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Chelsea whip Real Madrid to reach Champions League final



Chelsea whip Real Madrid to reach Champions League final

Chelsea set up an all-England UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City on Wednesday with a 2-0 defeat of Real Madrid in London for a 3-1 aggregate victory.

Timo Werner and Mason Mount settled the semi-final second leg match with a goal each.

Werner headed in from almost on the goal-line after Germany team-mate Kai Havertz hit the bar and Chelsea spurned several chances before Mount secured a 2-0 victory.

But, following last week’s 1-1 first leg in Madrid, that was enough to reach a first Champions League final since they lifted the trophy nine years ago 3-1 on aggregate.

It also returns manager Thomas Tuchel to the final after he lost the showpiece last season with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against Bayern Munich.

Tuchel has turned Chelsea’s season around since his appointment in late January as replacement for Frank Lampard with a top four berth in the league looking likely.

And they will not fear domestic champions-elect Manchester City in Istanbul on May 29.

They have already defeated Pep Guardiola’s otherwise all-conquering side in the FA Cup semi-finals to set up a final with Leicester City two weeks before their big day in Turkey.

Chelsea and Manchester City also meet in a dress rehearsal in Manchester on Saturday where the hosts can confirm the Premier League title.

“I can’t put it into words at the moment,” a delighted Mount said. “It was a great performance. We should have had about five, but the most important thing is that we won.

“I haven’t won anything yet, but we have two massive Cup finals, and hopefully we can win. The final is going to be a stunning game.”

Tuchel transforming Chelsea mid-season will spark memories of Roberto Di Matteo doing so after his appointment in March 2012.

It was just a few months before Chelsea stunned Bayern Munich to lift their only title in the tournament.

“We deserved to win,” Tuchel said. “We could have scored so much earlier, so much more to be safe, but now is no time for criticism.

“It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.

“It is not done yet, we want to go all the way, we arrive in Istanbul to win.”

N’Golo Kante surged through the midfield to set up the 28th minute opener and though Havertz’s delicate chip landed on the bar, Werner could not miss the rebound.

Karim Benzema, who scored for Real Madrid in the first leg, was twice denied by Edouard Mendy as the guests showed a rare bit of urgency.

Zinedine Zidane’s side limped to defeat and ended their coach’s previous perfect record in Champions League semi-finals.

When Kante won the ball in midfield and released Christian Pulisic, the American crossed for Mount five minutes from time and Real Madrid were done.

“We can say that ‘yes, they deserved the win’,” Zidane said. “We fought and tried but they deserved to win and go through.

“I’m proud of my boys: we tried, we have got this far – just one game from the final.”

The second half had been a string of Chelsea chances.

The Real Madrid defence, even with the influential Sergio Ramos back from a three-month absence due to a calf injury, was frequently in tatters.

Havertz and Mason Mount both struck the bar while only one-on-one saves by Thibaut Courtois on Havertz and Kante kept Real Madrid’s outside chance alive a little longer.

Chelsea were rarely troubled in reaching their third final with the first lost against the other Manchester side, Manchester United in 2008, in Moscow.

And Real Madrid, 13-time record champions of Europe, will now try to salvage their season by emerging on top of a four-way battle for the Spanish domestic title.(dpa/NAN)


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