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Real Madrid vs Chelsea: UEFA Champions League background, form guide, previous meetings

Two of Europe's most famous clubs meet for the first time since 1998 as Real Madrid welcome Chelsea for the opening leg of their semi-final.

Gianfranco Zola in action for Chelsea during their 1998 victory over Real Madrid
Gianfranco Zola in action for Chelsea during their 1998 victory over Real Madrid Icon Sport via Getty Images

Two of Europe's most famous clubs meet for the first time in 23 years as Real Madrid welcome Chelsea for the opening leg of their semi-final.

• Both clubs have enjoyed plenty of UEFA Champions League success although this is Madrid's first appearance in the last four since 2018, when they claimed their 13th European Cup, and Chelsea last reached the semi-finals in 2014, when they were ousted by Real Madrid's neighbours Atlético, who went on to lose an all-Madrid final.

• The teams have already tasted knockout success against clubs from their opponents' country in this season's competition. Madrid knocked out English champions Liverpool in the quarter-finals; in the previous round, Chelsea had won both legs against Atlético.

Previous meetings
• The teams have met in only three previous fixtures – in two UEFA finals which were both won by Chelsea, who are therefore unbeaten against Madrid. This is their first meeting since the 1998 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco, when a Gustavo Poyet goal seven minutes from time at the Stade Louis II gave UEFA Cup Winners' Cup holders Chelsea victory against Madrid, who had qualified by winning the UEFA Champions League.

• The English club also came out on top in the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup final against Madrid in Piraeus. The first game finished 1-1, Peter Osgood's 56th-minute goal at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium cancelled out in the final minute by Ignacio Zoco.

• Two days later at the same stadium, first-half goals from John Dempsey (31) and Osgood again (39) earned Chelsea their first European trophy despite Sebastián Fleitas pulling one back for Madrid 15 minutes from time.

Form guide
Real Madrid
• This is Madrid's 30th European Cup semi-final overall, with the record W16 L13:
1955/56 AC Milan W 5-4 (4-2 h, 1-2 a)
1956/57 Manchester United W 5-3 (3-1 h, 2-2 a)
1957/58 Vasas W 4-2 (4-0 h, 0-2 a)
1958/59 Atlético de Madrid W 2-1 replay (2-1 h, 0-1 a)
1959/60 Barcelona W 6-2 (3-1 h, 3-1 a)
1961/62 Standard Liège W 6-0 (4-0 h, 2-0 a)
1963/64 Zürich W 8-1 (2-1 a, 6-0 h)
1965/66 Internazionale W 2-1 (1-0 h, 1-1 a)
1967/68 Manchester United L 3-4 (0-1 a, 3-3 h)
1972 73 Ajax L 1-3 (1-2 a, 0-1 h)
1975/76 Bayern München L 1-3 (1-1 h, 0-2 a)
1979/80 Hamburg L 3-5 (2-0 h, 1-5 a)
1980/81 Internazionale W 2-1 (2-0 h, 0-1 a)
1986/87 Bayern München L 2-4 (1-4 a, 1-0 h)
1987/88 PSV Eindhoven L 1-1 away goals (1-1 h, 0-0 a)
1988/89 AC Milan L 1-6 (1-1 h, 0-5 a)
1997/98 Borussia Dortmund W 2-0 (2-0 h, 0-0 a)
1999/00 Bayern München W 3-2 (2-0 h, 1-2 a)
2000/01 Bayern München L 1-3 (0-1 h, 1-2 a)
2001/02 Barcelona W 3-1 (2-0 a, 1-1 h)
2002/03 Juventus L 3-4 (2-1 h, 1-3 a)
2010/11 Barcelona L 1-3 (0-2 h, 1-1 a)
2011/12 Bayern München, L 1-3 on penalties (1-2 a, 2-1 h)
2012/13 Borussia Dortmund L 3-4 (1-4 a, 2-0 h)
2013/14 Bayern München W 5-0 (1-0 h, 4-0 a)
2014/15 Juventus L 2-3 (1-2 a, 1-1 h)
2015/16 Manchester City W 1-0 (0-0 a, 1-0 h)
2016/17 Atlético de Madrid W 4-2 (3-0 h, 1-2 a)
2017/18 Bayern München W 4-3 (2-1 a, 2-2 h)

• Madrid have won their last three semi-final ties, having lost five of the previous six.

