-4... you get the picture - we head into extra-time and then, if no winner decided, penalties. A win for the reigning champions by more than two goals will see them continue on their defence.
Interestingly, Tuchel’s three visits to face Real in Madrid have all been draws: one with Borussia Dortmund, one with PSG (both games played at the Santiago Bernabéu and both ended 2-2), and one with Chelsea last season, in a 1-1 draw at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium.
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