Troubles for the Blues continue as Lampard’s men exit the Champions League

Troubles for the Blues continue as Lampard’s men exit the Champions League

Real Madrid star Rodrygo scored a second-half brace as the Spanish giants comfortably beat Chelsea on aggregate to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Rodrygo leapfrogged Kepa Arrizabalaga and scored the second of two goals with 10 minutes left to take the European champions to the semi-finals.

It was a 2-0 win for Real that Chelsea never thought of saving. This is also with them dismissing two glorious chances either side of half-time for Marc Cucurella and N’Golo Kante.

At 0-0 of the evening, they could have overturned the tie of Chelsea favor. But over 180 minutes Real have been too good for Lampard’s side, who now look set to limp to the end of the season with nothing left to play for and an uncertain future beyond.

It had started promisingly for Chelsea. Trevoh Chalobah drilled the ball to Reece James who caught it well to the chest. Lui flicked an early cross to Kai Havertz who first tried to meet him, but when the ball came out of his control, Kante was there 12 yards out to stomp it and whip wide.

With James and Cucurella playing high up on either side, Chelsea looked to use the width to position themselves behind Real.

When not in possession, the home side scrambled to press, with Mateo Kovacic and Kante stifling Luka Modric.

Vinicius Junior was having far less success against James than he had at the Bernabeu, and Karim Benzema, off-color in the first half, barely played.

Rodrygo finally gave the first reminder of Madrid’s threat, finding space in the box and sealing a right-footed shot that extended around the outside of the post, even though the corner was tight.

Then, when Vinicius finally found the space to run towards Chelsea in the 27th minute, he cut down on the left, entered Thiago Silva but pounded his shot into Kepa’s palms.

It had been the kind of promising start for Chelsea to make Stamford Bridge think there was hope, but on the stroke of half-time came the moment when the second leg seemed to turn around.

Havertz worked on James found a channel to run down to the right. He takes it into the area and crosses low, the ball goes around the goal until it reaches Cucurella who arrives at the far post. He had time, but not as much as he thought. With Thibaut Courtois bearing down on him, he snapped his shot at the advancing goalkeeper, and Chelsea’s moment to turn the face on an equalizer had passed.

READ MORE: Real Madrid expected to speed up Reece James deal; deserves better than Chelsea

Kante was once again inches from the goal his team craved early in the second half, reacting quicker to a Conor Gallagher header after Eder Militao’s pass went straight into the air from a cross from Havertz. The Real defender recovered to charge Kante’s shot with his body and deflect wide.

Chelsea had their chances and now Real’s has arrived. The owners wouldn’t be so profligate.

Chalobah attempted to cut a long ball going down rather than tip-toeing at Rodrygo, allowing the Real striker to carry him to the backline.

Benzema a few centimeters from the resulting cross, but Vinicius arrives at the far post, who has time and space to raise his gaze and return it to Rodrygo, who grazes on the net.

With Chelsea’s season hanging by a thread, Lampard turned to attacking reinforcements. Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix arrive in a last-ditch effort to salvage the tie and what’s left of a lousy season.

Instead, all they got was more pain. Vinicius now enjoyed the same space he enjoyed in Madrid. Leaping inside the area he provided a square ball to Federico Valverde who with a fiery shimmy rolled it over to Rodrygo to tie it from a meter outside.

Home fans have been streaming the releases, not knowing when they will see the next Champions League come to west London.

READ MORE: Hero Frank Lampard saves ‘rudderless’ Chelsea; Liverpool will somehow finish in the top four


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