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          Clash of the Day
          Game ends level despite Chelsea dominance

          Pulisic & Benzema trade blows in first leg stalemate

          2021/04/27 22:59
          Connor Andrews
          E0

          In their first-ever Champions League meeting, Chelsea travelled to Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground looking to exploit one of the healthiest squads in Europe against the injury-hit reigning Spanish champions.


          The Action: There weren’t many hopes of an entertaining first leg with both sides expected to play out a cagey encounter, but Chelsea had different ideas from the off, continually running at Madrid’s nervy backline.

          And they should have been ahead in the first 10 minutes when the much-maligned Timo Werner failed to tap-in Christian Pulisic’s header down in the six-yard box, but four minutes later Pulisic took it upon himself, collecting an excellent pass from Antonio Rudiger, before capitalising on some horrific Real defending to dribble round Thibaut Courtois and slam the ball home.

          With Madrid looking far from their best, it was left to their best player to get them back in the game, with Karim Benzema firing a stunning shot from his weaker left foot off the post from distance, before vollying in expertly from a corner before the half hour mark.

          The second half simmered down aside from a few Chelsea efforts, but the best chance of a winner came through Raphaël Varane who headed a corner just wide.

          The Big Picture: Chelsea will be massively encouraged by their first half performance where they made Real Madrid look ordinary, and back at Stamford Bridge they could well have the confidence to bury more of their chances.

          Man of the Match: All of Chelsea's centre backs looked impressively accomplished and comfortable in a back three, but Rudiger gets the nod for some excellent key interceptions as well as claiming a clever chipped assist.

          Expected Goals: Real Madrid (0.76) 1-1 (1.70) Chelsea

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          REAL MADRID
          DRAW
          CHELSEA
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