Hello and welcome to the live blog for this Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg between Real Madrid and Chelsea at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, which kicks off at 21:00 CEST. These two teams have not met before in Europe’s premier club competition, and what a time for them to do so, particularly against the backdrop of the failed European Super League breakaway. On this live blog, we’ll have all the build-up to the match and then minute-by-minute updates after kick off.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea: Champions League semi-finals FINAL SCORE: 1-1
FULL TIME: REAL MADRID 1-1 CHELSEA
The first leg of this UCL semi-final tie between Real Madrid and Chelsea saw both teams score in the first half, with Christian Pulisic giving the Blues the lead in the 14th minute before Karim Benzema grabbed an equaliser 15 minutes later. The rain played its part, but Real Madrid will now have to score when the two teams meet in London next Wednesday, May 5.
Minute 92: Rodrygo on for final seconds
Rodrygo has come on for Benzema, with just a minute of stoppage time left to play.
Minute 89: Odriozola booked
Rudiger was stopped in his tracks by Odriozola, who was booked for the foul. However, despite it being the Real Madrid right-back that went flying, the Chelsea defender is now receiving treatment. Rudiger shortly got back to his feet.
Minute 88: Varane header deflected wide
Kroos’ pinpoint corner was met by Varane, whose diving header was deflected off Chilwell and went wide. The resulting corner was dealt with by Chelsea.
Minute 87: Kroos’ effort worries Mendy
Toni Kroos unleashed a shot from roughly 30 yards out that took a deflection and went just wide left of Mendy’s post, but it forced the Chelsea goalkeeper to scurry across his goal.
Minute 84: Kante is everywhere
Despite the rain and in spite of it being the 84th minute, Kante continues to be everywhere for Chelsea. What a player he is.
Minute 78: Ziyech’s free kick comfortably dealt with
Chelsea’s free kick from 25 yards out was taken by Ziyech, but his effort was easily dealt with by Courtois.
Minute 77: Real Madrid almost caught out by change of shape
The withdrawal of Marcelo for Asensio has meant that Real Madrid have switched to a four-man defence, with Nacho going to left-back, but they almost caught out by the change as Havertz had acres of space on the right. Varane ended up fouling him and picking up a booking, Real Madrid’s third of the game.
Minute 76: Fresh legs for Real Madrid
Zidane has made his second and third changes of the game, with Alvaro Odriozola and Marco Asensio replacing Dani Carvajal and Marcelo.
Minute 71: Militao with a great tackle
Ziyech looked as though he was about to get past Militao and then find himself one on one with Courtois, but the Real Madrid defender got his leg in the way to stop the Chelsea playmaker.
Minute 69: Chelsea dominating possession
Chelsea have had complete control of the ball since the substitutions, and the changes seem to have brought a freshness to the Blues.
Minute 64: Changes made by both coaches
Zidane has decided to bring off Vinicius in place of Eden Hazard, while Tuchel has made three changes, with Hakim Ziyech, Reece James and Kai Havertz replacing Christian Pulisic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Timo Werner.
Minute 60: Kroos goes into the book
Toni Kroos has joined teammate Vinicius Junior in the referee’s notebook after picking up a yellow for a foul on Kante. So far, Pulisic is the only Chelsea player to have been booked.
Minute 55: Both teams wrestling for the advantage
The rain seems to have eased off and now both teams are looking to assert control. As yet, neither team have made this half their own, though. This cagey nature to the game is similar to what it was like in the first 10 minutes of the first half.
Minute 48: Chelsea have first chance of second half
Chelsea win the ball back, Kante flicks the ball into Werner’s path, but Militao gets in the way of his shot.
Minute 46: We’re back underway!
Chelsea have kicked off the second half. Will we see a winner in this second half, or will things remain level ahead of the second leg in London next Wednesday?
HALF TIME: REAL MADRID 1-1 CHELSEA
An enthralling first 45 minutes saw Chelsea take the lead through an excellent solo finish from Christian Pulisic in the 14th minute, but a wonderful volley from Karim Benzema saw Real Madrid level things up 15 minutes later. The rain is clearly affecting proceedings, so it should be interesting to see how this affects things in the second half of this UCL semi-final clash.
Minute 41: Poor decision by Werner
Kante played a wonderful ball through a gap inside his own half which released Pulisic, and he then found Werner, who fired his shot wide of the near post, much to the frustration of Mason Mount.
