Chelsea's reign as the Champions of Europe is over after a 3-2 win (4-5 agg loss) over Real Madrid after extra time at the Santiago Bernabéu in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Blues were absolutely outstanding on the evening, outclassing opposition of such immense continental pedigree. But their efforts were to be in vain as tired legs set in and moments of timely individual quality dragged the lacklustre Spanish champions through to the semi-finals.
Both sides were quick out of the blocks but it was the visitors who drew first blood, with a number of deflections finding their way to Mason Mount to curl one into the far corner from the edge of the box in minute 15.
It was so far, so good for Thomas Tuchel and his men at the interval. They had dominated for the most part and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy hadn't been troubled. Carlo Ancelotti will have been glad for the opportunity to refocus his troops after a probing first half assault.
But the assault kept coming after the break and it didn't take long for Chelsea to strike again, by way of a thumping Antonio Rüdiger header in the 50th minute. A stunning Marcos Alonso strike was then ruled out ten minutes later for a questionable handball. The west Londoners weren't to be denied - an incredible jinking run from Timo Werner nestling in the net in the 75th minute.
Yet against the run of play, a moment of sheer quality between the duo of Luka Modric and Rodrygo in the 80th minute took proceedings into extra time. Karim Benzema would then deal a deadly blow with another header in the 96th minute.
It was a match for the history books and the efforts of the world champions felt undeserving of being on the wrong side of history. Up next for the Blues is a vital FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace at Wembley on Sunday. In the interim, here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the Blues’ performance against Los Blancos:
Edouard Mendy - 6/10
After a real horror show in the first leg punctuated by a terminal error, it was apparent from the off that the Senegalese giant was more assured in possession of the ball. Left rooted by Los Merengues' magical goal and could do little about yet another Karim Benzema header.
Reece James - 8/10
Had a tough time keeping pace with the lively Vinicius Jr early doors, getting a yellow card for his troubles. But his quality started to shine through as the evening wore on. A powerhouse at the back and a headache for La Casa Blanca going forward.
Thiago Silva - 7/10
An understated performance from the veteran, who was mostly unbothered by an isolated Benzema for large swathes of the match.
Antonio Rüdiger - 8/10
Oozed confidence in his surges forwards, progressing the ball with a swagger armed with the knowledge that he is indomitable on his best day. This was one of those days until late, losing his man and fatally slipping to allow Benzema a free header. That mistake really took the gloss off a performance that Chelsea fans will be willing the sanctions to be lifted sooner rather than later.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 7/10 
The decision to retain the man they affectionately call the Lewisham Ballack in a quasi-wing-back role dominated the pre-match chatter. While he wasn't without his faults - drawing ire from his manager for a couple of lapses in ball control - it proved a fairly shrewd move. Added some steel on the flanks to curb Vincius Jr's influence while operating to relative effect in the pockets. Wasn't afraid to take on a man, either, something which has been noticeably lacking for the Pensioners.
N'Golo Kanté - 7/10 
A shadow of his former self in the first leg, but this represented a return to form in the main. Much greater influence in the middle of the park and was like a terrier snapping at the heels in the Real Madrid engine room, but just a little disappointing that his sloppy play led to the hosts' goal to keep the tie alive.
Mateo Kovacic - 8/10 
A performance of exquisite elegance and drive in the pivot from the Croatian dynamo, who floated through the Los Vikingos' press with consummate ease more often than not. His peach of a threaded through ball to Werner for the Blues' third was just reward for an impressive showcase of his talents.
Marcos Alonso - 7/10
Another Real Madrid alumni, it was a typical Marcos Alonso display. Quiet, conservative and waiting to pounce. And pounce he did with a magnificent drive into the roof of net to fire Chelsea into a lead - until he fell foul of a VAR check, that is. Really turned the screw towards the end of regulation time with his cunning movement.
Mason Mount - 8/10
Cometh the hour, cometh the talisman. A mature head on his shoulders to finish clinically and nab the early goal Chelsea needed to give themselves a chance. A picture perfect delivery for Rüdiger to head home the second was to follow. Energy reserves looked spent after the 90 minutes.
Timo Werner - 8/10 
Looked like a man enjoying a new lease of life after the Southampton performance proved to be a real shot in the arm for the misfiring German. Incredibly direct and intelligent with his runs, which helped in stretching the play and keeping Real Madrid honest - none more so than when he sprung the offside trap and kept his composure to evade a number of desperate Real Madrid challenges and slot home.
Kai Havertz - 7/10
A neat and tidy showing from the silky German, demonstrating his battling abilities and putting in a real shift at the tip of the Chelsea spear. Not afraid to get his elbows dirty in the aerial duels and his pressing was utterly relentless. Has proven clutch for the Blues in the big moments but his late header that went just wide will haunt him.
Christian Pulisic - 5/10 
Two glorious - albeit difficult -chances in injury time were spurned by the American. Struggled to threaten thereafter.
Hakim Ziyech - 5/10 
Another picture of inconsistency that offered scant little upon his introduction, aside from being a source of frustration. Had options for a genuine opportunity late on but went for glory at the near post, to no avail.
Saul Niguez - N/A 
Jorginho - N/A