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Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid: Karim Benzema scores another hat-trick to put Ancelotti's side in control

Karim Benzema's second successive UEFA Champions League hat-trick earned Real Madrid a 3-1 lead over Chelsea after the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

UCL 2021/22 - Highlight - Medium
Highlights: Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid lead holders Chelsea 3-1 after the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie thanks to another stunning display from Karim Benzema.

Key moments

10' Vinícius Júnior denied by crossbar
21' Benzema scores thumping header
24' Madrid striker guides in second
40'
Havertz heads in cute Jorginho cross
46' Benzema completes hat-trick

Match in brief: Benzema turns on the style

Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy was powerless to keep out Karim Benzema's first header
Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy was powerless to keep out Karim Benzema's first headerAFP via Getty Images

By the time he opened the scoring, Benzema had already shown off his astute touch with a back-heel in the build-up to Vinícius Júnior firing against the woodwork. It was Vinícius who then teed up Madrid's No9 with a chipped cross that allowed him to head unerringly past Edouard Mendy without breaking stride.

Benzema's second goal was cuter though no less admirable in its execution, the France striker this time showcasing his deftness to head Luka Modrić's cross back across Mendy. Kai Havertz soon got in on the act with a header of his own – Jorginho with a guileful delivery on this occasion – but Benzema should have wrapped up his treble before the break, only to poke wide.

The hat-trick was his soon after the interval when he slid into an open goal after a lapse from Mendy. Though César Azpilicueta and Romelu Lukaku spurned chances to eat into Madrid's lead, the night belonged to only one man.

PlayStation® Player of the Match: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Player of the Match: Benzema highlights and reaction
Player of the Match: Benzema highlights and reaction

"Not only for his goals, but for his quality on the ball and his leadership. He works so hard, and his first two goals were exceptional quality."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Joe Terry, Chelsea reporter

The night began with such promise, as Chelsea sprinted out of the blocks with the help of a crowd which rarely reaches such a volume. Perhaps it came at the cost of cool heads, though, as Thomas Tuchel's men were regularly cut open in the first half and Benzema was only too willing to oblige with two pure striker's finishes. Indeed it was his cutting edge which was the true difference between the sides.

Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport

"This is the business end of the season and Benzema is still scoring goals. He's the talisman now, he's the leader. He is 34 and he is the best No9 in the world. He is another level."

Simon Hart, Real Madrid reporter

Madrid have taken a big step towards a tenth consecutive quarter-final success in this competition thanks to the enduring excellence of captain Benzema. The 34-year-old once again showcased his clinical touch, moving on to 37 goals in all competitions this term. It was, moreover, a fabulous team effort by Carlo Ancelotti's side, who were tactically astute, composed in possession and incisive in attack.

Reaction 

Karim Benzema applauds the travelling support after the final whistle
Karim Benzema applauds the travelling support after the final whistleUEFA via Getty Images

Karim Benzema, Player of the Match: "They're magic nights, like the other day at the Bernabéu against Paris. Today we came out to win, to show we're Real Madrid. Things worked out well for us as we played well, from the first minute to the last."

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach: "We had good control of the game, were dangerous on the counterattack. It was a good night but it is only half-time and we have to look ahead."

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea coach: "It's a heavy loss and one of the worst first halves that I've seen from us here at Stamford Bridge. From all of us it was not enough by far."

Key stats

  • Only three players have previously scored hat-tricks in consecutive Champions League appearances: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in 2016/17, and Luiz Adriano in 2014/15.
  • Benzema has now scored 82 Champions League goals, just three behind third-placed Robert Lewandowski in the all-time list.
  • Benzema has scored 37 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions this season.
  • Prior to this game, Chelsea had won each of their last six Champions League games at Stamford Bridge without conceding.
  • David Alaba made his 100th Champions League appearance, group stage to final, having first appeared in the competition for Bayern in March 2010.

Fantasy star performers

Karim Benzema – 18
Kai Havertz – 7
Jorginho – 6
Luka Modrić – 6

Line-ups

Chelsea: Mendy; Christensen (Kovačić 46), Thiago Silva, Rüdiger; James, Kanté (Ziyech 46), Jorginho (Loftus-Cheek 64), Mount, Azpilicueta; Havertz, Pulišić (Lukaku 64)

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Éder Militão (Nacho 64), Alaba, Mendy; Kroos (Camavinga 74), Casemiro, Modrić; Valverde (Ceballos 86), Benzema (Bale 86), Vinícius Júnior