• This is Madrid's 14th appearance in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, a competition record, two more than Barcelona and Bayern.

• The Spanish side collected six of their ten points in this season's group stage against Internazionale, who they beat 3-2 at home and 2-0 away. They took only one point from their first two Group B games, losing 3-2 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk before late goals from Karim Benzema (87) and Casemiro (90+3) rescued a 2-2 draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 2. The wins against Inter were followed by a 2-0 loss at Shakhtar, but Mönchengladbach were then beaten by the same scoreline in the final round of group games.

• Madrid therefore finished first in their group for only the second time in the last five seasons but for the 17th time in all, second only to Barcelona (21).

• Zinédine Zidane's side then beat Atalanta away (1-0) and at home (3-1) in the round of 16 to reach their first quarter-final since 2017/18. They ousted Chelsea's domestic rivals Liverpool in the last eight (3-1 h, 0-0 a).

• Madrid have won six of their last eight UEFA Champions League matches (D1 L1) having managed one victory in their previous six (D2 L3). They have lost seven of their last 21 games in the competition (W10 D4).

• Spanish champions for a record-extending 34th time in 2019/20, this is Madrid's 25th UEFA Champions League campaign – a joint record along with Barcelona. They have qualified for the knockout rounds in all of their 25 seasons, also a competition best.

• This is the 13-time champions' 51st European Cup campaign, more than any other side.

• In 2019/20, Zidane's team were runners-up in their section behind eventual finalists Paris Saint-Germain, finishing five points behind the French club. Their campaign came to an end in the round of 16 as they lost 2-1 home and away to Manchester City.

• Having reached the semi-finals or better for eight successive seasons between 2010/11 and 2017/18, that was Madrid's second successive last-16 elimination having bowed out against Ajax in 2018/19.

• Benzema's goal on Matchday 2 means he has matched the record of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in scoring in 16 successive UEFA Champions League campaigns.

• Despite this season's victories against Inter, Mönchengladbach, Atalanta and Liverpool, Madrid have won only five of their last 11 home European games (D2 L4).

• Madrid's record in two-legged knockout ties against English clubs is W9 L5; they have won four of the last five, the exception last season's defeat by Manchester City.

• The first-leg loss to City last season was only Madrid's third at home to English clubs; their record otherwise is W9 D6. They were without a win in two games against English visitors in Madrid before beating Liverpool this season.

• Chelsea's record in European Cup semi-finals is W2 L7:
2003/04 Monaco L 3-5 (1-3 a, 2-2 h)
2004/05 Liverpool L 0-1 (0-0 h, 0-1 a)
2006/07 Liverpool L 1-4 on penalties (1-0 h, 0-1 a)
2007/08 Liverpool W 4-3 (1-1 a, 3-2 h)
2008/09 Barcelona L 1-1 away goals (0-0 a, 1-1 h)
2011/12 Barcelona W 3-2 (1-0 h, 2-2 a)
2013/14 Atlético de Madrid L 1-3 (0-0 a, 1-3 h)

• This is Chelsea's 14th UEFA competition semi-final; their record is W6 L7.

• This season, Chelsea made smooth progress through Group E, winning all three away games and dropping points only in their first and last fixtures, at home to Sevilla (0-0) and Krasnodar (1-1) respectively. Rennes were beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and on their travels the English club picked up maximum points at Krasnodar (4-0), Rennes (2-1) and Sevilla (4-0); the latter result made sure of first place in the section, Olivier Giroud becoming the first Chelsea player to score four times in a European Cup match – and at 34 years 63 days the oldest hat-trick scorer in UEFA Champions League history.

