EUROPE: UEFA Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 05 May 2021
Kick-off at 21:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)
After a first-leg 1-1 draw, Chelsea hold a vital ‘away goal’ in their quest for a first UEFA Champions League (UCL) final appearance since winning this competition in 2012. Though frustrated on the night, Chelsea can take positives from restricting Real Madrid to just one shot on target, and only narrowly losing the possession stakes (52-48).
Also encouraging for Chelsea is a run of four clean sheets from their previous five games (W3, D2), and the fact boss Thomas Tuchel is the only active manager to have faced Real on 5+ occasions in UCL action without losing (W1, D4). As a result of the first-leg draw, the Blues’ last three UCL matches won/drawn have now seen them score first before HT, with each of that trio also seeing the same HT/FT result.
Unbeaten in 19 competitive outings and currently holding a 60% win rate from their last ten UCL outings (W6, D3, L1), Real must score or they are out. Yet, the Spanish champions still have a psychological edge, progressing from 11 of their prior 12 two-legged knockout ties in the UCL undertaken during Zinedine Zidane’s managerial reign.
Within Real’s current ten-game UCL form are two away wins, each of which saw them win the second half 1-0, which might bode well if they need a late strike. However, the ‘Galacticos’ have now faced Chelsea more often than any other side without winning (D2, L2), and their last UCL knockout stage victory on English soil still dates back to March 2013.
Players to watch: First-leg scorer Christian Pulisic is now the youngest Chelsea player to score in a UCL semi-final and the first American to score at this stage of the competition. His effort was cancelled out by Real’s Karim Benzema (29’), who has seen four of his last five UCL goals come between the 25th-35th minute period.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: WDWDW.
- Real Madrid’s form in last 5 matches: WDDWD.