Two out of the four Champions League semifinalists are set
The first two Champions League semifinalists are set with Real Madrid and AC Milan moving on. Many had one side going through rather comfortable while the other side has perhaps come as a bit of a surprise.
Real Madrid make short work of rudderless Chelsea
For Chelsea supporters hoping for a miraculous comeback against Real Madrid, well, they were left waiting as two second-half goals from Rodrygo sealed the deal for the Spanish giants, who are one stage away from reaching yet another Champions League final.
Chelsea started out strongly, knowing they needed to score twice to send the game to extra time and try to keep Madrid scoreless.
The side managed by Frank Lampard had some early chances only to fluff them or see them saved by Thibaut Courtois.
Lampard had some, for lack of a better word, interesting comments after the match.
"“We had lots of crosses and lots of players in good positions so I will never criticize the lads for that – it’s just the fact that if they took any of those chances,” Lampard said. “If the tie went to 2-1 at any point, you really would have felt the crowd turn.“We were playing world-class opposition there and we were, for me, the better team and had chances.“It’s the first game since I’ve been back that I’ve seen the things and we’ve really been implementing them – and that’s something that we want to continue for the rest of the season.”Source: BBC"
Chelsea failing to take their chances has been their theme this season and no amount of creative midfielders or forwards has changed that. They left their only striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, off their Champions League squad and is likely to depart the club at the end of the season.
This tie pinned one team who is well behind the league leader but knows how to win in Europe and another who is a mid-table team, with a new/old manager and an owner who seems to be in over his head.
Real Madrid now await the winner of the match between Manchester City and Bayern Munich. With the 3-0 advantage, all signs point to a clash with the Premier League champions.
AC Milan cause a bit of a surprise against Napoli
Milan’s run in the Champions League continues as last season’s Scudetto winners knock off the current Serie A leaders in Napoli in Naples.
Olivier Giroud missed a penalty to put Milan ahead but scored minutes before the end of the half thanks to a wonderful run by Rafael Leão.
Despite the return of Victor Osimhen, Napoli couldn’t find an equalizer and saw their task get that much more complicated following the Giroud goal.
Napoli did manage to get a goal back from Osimhen but that came in the 93rd minute, with little to no time left to try to get a second.
The result was somewhat surprising giving the role Napoli have been on in the league and their performances throughout the tournament. But Milan turned into their bogey team as they beat the league leaders 4-0 a few weeks ago and beat them 1-0 in the Champions League first leg.
“We put in a great shift today against a great team,” said Milan center-back Fikayo Tomori. “Apart from when they scored right at the end we pretty much controlled the game when we were in the defensive phase. Lots of people wrote us off but over the two legs I think we deserve to be in the semi-final. Now we can sit back and watch the other tie tomorrow.”
Milan await their opponent which will either be Inter Milan or Benfica. Inter hold a 2-0 lead over the Portuguese side which means we could have a Derby di Milano in the semifinals.