• With Thomas Tuchel having replaced Frank Lampard as head coach, Chelsea then eased past Real Madrid's city rivals Atlético in the round of 16, winning 1-0 in Bucharest before a 2-0 home victory, and held off Porto in the last eight (2-0 a, 0-1 h) with both matches played in Seville.

• Fourth in the Premier League in 2019/20, this is Chelsea's 17th venture into the UEFA Champions League and a third in four years. The exception came in 2018/19, when they won the UEFA Europa League under Maurizio Sarri.

• Last season Lampard's side recovered from a Matchday 1 defeat at home to Valencia (0-1) to progress as Group H runners-up with 11 points, finishing behind the Spanish side on head-to-head record, before losing to eventual champions Bayern München (0-3 h, 1-4 a) in the last 16.

• Chelsea's record in Spain following their quarter-final tie against Porto is now W6 D8 L7; the second-leg defeat was only their second loss in their last 15 matches in the country (W5 D8).

• This season's seven victories have made it ten wins in Chelsea's last 17 UEFA Champions League matches (D4 L3).

• European champions in 2012 having been runners-up four years earlier, Chelsea have now won their UEFA Champions League group 12 times, although they were runners-up in their section on each of their previous two participations before this season.

• Last season's home loss to Valencia was one of only four defeats in the Blues' last 28 matches against Spanish opponents overall (W10 D14). Before Matchday 5 this season, the Blues had won only one of their previous 11 fixtures against Liga clubs, home and away (D6 L4); they have now been victorious in their last three and have not conceded in the last four.

• The win at Sevilla in this season's group stage made it one defeat in their last 13 matches against Liga clubs in Spain (W4 D8).

• Chelsea have played 12 two-legged knockout ties against Spanish clubs (W5 L7), the last before beating Atlético this season in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 when they lost 3-0 at Barcelona in the second leg to go down 4-1 overall.

• The London club have won only three of their 12 away knockout games against Spanish teams in UEFA competition (D4 L5).

• Tuchel is unbeaten as a head coach against Spanish clubs (W3 D3).

Links and trivia
• Tuchel twice took on Madrid with Paris in last season's group stage; his side won 3-0 in France before scoring twice in the final ten minutes to earn a 2-2 draw in Spain after Benzema's double.

• Eden Hazard was a Chelsea player between 2012 and joining Madrid in 2019, scoring 110 goals in 352 games in all competitions. He helped the club win Premier League titles in 2014/15 and 2016/17, the FA Cup in 2017/18 and the English League Cup in 2014/15, in addition to their victories in the 2013 and 2019 UEFA Europa League finals. The latter match, in which he scored twice in a 4-1 defeat of Arsenal, was his last for Chelsea.

• Thibaut Courtois made 154 appearances for Chelsea between 2014 and 2018, when he moved to Madrid. He was also part of the Premier League-winning sides in 2014/15 and 2016/17, and the team that won the FA Cup in 2017/18 and the English League Cup in 2014/15.

• Mateo Kovačić joined Chelsea from Madrid in 2018. He had signed for the Spanish side in 2015 and was an unused substitute in their UEFA Champions League final victories in 2017 and 2018 having missed out on the matchday squad for their 2016 final triumph. He did feature in their 2016 UEFA Super Cup defeat of Sevilla and was on the bench when Manchester United were beaten in the same competition a year later. Kovačić was also in Madrid's victorious squads in the 2016 and 2017 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2016/17 Spanish Liga and Super Cup.

• Born in Madrid, Marcos Alonso joined the club in 1999 and came through the youth system, making one Liga appearance in 2010 before leaving that summer.

• Have also played in Spain:
Kepa (Athletic Club 2014–18, Ponferradina 2015 loan, Valladolid 2015/16 loan)
César Azpilicueta (Osasuna 2001–10)
Willy Caballero (Elche 2004–11, Málaga 2011–14)

• Has also played in England:
Luka Modrić (Tottenham 2008–12)

• International team-mates:
Luka Modrić & Mateo Kovačić (Croatia)
Raphaël Varane & N'Golo Kanté, Olivier Giroud, Kurt Zouma (France)
Vinícius Júnior, Casemiro & Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos & Kepa (Spain)
Toni Kroos & Kai Havertz, Antonio Rüdiger, Timo Werner (Germany)

• Giroud and Varane were in the starting line-up as France defeated Modrić's Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. Kovačić was an unused substitute.

