At the beginning of the evening, Carlo Ancelotti and Frank Lampard embraced again, although this time with the seriousness imposed by the tension of the moment. Nothing to do with that night in May 2011, when the old guard of Chelsea at that time took Carletto to dinner and have a few drinks in London to thank him for the two years they had spent with him after the sudden dismissal of Roman Abramovich. It was the first time that something like this had happened to the Italian coach in his career.
Arrizabalaga, Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Wesley Fofana, Cucurella (Mykhailo Mudryk, min. 67), Reece James, Kovacic, Enzo Jeremias Fernandez (Sterling, min. 67), Kai Havertz (Mason Mount, min. 76), Conor Gallagher (João Félix, min. 67) and Kante
Courtois, Eder Militao, Alaba (Rüdiger, min. 45), Camavinga, Dani Carvajal (Nacho, min. 81), Modric, Federico Valverde, Kroos (Dani Ceballos, min. 76), Benzema (Aurelien Tchouameni, min. 71) , Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo (Marco Asensio, min. 81)
goals 0-1 min. 57: Rodrigo. 0-2 min. 79: Rodrigo.
Referee Daniele Orsato
Yellow cards Eder Militao (min. 21), Cucurella (min. 34), Reece James (min. 50) and Mykhailo Mudryk (min. 89)
No friendly welcome committee awaited Camavinga at Stamford Bridge. With Sterling and João Félix purged from the start, and Havertz recruited, Lampard’s plan was to delve into the left flank of the young Frenchman, who begins to accumulate more flight hours this season on the wing than in the pivot – the position to which he he really aspires-, although still without the codes of a professional in that defensive sector.
That’s where the English coach placed Reece James and entrusted him to percussion like a woodpecker. The plan blue It was to seek all the possible centers and, in that intention, what happened on that side was key. It was not necessary to wait for anything for the spotlights to adjust the magnifying glass in that corner, also due to the risk of Camavinga in some deliveries at the start of the duel.
That was the great concern of the whites for many minutes, although, curiously, in the end the one who ended up finding water in the well on the right wing of the attack was Rodrygo. The Brazilian found a freeway after the break, his cross did not hit him to finish off Benzema (he retired in minute 71 with a blow) and Vinicius gave him the 0-1. Last season, against Chelsea, Rodrygo activated, in alliance with Modric, the second miracle on the way to the fourteenth and this Tuesday he finished drowning the blue. His statistics continue to cause astonishment: in 100 league games he has scored 12 goals, while in 37 in the Champions League he has already scored 15.
“I don’t know how to explain what I feel in this competition, it’s very special for me,” he managed to say after the double. “His match was not as good as others he did, but he had extraordinary effectiveness,” Ancelotti said. The assistance of the first was given by Vini, who has already participated directly in 11 goals in the tournament. This is how Madrid stood in their eleventh semifinal of the last 13 editions, on the night that Toni Kroos stated on German television that his renewal is on the right track. “I also respect what the club wants, how and when it communicates,” added the German, who, like Benzema, Modric, Asensio, Ceballos and Nacho, will end their contract next June.
On the pitch, the day was spent largely on the right wing of the two attacks. That’s where almost everything was cooked. The harassment of Camavinga and the irruption of Rodrygo. Ancelotti already recognized a week ago that the Frenchman was in a moment of learning on the left flank of the rear that would help him improve his tactical and defensive knowledge for the future, but now his physical characteristics allowed him to put it where he wanted . The Stamford Bridge thing was quite an apprenticeship with real fire. Or, at least, an exhibition.
Chelsea’s first threat was born in that sector, from a cross from James that fell to N’Golo Kanté in such a frank position that the English den was already licking its lips. Until the half Frenchman shot with the ankle. The local insistence was continuous to exploit Camavinga’s possible defensive weaknesses, either with James or with Kanté. The madridista was helped by all of them, or by almost all of them, because Vini stayed further ahead, waiting for a counter.
And Chelsea insisted so much on that shore that, with the break on the horizon, Madrid required the classic save from Courtois. “The key”, for Ancelotti. A cross from the left ended up at the feet of Cucurella, who could not beat the Belgian at point-blank range. Third decisive intervention of the white stem in a cross that, in the global calculation, Madrid controlled. Because if the London team squeezed Camavinga’s left foot, the merengue team did the same on the other side. From there, Rodrygo sent it to the post, Valverde (MVP of the clash) released the horses in a counterattack, Vini finished off a Modric cross with his shin guard and the Croatian made room in the area to threaten Kepa.
At the restart, now without Alaba (replaced by Rüdiger due to a hamstring problem), the landscape took a quarter of an hour to change. Until then, Camavinga took a tremendous blow from James and, after a minute, another cross from the left left Kanté again on the verge of scoring.
Valverde’s help in the second half allowed the Frenchman to adjust the set-up little by little and the appearance of Rodrygo, the last-term good right-hander in London, definitively boosted the Spanish team. Camavinga resisted, the Brazilian finished off and, with the lights almost out, Kroos slipped that he will continue to be active and in white.
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