Big Match Feature: Real Madrid v Chelsea

Real Madrid is well placed to avenge last season’s Uefa Champions League elimination at the hands of Chelsea as the teams reconvene at the Santiago Bernabéu with Karim Benzema’s first-leg hat-trick having put the Spanish side in charge of the quarterfinal tie against the holders.

Benzema scored three goals for the second successive Uefa Champions League match with his haul at Stamford Bridge, the French international heading in twice in the space of four first-half minutes (21, 24) and then restoring Madrid’s two-goal cushion a minute into the second period after Kai Havertz (40) had halved Chelsea’s deficit.×280&!5&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=DyrVAo34ZA&p=https%3A//

Chelsea overcame Madrid 3-1 over the two-legged semifinals in 2020-21 but the first-leg loss this season ended their unbeaten record against the Spanish club, who have not lost a tie at this stage of the Uefa Champions League since 2003-04.

Both teams beat French opponents in this season’s round of 16, Benzema’s hat-trick inspiring Madrid to a comeback victory against Paris Saint-Germain while Chelsea eased past LOSC Lille.

This is one of two 2021-22 quarterfinals between former European Cup winners, Benfica’s tie against Liverpool is the other.

The winners of this tie will play Manchester City or Atlético de Madrid in the semifinals.


Chelsea were 3-1 aggregate winners against Madrid in last season’s semifinals, goals from Timo Werner (28) and Mason Mount (85) securing a 2-0 second-leg victory at Stamford Bridge. The first leg in Spain had finished 1-1,Christian Pulišic’s 14th-minute opener for the visitors was cancelled out by Benzema 15 minutes later.

The teams had met in only three previous fixtures before last season – in two Uefa finals which were both won by Chelsea. Their previous meeting before 2021 came in the 1998 Uefa Super Cup in Monaco, when a Gustavo Poyet goal seven minutes from time at the Stade Louis II gave Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup holders Chelsea a 1-0 victory against Madrid, who had qualified by winning the Uefa Champions League.×280&!6&btvi=3&fsb=1&xpc=9yiTS5xXz7&p=https%3A//

The English club also came out on top in the 1971 European Cup Winners’ Cup final against Madrid in Piraeus. The first game finished 1-1, Peter Osgood’s 56th-minute goal at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium cancelled out in the final minute by Ignacio Zoco.

Two days later at the same stadium, first-half goals from John Dempsey (31) and Osgood again (39) earned Chelsea their first European trophy despite Sebastián Fleitas pulling one back for Madrid 15 minutes from time.


Real Madrid

Madrid are in the European Cup quarter-finals for the 37th time, more than any other side. Their record is W30 L6:

2020-21 Liverpool W 3-1 (3-1 h, 0-0 a)

2017-18 Juventus W 4-3 (3-0 a, 1-3 h)

2016-17 Bayern München W 6-3 (2-1 a, 4-2 h)

2015-16 Wolfsburg W 3-2 (0-2 a, 3-0 h)

2014-15 Atlético de Madrid W 1-0 (0-0 a, 1-0 h)

2013-14 Borussia Dortmund W 3-2 (3-0 h, 0-2 a)

2012-13 Galatasaray W 5-3 (3-0 h, 2-3 a)

2011-12 APOEL W 8-2 (3-0 a, 5-2 h)

2010-11 Tottenham W 5-0 (4-0 h, 1-0 a)

2003-04 Monaco L 5-5 away goals (4-2 h, 1-3 a)

2002-03 Manchester United W 6-5 (3-1 h, 3-4 a)

2001-02 Bayern München W 3-2 (1-2 a, 2-0 h)

2000-01 Galatasaray W 5-3 (2-3 a, 3-0 h)

1999-00 Manchester United W 3-2 (0-0 h, 3-2 a)

1998-99 Dynamo Kyiv L 1-3 (1-1 h, 0-2 a)

1997-98 Bayer Leverkusen W 4-1 (1-1 a, 3-0 h)

