Chelsea had looked on course to complete an astonishing comeback after taking a 3-0 lead in its quarter-final second leg with goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner. Yet the host came roaring back, with Rodrygo finishing from a superb pass by Luka Modric to level the tie 4-4 on aggregate. The Brazilian’s goal forced extra time when Karim Benzema headed home to decide a remarkable encounter.
It was a CL night for the ages at a packed stadium as a brilliant Chelsea side came within 10 minutes of completing a rescue act. Thomas Tuchel’s team took the game to Real Madrid as it looked to turn around a two-goal deficit from the first leg. The tourist took only 15 minutes for Mount to open the scoring from a through ball behind the defence.
Chelsea was even more aggressive after the break and scored its second in the 51st minute as Rudiger guided home a header to level the tie 3-3 on aggregate. With the visitor on top, it was only a matter of time until it scored its third. The goal arrived in the 75th minute from Werner, who left two opposition defenders on the ground before dispatching a precise shot past Thibaut Courtois and inside the far post.
Yet just when Real looked completely out of the match, Modric worked his magic, finding substitute Rodrygo at the far post with a delightful pass with the outside of his boot. The Brazilian volleyed past Edouard Mendy in the 80th minute to take the tie to extra time. That was the cue for Vinicius Jr and Benzema to show up and rescue Real Madrid from what would have been one of the biggest shocks it had ever suffered at home.
Vinicius worked his way inside from the left corner and sent a lovely cross onto Benzema’s head. The Frenchman then bulleted it past Mendy as the ecstatic home fans exploded with joy. The home team held on to the one-goal lead to advance.
Villarreal knocks out Bayern
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich was stunned at home as underdog Villarreal scored an 88th minute equaliser through substitute Samuel Chukwueze to snatch a 1-1 draw and reach the semi-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win. Bayern, which had won 12 of its previous 13 home matches in the competition, had levelled the tie when Robert Lewandowski drilled the ball in off the post after 52 minutes for his 13th CL goal of the season.
RESULTS:Quarter-finals: Second leg: Real Madrid 2 (Rodrygo 80, K Benzema 96) lost to Chelsea 3 (M Mount 15, A Rudiger 51, T Werner 75) (Real won 5-4 on aggregate); Bayern Munich 1 (R Lewandowski 52) drew with Villarreal 1 (S Chukwueze 88) (Villarreal won 2-1 on aggregate)