Latest news

Real Madrid
• Thibaut Courtois made his 50th appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, in the quarter-final second leg.

• Madrid are unbeaten in 17 matches in all competitions (W12 D5) and have kept clean sheets in their last four fixtures. They were held 0-0 at home by Real Betis on Saturday.

• Zinédine Zidane's side have conceded only eight goals in that 17-match unbeaten run, and never more than once in a game.

• Madrid have drawn 0-0 in three of their last four games in all competitions (W1), as many as they had in their previous 68 matches (W45 D10 L13).

• A 2-1 loss at home to Levante on 30 January is Madrid's only defeat in their last 23 Liga matches (W16 D6).

• Karim Benzema, who scored twice in a 3-0 win at Cádiz on 21 April, has 13 goals in his last 13 Liga appearances and 11 in his last ten. He has 12 in his last 13 games in all competitions.

• Benzema's goals against Cádiz mean he has now scored against 35 different Liga sides, equalling Raúl González's club record.

• Dani Carvajal made his first appearance since 2 January in a 2-0 home win against Valencia on 14 February after recovering from a hamstring injury, but suffered a recurrence of the problem and was replaced after 28 minutes. He returned as a substitute against Cádiz and started against Betis on Saturday.

• Sergio Ramos returned from knee surgery that had kept him out since 14 January in the 2-1 home victory against Elche on 13 March. However, a calf muscle injury sustained on international duty with Spain has kept him out since 31 March.

• Having been sidelined between 28 November and 30 December with a muscle injury, Eden Hazard picked up a thigh injury in training and had not played since that loss to Levante in January before coming on as a substitute against Elche. However, he was then sidelined by another muscle problem, returning as a late substitute on Saturday.

• Lucas Vázquez injured his knee in the 2-1 victory against Barcelona on 11 April and has not played since.

• Toni Kroos (adductor), Ferland Mendy (calf) and Luka Modrić (back) all missed the win at Cádiz, Kroos and Mendy also sitting out the weekend draw, while Federico Valverde has been sidelined by illness.

• The second-leg loss to Porto is Chelsea's only defeat in their last six matches in all competitions (W4 D1). They were 1-0 winners at West Ham on Saturday.

• Saturday was Chelsea's tenth clean sheet in just their 14th Premier League match under Thomas Tuchel, equalling the quickest a manager has recorded ten clean sheets in Premier League history, after Luiz Felipe Scolari, also for Chelsea, in 2008.

• Chelsea were unbeaten in 15 games (W11 D4) before a 5-2 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion on 3 April that was their first loss under Tuchel.

• Chelsea have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 14 games, and 16 in their last 21, including the last three. The West Brom defeat ended a run of seven straight clean sheets that equalled the club record set in 1905/06 and matched in 2003/04 and 2005/06 (twice).

• Tuchel's record since succeeding Frank Lampard as head coach on 26 January is now W14 D5 L2. His 14-match unbeaten start surpassed Scolari's previous club best of 12.

• Tuchel is unbeaten in all ten of his away matches with Chelsea (W8 D2).

• Jorginho's penalty in a 2-0 home win against Everton on 8 March was his sixth goal in this season's Premier League, all from the spot; only Liverpool's James Milner, with seven in 2016/17, has scored more goals exclusively from penalties in a Premier League campaign.

• Edouard Mendy has kept 23 clean sheets in his 37 Chelsea appearances in all competitions including 13 in his last 18.

• Chelsea were 1-0 winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on 17 April thanks to Hakim Ziyech's goal; they will play Leicester City in the final on 15 May. It is their fourth FA Cup final appearance in five years and 15th in total.

• Mateo Kovačić has not played since 10 April due to a thigh injury.

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