1995-96 Juventus L 1-2 (1-0 h, 0-2 a)

1990-91 Spartak Moskva L 1-3 (0-0 a, 1-3 h)

1988-89 PSV Eindhoven W 3-2 (1-1 a, 2-1 h)

1987-88 Bayern München W 4-3 (2-3 a, 2-0 h)

1986-87 Crvena zvezda W 4-4 away goals (2-4 a, 2-0 h)

1980-81 Spartak Moskva W 2-0 (0-0 a, 2-0 h)

197980 Celtic W 3-2 (0-2 a, 3-0 h)

-1975-76 Borussia Mönchengladbach W 3-3 away goals (2-2 a, 1-1 h)

1972-73 Dynamo Kyiv W 3-0 (0-0 a, 3-0 h)

1967-68 Sparta Praha W 4-2 (3-0 h, 1-2 a)

1966-67 Internazionale Milano L 0-3 (0-1 a, 0-2 h)

1965-66 Anderlecht W 4-3 (0-1 a, 4-2 h)

1964-65 Benfica L 3-6 (1-5 a, 2-1 h)

1963-64 AC Milan W 4-3 (4-1 h, 0-2 a)

1961-62 Juventus W 3-1 replay (1-0 a, 0-1 h)

1959-60 Nice W 6-3 (2-3 a, 4-0 h)

1958-59 Wiener Sport-Club W 7-1 (0-0 a, 7-1 h)

1957-58 Sevilla W 10-2 (8-0 h, 2-2 a)

1956-57 Nice W 6-2 (3-0 h, 3-2 a)

1955-56 Partizan W 4-3 (4-0 h, 0-3 a)

This is Madrid’s 18th appearance in the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals. They have won their last nine contests at this stage.

Madrid won five of their six group D games this season, with the exception being a stunning 2-1 defeat at home to debutants Sheriff on matchday two, as they finished first in their section for the third time in four seasons. Away from home they kept clean sheets in winning at Inter (1-0), Shakhtar Donetsk (5-0) and Sheriff (3-0).×280&!7&btvi=5&fsb=1&xpc=okZkVPuTqy&p=https%3A//

The Merengues lost 1-0 at Paris in the round of 16 first leg, however, and looked to be heading out when they fell further behind in the Santiago Bernabéu, but Benzema struck three times in the final half-hour to turn the tie on its head.

Benzema’s first-leg hat-trick was his fourth in the Uefa Champions League and only the seventh time a player has scored two or more hat-tricks in a single campaign. He is just the fourth player to have scored hat-tricks in successive Uefa Champions League matches, and one of only two to have done so in the knockout phase, Cristiano Ronaldo having previously achieved the feat, also for Madrid, in 2016-17.

Benzema’s goals at Stamford Bridge mean Madrid have now registered more Uefa Champions League hat-tricks than any other club – 14, one more than Barcelona.

The Spanish side have won only eight of their last 16 home European games (D3 L5) although they have been victorious in seven of the most recent nine (D1 L1).

Under Zinédine Zidane, Madrid also finished first in their section in 2020-21, picking up six of their 10 points against Inter and sealing progress as group winners with a 2-0 home defeat of Borussia Mönchengladbach on matchday six. Madrid then won both legs against Atalanta in the round of 16 (1-0 a, 3-1 h) before eliminating Liverpool in the quarterfinals (3-1 h, 0-0 a) prior to losing to Chelsea.

Zidane was replaced by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, the Italian having guided Madrid to their 10th European Cup in 2013-14.×280&!8&btvi=6&fsb=1&xpc=cTJSviHFmm&p=https%3A//

The Spanish side were second in the 2020-21 Liga, finishing two points behind neighbours Atlético. Having reached the semifinals or better for eight successive seasons between 2010-11 and 2017-18, Madrid lost in the last 16 against Ajax in 2018-19 and Manchester City the following season but have now reached the quarterfinals in each of the last two campaigns.

