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Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea: Karim Benzema volley cancels out Christian Pulisic's opener

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against Real Madrid on Tuesday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano.

Thomas Tuchel's side bagged a crucial away goal in Madrid as they head back to Stamford Bridge next Wednesday for the second leg. 

Christian Pulisic gave Chelsea the lead in the 10th minute with a cool finish past Thibaut Courtois. But Karim Benzema equalised against the run of play in the 29th minute with a powerful volley past Edouard Mendy.


Chelsea started proceedings in Madrid extremely well, dominating the ball, ad they should've been ahead after 10 men. Mason Mount led a Chelsea counter and picked out Christian Pulisic at the back post who headed it across the goal to put it on a plate for Timo Werner, but the German was denied from yards out by an excellent save from Thibaut Courtois.

But four minutes later and Chelsea were ahead. Pulisic was played in behind by Antonio Rudiger and the American cooly rounded Courtois and found the net to put the visitors ahead in Madrid.


Karim Benzema nearly pulled the hosts back level in the 23rd minute when he combined with Vinicius Jr on the edge of the box. His effort beat Edouard Mendy but he was denied by the woodwork.

Chelsea continued to dominate and press and get chances as the rain poured in Madrid. N'Golo Kante was a problem for the hosts and the ball fell to Ben Chilwell two minutes later but he could only drag his tame effort wide.

Thomas Tuchel's side had countless opportunities to extend the lead but Benzema punished the Blues in the 29th minute with a superb volley to fire past a helpless Mendy to level the scores. 


Madrid grew in confidence from their equaliser. Toni Kroos was the next to try his luck but his bending effort was wide of the post to Mendy's relief.

Zinedine Zidane's got back into the game, relieving the early pressure and turning the tide at an extremely wet Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano. Chelsea managed to counter four minutes before the break but Werner could only fire wide of Courtois' goal. 

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Werner had an early chance in the second half but he opted to take an extra touch which allowed Eder Militao to get back in to make a block.


Jorginho lost the ball in the Chelsea midfield in the 50th minute but Benzema, Madrid's bright spark, could only send his effort flying over the bar. 

Eden Hazard came on with 24 minutes to play for the hosts, coming on to face his former club, while Reece James, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech replaced Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta for Tuchel's side in a triple change.

The substitutes were at the right time from the Chelsea heads coach as they took back some control of the game Mount was the next to have a chance after some excellent skill, but Raphael Varane was there to block his effort. 


Ziyech and Havertz nearly combined in the 71st minute as the former played a brilliant ball across the box but the German was caught on his heels and Courtois collected for a goal kick.

James was forced into some last-ditch blocking as the hosts looked to find a goal to take the lead, but Chelsea's ever-strong defence remained resolute.

Zidane switched to a back four for the final 13 minutes which nearly caught the hosts out as Varane was forced into fouling Havertz on the edge of the box. The dangerous free-kick was saved by Courtois.


Madrid applied late pressure as they searched for a winner. With two minutes to play, Varane nearly found the decisive goal but his header flew inches wide of the post as Chelsea looked to hold on.

And so they did. Tuchel's men held out for a 1-1 draw in a wet Madrid. On a night where it could've been much more, but they also could've lost it. Wasted chances has been the story of Chelsea's season but they are right in with a chance of making the final.

It's advantage Chelsea heading into the second leg following Pulisic's away goal. But can they now hold their nerve at Stamford Bridge next week to complete the job? It going to be far from easy. 

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