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GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Real Madrid (Benzema 21)

What a header! Karim Benzema sends Real Madrid in front with a magnificent effort into the top corner from 12 yards after securing the end of a Vinicius Junior drop.


20 mins: Mason Mount tries to head a ball from deep in front of Real’s goal but signals the ball is straight into Courtois’ hands.


18 mins: Thibaut Courtois continues to get booed every time the ball comes his way. Antonio Rudiger is booked for a foul on Federico Valverde just inside the Chelsea half.


14 mins: The first quarter of an hour passed without any team asserting its domination. On a free kick from Chelsea, Eder Militao is booked for a foul on Kai Havertz just outside the Real penalty area.

He was in a real panic when the German targeted him and threw him to the ground. Reece James fires the free-kick and his low curler brings a fairly straightforward save to Courtois.


12 mins: There was a goal in the match between Villarreal and Bayern Munich – but for WHODaniel Harris?


11 minutes: Corner of Chelsea. Mason Mount, looking like a drowned rat in the pouring rain, fails to extricate the first man.


10 minutes: Andreas Christensen slips and Vinicius Junior knocks the ball off the crossbar after receiving a deft backheel from Karim Benzema. He should have scored!


9 minutes: Mason Mount wins the ball in midfield and plays it wide to Reece James on the right sideline. Real Madrid get him back immediately.


7 minutes: A rather frenetic start is interrupted by a check from N’Golo Kante on Toni Kroos in the central circle. Free kick for Real Madrid as the German goes to the ground clutching his hip and grimacing.


4 minutes: N’Golo Kante wins the ball midway in his own half and plays it forward for Kai Havertz to chase. He drives forward, then cuts inside Eder Militao before shooting high and wide.


3 minutes: Real take advantage of a possession spell and return the ball to Thibaut Courtois. The former Chelsea goalkeeper is ruthlessly mocked by home fans, as he was when his name was read out by the stadium announcer before kick-off.


Chelsea v Real Madrid let’s go…

1 minute: Chelsea rolls the ball and it is sent to the right sideline. Mason Mount whips an excellent cross into the Real Madrid penalty area, where Dani Carvajal does just enough to prevent Christian Pulisic from sweeping home. A good start by the hosts.


Not long now: It collapsed at Stamford Bridge, where players from both teams are on the pitch completing final pre-match formalities. They line up on either side of French referee Clément Turpin and his team of match officials before the Champions League anthem, which is drowned out by the noise from the stands.

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final first leg – live!  |  Champions League
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois gets drenched during the warm-up. Photography: Javier Garcia/Shutterstock


Premier League: Burnley took the lead in a massive six points against Everton at the bottom of the top flight. Tim de Lisle has the latest…


Chelsea line-ups vs Real Madrid

Chelsea: Mendy, Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante, Jorginho, Azpilicueta, Mount, Pulisic, Havertz.

Subtitles: Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Kovacic, Lukaku, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Saul, Ziyech, Kenedy, Sarr.

Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Eder Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Junior.

Subtitles: Vallejo, Nacho, Asensio, Marcelo, Lunin, Lucas, Bale, Ceballos, Rodrygo, Mariano, Camavinga, Fuidias.

Referee: Clement Turpin (France)

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final first leg – live!  |  Champions League
It’s elf ‘n’ safety gone crazy. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Officials for tonight’s game

  • Arbitrator: Clement Turpin
  • Assistant referees: Nicolas Danos and Cyril Gringore
  • Fourth official: Francois Letexier
  • Video assistant referee: Jerome Brisard
Chelsea v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final first leg – live!  |  Champions League
Clement Turpin is leading the way in Italy’s recent World Cup exit against North Macedonia. Photography: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois : As Carlo Ancelotti only flew to London today after posting a negative Covid test, he was unavailable for media duties yesterday.

His son and assistant Davide was expected to take his place on the touchline tonight, although his lack of a UEFA Pro license may have ruled him out. Chelsea old boy Thibaut Courtois was on hand to talk about Real Madrid’s chances.

“Last season’s encounter was different,” he said of Real’s exit a year ago. “There were no fans and it was in the semi-finals. It’s a new season, it’s the first leg of the quarter-finals and we all feel very good and know what’s at stake. We are going to give everything to win the game, if we produce the right levels of intensity we are capable of winning.

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final first leg – live!  |  Champions League
Thibaut Courtois played 126 times for Chelsea between 2011 and 2018. Photography: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters

Thomas Tuché: “The Champions League is terribly difficult all the time,” the Chelsea manager said in his pre-match press conference. “It is obviously difficult and demanding. But at the same time that’s what we like. We can deal with it, but that’s what we choose and love. That’s what we’re dealing with. It’s good to have these kinds of experiences.

“We have to be very aware that teams with this kind of quality, flair and experience can produce a special occasion. For us it’s also a special occasion and that’s why we feel very excited. We want prove a point tomorrow. The occasion is special and the opponent is special. That’s why we’re excited.

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final first leg – live!  |  Champions League
Thomas Tuchel raises his cap to the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

A stone in the shoe of Real: That’s how Chelsea were described in today’s edition of Spanish sports daily Marca, given the struggles Real have endured against them in their previous fixtures.

Chelsea beat Real in the Champions League semi-finals last season and have never lost to visitors Spain – you’d think there would be more – five previous encounters dating back to 1971.


First news from the team…

Ben Chilwell remains a long-term absentee for Chelsea and is unlikely to return this season, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is unlikely to feature tonight as he is nursing a few different back and achilles injuries. Christian Pulisic is back in contention for a place in the starting line-up after resting at the weekend following his late return from international duty with the United States.

Reece James’ return to fitness could prompt Thomas Tuchel to switch to a full-back three, with James and Marcos Alonso operating as full-backs. Ruben Loftus-Cheek could make way for the team that lost to Brentford for either Mateo Kovacic or Jorginho.

Eden Hazard is out for Real Madrid after undergoing life-threatening surgery and will not be reunited with his former Chelsea teammates. Isco, Miguel Gutierrez and Luka Jovic are also out for Los Blancos.

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final first leg – live!  |  Champions League
Eden Hazard’s disastrous spell at Real Madrid has been punctuated by a string of injuries that show no signs of ending anytime soon. He won’t play against Chelsea in this quarter-final and he is unlikely to play for Real again this season. Photography: Ricardo Larreina/AP

Champions League: Chelsea v Real Madrid

Chelsea host Real Madrid in the first leg of a mouth-watering quarter-final that is almost impossible to call. The defending champions booked their place in the last eight with a fairly straightforward victory over Lille, while Real Madrid advanced thanks to a commendable comeback against serial Champions League stranglers Paris Saint-Germain. A return that is both surprising and predictably monotonous.

After missing out on Real’s La Liga win at the weekend against Celta Vigo, Carlo Ancelotti returns to his old stomping ground, arriving the day after his side finally tested negative for Covid after days of trying.

Kick-off at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea were thoroughly beaten by Brentford on Saturday, is 8pm (BST). Stay tuned in the meantime for team and construction news.

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