Madrid’s record in two-legged knockout ties against English clubs is W9 L6; they have won four of the last six, although their last two Uefa Champions League campaigns have been ended by Premier League opponents –Chelsea last season and Manchester City in the 2019/20 round of 16 (1-2 h, 1-2 a).

Last season’s win against Liverpool made it four victories from four ties against English opponents in Uefa Champions League quarterfinals.

The first-leg loss to Manchester City in the 2019-20 round of 16 first leg was only Madrid’s third at home to English clubs; their record otherwise is W9 D7, although they have won only one of their last four games against English visitors in Madrid (D2 L1).

Madrid have won 34 of the 36 ties in which they recorded an away first-leg win in Uefa competition, most recently against Atalanta last season. They had lost on the previous occasion, however, against Ajax in the 2018-19 Uefa Champions League round of 16 (2-1 a, 1-4 h), their first aggregate defeat when winning the away first leg since losing to Odense in the 1994-95 Uefa Cup third round (3-2 a, 0-2 h).

This is only the third time Madrid have won the away first leg 3-1 in Uefa competition, and the first since they beat Utrecht in the 1991-92 Uefa Cup second round (1-0 h). The only previous instance in the European Cup came Real against Dinamo Bucure?ti in the 1963-64 first round (5-3 h).×280&!9&btvi=7&fsb=1&xpc=SwZaRuo5hO&p=https%3A//

Madrid’s record in four Uefa penalty shootouts is W2 L2:

5-6 v Crvena zvezda, 1974-75 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final

3-1 v Juventus, 1986-87 European Champion Clubs’ Cup second round 1-3 v Bayern München, 2011-12 Uefa Champions League semifinal

5-3 v Atlético de Madrid, 2015-16 Uefa Champions League final


Chelsea’s record in European Cup quarterfinals is W8 L2:

2020-21 Porto W 2-1 (2-0 a, 0-1 h)

2013-14 Paris Saint-Germain W 3-3 away goals (1-3 a, 2-0 h)

2011-12 Benfica W 3-1 (1-0 a, 2-1 h)

2010-11 Manchester United L 1-3 (0-1 h, 1-2 a)

2008-09 Liverpool W 7-5 (3-1 a, 4-4 h)

2007-08 Fenerbahçe W 3-2 (1-2 a, 2-0 h)

2006-07 Valencia W 3-2 (1-1 h, 2-1 a)

2004-05 Bayern München W 6-5 (4-2 h, 2-3 a)

2003-04 Arsenal W 3-2 (1-1 h, 2-1 a)

1999-00 Barcelona L 4-6 (3-1 h, 1-5 a aet)

The Blues have won their last three contests at this stage, and eight of the last nine.

This season, Chelsea looked set to take first place in group H heading into the final round of matches after a 4-0 win at home to Juventus in their penultimate fixture had given the English club the head-to-head advantage over their Italian rivals following a 1-0 defeat in Turin. However, a Zenit goal four minutes into added time earned a 3-3 draw that left Chelsea on 13 points, two behind Juventus.

The loss at Juventus is one of only two in Chelsea’s last 21 away European games (W14 D5).

The London club made it four victories from four at Stamford Bridge in this season’s competition with a 2-0 first-leg win against LOSC and then sealed progress with a 2-1 success in France. Chelsea had therefore not conceded a goal at home in this season’s competition before their loss to Madrid.

Chelsea claimed their second Uefa Champions League title in 2020-21 by beating Manchester City 1-0 in the all English final at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão on 29 May, Kai Havertz scoring the only goal in the first half – his first strike in the competition.

The Blues had made smooth progress through their section (W4 D2) to finish ahead of Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes.

With Thomas Tuchel having replaced Frank Lampard as head coach in January, Chelsea then eased past Atlético in the round of 16, winning 1-0 in Bucharest before a 2-0 home victory, and held off Porto in the last eight (2-0 a, 0-1 h)with both matches played in Seville. Chelsea then got the better of Madrid in the semifinals before claiming their second Uefa Champions League title against City.

