“Madrid Seize Control as Chelsea’s Season Teeters on the Verge of Collapse”

Real Madrid’s 2-0 first-leg victory against 10-man Chelsea puts them in control of their Champions League quarterfinal tie. The Blues started strong, but Karim Benzema broke the deadlock with his 90th Champions League goal, and Ben Chilwell’s straight red card on 59 minutes piled further pressure on them. Substitute Marco Asensio doubled Real’s advantage, and the tie remains alive ahead of next Tuesday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.

However, Chelsea’s season hangs in the balance as they face the prospect of not qualifying for any European competition and currently sit 11th in the Premier League. Chelsea failed to make their best spell of the game count, and their lack of defensive resolve, as well as their struggles in front of goal, led to their downfall.

Once again, Benzema proved to be a nightmare for English clubs as he netted his 14th goal in his past nine knockout games in the competition, and his past 11 Champions League goals have come against Premier League opponents.

Manager Frank Lampard’s 5-3-2 shape struggled to provide any potency in attack, and Chilwell’s dismissal significantly restricted Chelsea’s ability to compete. Lampard’s plan backfired, and the lack of pace in his reshuffled team invited further pressure from Asensio and co. Despite the result, Lampard insists that “special things can happen at Stamford Bridge,” and the Blues will have to believe to turn around their season.

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