Todd Boehly’s belief didn’t last long. Stopped outside the restaurant where both clubs’ directors had lunch before this Champions League quarter-final first leg, Chelsea’s owner had told fans: “Have faith, we’re going to win 3-0 tonight.” A prisoner of his words as well as his deeds, within 20 minutes he had already been proven wrong, Karim Benzema’s goal giving Real Madrid the lead; by the time the clock reached 90, it wasn’t just the game that had escaped them, it might have been the tie, Marco Asensio’s second a step towards the semi-final.
Ultimately, that was not a surprise. In fact, although Chelsea had a big chance three minutes into injury time, Antonio Rüdiger diving in to deny Mason Mount, they might still be relieved that the deficit is only two – something, however small, to grasp going into the second leg, some tiny glimmer of hope not really born out by what was seen here. Madrid had racked up 18 shots, Benzema heading the last of them over an open goal, and the current European champions were ultimately too good.
Written by Sid Lowe at the Santiago Bernabéu
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/apr/12/real-madrid-chelsea-champions-league-quarter-final-first-leg-match-report under the title “Benzema and Asensio win first leg for Real Madrid against 10-man Chelsea”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.