The first-leg defeat by Madrid was only Chelsea’s fifth in their last 29 Uefa Champions League matches (W18 D6). Edouard Mendy kept nine clean sheets in 12 Uefa Champions League matches last season, the most in a campaign by a goalkeeper for an English side in the competition’s history. He has added another five from his eight appearances this term.

Fourth in the Premier League in 2020-21 for the second season in a row, Chelsea are participating in their 18th Uefa Champions League campaign, and the fourth in five years. The exception came in 2018/19, when they won the Uefa Europa League under Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea had already faced Spanish opposition earlier this season, beating Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1draw in the Uefa Super Cup in Belfast in August. It was their first victory in the competition since beating Real Madrid in 1998; they had lost in 2012, 2013 and 2019.

Chelsea’s overall record against Spanish clubs is W19 D18 L11. Away it is W6 D9 L6.

The defeat by Madrid is one of only five in Chelsea’s last 32 matches against Spanish opponents overall (W11 D16). Before winning 4-0 at Sevilla on matchday five of last season’s Uefa Champions League, the Blues had been victorious in only one of their previous 11 fixtures against Liga clubs, home and away (D6 L4); they have now won four of the last seven.

Chelsea have played 13 two-legged knockout ties against Spanish clubs (W6 L7).

Tuchel was unbeaten as a head coach against Spanish clubs (W4 D5) before Madrid’s first-leg victory.

Last season’s draw at Madrid made it one defeat in Chelsea’s last 14 matches against Liga clubs in Spain (W4 D9).

The London club have won only two of their 12 knockout games against Spanish teams in Spain (D5 L5), but have lost just one of the last seven there (W1 D5).

Chelsea have suffered only three previous first-leg home defeats in Uefa competition, all in the Uefa Champions League, and went on to lose all three ties on aggregate – in the round of 16 against Barcelona in 2005-06 (1-2 h, 1-1a) and Bayern München in 2019-20 (0-3 h, 1-4 a) and Manchester United in the 2010-11 quarterfinals (0-1 h, 1-2 a).

Chelsea’s record in seven Uefa penalty shootouts is W3 L4:

1-4 v Liverpool, 2006-07 Uefa Champions League semifinal

5-6 v Manchester United, 2007-08 Uefa Champions League final

4-3 v Bayern München, 2011-12 Uefa Champions League final

4-5 v Bayern München, 2013 Uefa Super Cup

4-3 v Eintracht Frankfurt, 2018-19 Uefa Europa League semifinal

4-5 v Liverpool, 2019 Uefa Super Cup

6-5 v Villarreal, 2021 Uefa Super Cup


Ancelotti was in charge of Chelsea between 2009 and 2011, winning the 2009-10 Premier League and FA Cup in his first season.

Tuchel twice took on Madrid with Paris in the 2019-20 group stage; his side won 3-0 in France before scoring twice in the final ten minutes to earn a 2-2 draw in Spain after Benzema’s double.

Tuchel and Ancelotti’s only Uefa Champions League meetings before this tie came in the 2018-19 group stage, when Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain drew twice with Ancelotti’s Napoli – 2-2 in Paris and 1-1 in Naples.

The coaches had previously met in the 2016-17 German Bundesliga, Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund defeating Ancelotti’s Bayern München 1-0 at home but losing 4-1 in Munich. Tuchel, however, got the better of Ancelotti in their most recent encounter before this tie, when Chelsea defeated Everton 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on 8 March 2021.

Eden Hazard was a Chelsea player between 2012 and joining Madrid in 2019, scoring 110 goals in 352 games in all competitions. He helped the club win Premier League titles in 2014-15 and 2016-17, the FA Cup in 2017-18 and the English League Cup in 2014-15, in addition to their victories in the 2013 and 2019 Uefa Europa League finals. The latter match, in which he scored twice in a 4-1 defeat of Arsenal, was his last for Chelsea.