Minute 39: The rain is hammering it down
The players and those not under cover are getting drenched, as the rain is coming down very heavily now.
Minute 35: Werner stretches but can’t meet header
Chelsea continue to be dangerous on the break. On this occasion Pulisic’s ball into Werner was almost met by the German, but it was slightly too high and he couldn’t make a strong enough contact.
Minute 32: Kroos shoots wide
Real Madrid have gone up a gear and, using the rain to their advantage, they are moving the ball around quicker. Toni Kroos just attempted a shot from 25 yards out that went just wide.
Minute 29: BENZEMA LEVELS FOR REAL MADRID!
Real Madrid’s short corner led to Marcelo putting in a cross to the far post for Casemiro, who headed the ball back across, and after a light flick by Militao, Benzema controlled the ball on his chest before volleying past Mendy, with a sea of Chelsea shirts around him. Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea.
Minute 25: Real Madrid look shambolic at the back
Chelsea are finding spaces down Real Madrid’s left-hand side, where Marcelo and Nacho are occupying, with regularity. N’Golo Kante is the latest Chelsea player to make his way into this space before pulling the ball back, but it did not result in Courtois being tested.
Minute 22: Benzema comes close
Karim Benzema picked the ball up 25 yards out from goal, carried it to his left and fired a left-footed shot that almost found its way into the top right corner. Real Madrid’s best chance so far in this Champions League semi-final.
Minute 19: Frustration for Real Madrid
Real Madrid seem to be lacking a spark, and even their legendary midfield trio of Kroos, Casemiro and Modric are not impacting the game as Zidane would have hoped. Chelsea seem to be getting a lot of joy with balls over the top, while Real Madrid are struggling to string multiple passes together.
Minute 14: PULISIC SCORES FOR CHELSEA!
Antonio Rudiger played a ball over the top of the Real Madrid defence and Christian Pulisic ran on to receive it before keeping a cool head, getting away from Thibaut Courtois and firing into the empty net. Given Chelsea’s start to the game, a deserved goal. Real Madrid 0-1 Chelsea.
Minute 11: Chelsea getting men forward
Chelsea are looking like the more confident side right now, shifting the ball to each other with somewhat ease. One move led to Chilwell appealing for a penalty after a cross, but Carvajal’s arm was inside by his body. Correct decision.
Minute 9: Courtois with a huge save
Timo Werner with a great chance to score. A counter-attack from Chelsea, led by Mason Mount, resulted in Christian Pulisic heading the ball down for Werner, who had his shot from close range saved by Courtois’ feet. Brilliant from the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
Minute 6: Marcelo’s positioning
An interesting thing to note in this early part of the game is that, despite having a three-man defence, Marcelo is shifting from left wing-back to central midfield, with Nacho then going out to left-back.
Minute 2: Both teams getting a feel for the ball
Possession has shifted between the two teams in these first couple of minutes, although Real Madrid seem to be slightly edging things in terms of retaining the ball.
21:00 CEST: Minute 1: Real Madrid get us underway
And we’re off! The first leg of Real Madrid vs Chelsea has commenced.
20:50 CEST: Praise for Zidane from England
BT Sport have host Gary Lineker accompanied by Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Steve McManaman for tonight’s match, and they all waxed lyrical about Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
20:40 CEST: A reunion of old friends
This semi-final tie between Real Madrid and Chelsea will see a couple of La Fabrica graduates come head to head, as Nacho Fernandez and Marcos Alonso came through Los Blancos’ academy at the same time.
20:30 CEST: The Di Stefano is ready
On an overcast night in the Spanish capital, we have a thrilling match in prospect at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. We’re just 30 minutes away from kick off!
20:15 CEST: What impact with the referee have?
Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has been appointed for the first-leg tie between Real Madrid and Chelsea, but there are suspicions from Spain that the Premier League side could receive favourable treatment after Los Blancos’ part in the failed European Super League. Read more here.
20:00 CET: The line-ups are here
Zinedine Zidane and Thomas Tuchel have submitted their team sheets for tonight’s match, with both opting for a three-man defence. Marcelo has come in for Real Madrid, while Vinicius Junior is in attack. For Chelsea, they are unchanged from the team that beat West Ham at the weekend.