In a repeat of the 2020-21 Champions League semi-finals, Chelsea and Real Madrid now lock horns in the last eight of this year’s competition, with the first leg taking place at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Thomas Tuchel’s side made it past Ligue 1 champions Lille 4-1 on aggregate to book their spot in the quarters, while Carlo Ancelotti’s men produced a phenomenal comeback against Paris Saint-Germain.
The continued uncertainty surrounding the Chelsea ownership debacle is doing the Champions League holders no favours, but the Blues’ defence of their crown is going swimmingly so far, with a dissatisfactory Lille side no match for their English counterparts in the knockout rounds.
Chelsea already had one foot firmly in the last eight after claiming a 2-0 win versus Les Dogues on home soil before their trip to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where Burak Yilmaz’s spot kick gave Lille a slight glimmer of hope before Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta quickly dashed the Dogues’ dreams.
Up until the weekend, Chelsea had done a stellar job of focusing on their on-field endeavours, but Tuchel was at a loss to explain his side’s capitulation against Brentford, as the Bees ran out 4-1 winners at Stamford Bridge to leave the home fans shell-shocked in their seats.
PSG’s penchant for seemingly impossible Champions League collapses has defined their European endeavours over the past few seasons, and Real Madrid became the latest side to frustrate Les Parisiens further with a phenomenal comeback in front of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.
Ahead of an expected summer move to Madrid, Kylian Mbappe’s second audition started off swimmingly with the opening goal to put his side 2-0 up on aggregate, but fellow prolific Frenchman Karim Benzema’s timeless qualities shone through, as the 34-year-old took advantage of PSG’s defensive lapses to net a quickfire hat-trick and keep the Champions League dream alive for Real.