Thibaut Courtois made 154 appearances for Chelsea between 2014 and 2018, when he moved to Madrid. He was also part of the Premier League-winning sides in 2014-15 and 2016/17, and the team that won the FA Cup in 2017-18 and the English League Cup in 2014-15.

Mateo Kovacic joined Chelsea from Madrid in 2018. He had signed for the Spanish side in 2015 and was an unused substitute in their Uefa Champions League final victories in 2017 and 2018, having missed out on the matchday squad for their 2016 final triumph. He did feature in their 2016 Uefa Super Cup defeat of Sevilla and was on the bench when Manchester United were beaten in the same competition a year later. Kovacic was also in Madrid’s victorious squads in the 2016 and 2017 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2016-17 Spanish Liga and Super Cup.

Born in Madrid, Marcos Alonso joined the club in 1999 and came through the youth system, making one Liga appearance in 2010 before leaving that summer.

Have also played in Spain:

Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético de Madrid 2012–21, Rayo Vallecano 2013-14 loan)

Kepa (Athletic Club 2014–18, Ponferradina 2015 loan, Valladolid 2015-16 loan)

César Azpilicueta (Osasuna 2001–10)

Saúl played 120 minutes as Atlético lost on penalties to Madrid in the 2015-16 Uefa Champions League final in Milan. His record in Madrid derbies with Atleti was W6 D9 L6; he scored in a 4-2 extra-time victory in the 2018 Uefa Super Cup and a 2-1 second-leg victory in the 2016-17 Uefa Champions League semifinal, a tie Madrid won 4-2 on aggregate, his only other goal coming as a first-half substitute in Atlético’s 4-0 home Liga win on 7 February 2015.

Have also played in England:

Luka Modric (Tottenham 2008–12)

Gareth Bale (Southampton 2005–07, Tottenham 2007–13, 2020-21 loan)

International teammates:

Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard & Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Luka Modric & Mateo Kovacic (Croatia)

Karim Benzema, Ferland Mendy, Eduardo Camavinga & N’Golo Kanté (France)

Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vázquez, Isco, Dani Ceballos & Kepa, César Azpilicueta, MarcosAlonso, Saúl Ñíguez (Spain)

Eder Militão, Rodrygo, Vinícius Júnior, Casemiro & Thiago Silva (Brazil)

Toni Kroos & Kai Havertz, Antonio Rüdiger, Timo Werner (Germany)

Kanté was in the starting lineup as France defeated Modric’s Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 Fifa World Cup final. Kovacicwas an unused substitute.


Real Madrid

David Alaba made his 100th appearance in the Uefa Champions League, group stage to final, in the first leg; he was the 45th player to reach a century of games in the competition.

The first-leg win at Chelsea and Saturday’s 2-0 home success against Getafe have made it eight victories in Madrid’s last nine games in all competitions.

Casemiro opened the scoring on Saturday with his first Liga goal since 1 May 2021, Lucas Vázquez securing the win with his first strike since 24 October 2021.

The exception in that run of wins came on 20 March with a 4-0 reverse at home to Barcelona, Madrid’s heaviest Clásico defeat since a 5-1 loss at the Camp Nou in 2018 and their heaviest home defeat in the fixture since another 4-0 loss in November 2015.

Karim Benzema had scored in seven successive Madrid matches, 13 goals in all, before drawing a blank on Saturday; he has 10 in his last five appearances.

Benzema has 37 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions this season.

Benzema’s tally of 24 Liga goals so far this season means he has passed the 20-goal mark in the league for the fourth season running; he is the seventh player to achieve that feat.

The defeat against Barcelona was Madrid’s first in the Liga since a 1-0 loss at Getafe on 2 January, and just their third of the season.

Madrid were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by a 1-0 quarterfinal loss at Athletic Club on 3 February.

The Merengues did, however, claim the Spanish Super Cup in January, beating Barcelona 3-2 after extra time in the semifinals before securing a 2-0 victory against Athletic with goals from Luka Modric and Benzema.

Gareth Bale scored twice as Wales defeated Alaba’s Austria 2-1 in the 2022 Fifa World Cup playoff semifinals on 25 March. They were the Welshman’s first goals since September’s qualifying hat-trick against Belarus.

Eden Hazard has not played since coming on as a late substitute in a 3-0 home victory against Alavés on 19 February. The Belgian underwent surgery to remove a metal plate in his right fibula on 29 March and is expected to be out for a month.

Isco (back) and Luka Jovic (ankle) have both missed Madrid’s last three games while Ferland Mendy sat out Saturday’s win with a knock.


Christian Pulišic made his 50th appearance in Uefa club competition in the first leg; Marcos Alonso will reach the same mark when he next features.

Chelsea were 6-0 winners at Southampton on Saturday, scoring three times in the first 21 minutes – the earliest they had gone 3-0 up in the Premier League era – and four in the first 31. Mason Mount and Timo Werner both scored twice.

That made it seven successive away wins in all competitions, equalling the club record set in 1989 and matched in 2019.

The first-leg loss to Madrid had made it successive defeats for Chelsea for only the second time this season, and the first since September.

Chelsea’s 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W12 D2) had been ended on 2 April when they went down 4-1 at home to London rivals Brentford at Stamford Bridge, their first defeat against the Bees since 1939.

The seven goals conceded against Brentford and Madrid were as many as in Chelsea’s 14 previous matches in all competitions combined, a run that included eight clean sheets.

One of the draws in that 14-match sequence, 0-0 against Liverpool at Wembley in the League Cup final on 27 February, preceded an 11-10 defeat on penalties.

That draw against Liverpool in the League Cup final was the only one of Chelsea’s previous 13 matches in all competitions they had failed to win before losing to Brentford.

That Brentford defeat was Chelsea’s first since a 1-0 reverse at Premier League leaders Manchester City on 15 January. The first leg against Madrid is one of just three losses in 28 games in all competitions (W18 D7). The Blues have kept seven clean sheets in their last 12 games.

Chelsea reached the FA Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win at Championship club Middlesbrough on 19 March. They will play Crystal Palace in the last four at Wembley on 17 April.

A 2-1 extra-time win against Brazilian side Palmeiras on 12 February gave Chelsea the Fifa Club World Cup for the first time, Kai Havertz getting the decisive goal from the penalty spot in the 117th minute. Romelu Lukaku had scored Chelsea’s opener, having also got the only goal in the semifinal win against Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia.

Lukaku has scored three FA Cup goals this season but has not found the net in the Premier League since 29 December.

Havertz got the fourth goal at Southampton on Saturday, his eighth in his last 11 Chelsea appearances.• Werner’s goals on Saturday were his first in the Premier League since 2 October, when he also scored against Southampton in a 3-1 home win. Those are his only three league goals in 2021-22.

Pulišic scored his first hat-trick for the United States in a 5-1 Fifa World Cup qualifying win at home to Panama on 27 March.

Jorginho’s Italy missed out on a place at this year’s World Cup, the European champions going down 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in their playoff semifinal on 25 March.

On 29 March, Edouard Mendy helped Senegal beat Egypt in a penalty shootout to book their place at the World Cup.

Reece James was sidelined by a hamstring injury from 29 December; he returned in the League Cup final but suffered muscular problems in his other leg after a 4-0 win at Burnley on 5 March, returning as a second-half substitute against Brentford before playing 90 minutes against Madrid.

Andreas Christensen returned in the first leg against Madrid having not played since going off in the first half of the round of 16 second leg at LOSC Lille with a muscle injury.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose last appearance came on 2 March, has a calf injury.

Ben Chilwell is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a ruptured cruciate ligament on 23 November. Lukaku sat out Saturday’s win at Southampton with an achilles injury.

On 17 January, Tuchel was named Best Fifa Men’s Coach for 2021, with Mendy taking the goalkeeper’s award. Emma Hayes, Chelsea women’s head coach, took the women’s coach prize.

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