Real Madrid - Chelsea

Real Madrid v Chelsea: first bout en route to Istanbul final

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NEWS | 27/04/2021 | Alberto Navarro

Zidane's charges, who are riding a 17-game unbeatean streak, will be looking to take charge of the semi-final encounter in what is an unprecedented tie in the competition.
The Istanbul final is now just 180 minutes away, with Chelsea the final hurdle standing in Real Madrid's way as the sides prepare to go head-to-head tonight for the first instalment of the semi-final tie at the Alfredo Di Stéfano (9pm CET). Even the slightest of mistakes against the FA Cup finalists can put you out of the competition against and the madridistas are well aware that they will need to be fully focused if they're to take an advantage into the second leg, to be played next Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

Tonight's contest will be the first time that Real Madrid and Chelsea lock horns in the European Cup. Both sides come into the game in exceptional form, with Zinedine Zidane's troops on a 17-game unbeaten run (W12, D5), four of which involved clean sheets, whilst the Londoners have tasted defeat just twice in their last 22 outings (W15, D5) and have recorded shutouts in their last three encounters.


"We're going to have to produce two very good performances to get through and make it to the final", commented Zidane in his pre-match press conference. Meanwhile, Raphaël Varane spoke of the dangers held by the opponents: "Chelsea can pose a threat at any time and we're going to have to be united and defend well”. The defender features in the squad list named by the madridista boss for a contest that will see the hosts make the history books as they become the first-ever team to have contested 450 European Cup matches.

Record-breaking run on road
Chelsea are enjoying a superb Champions League campaign and alongside Manchester City boast the competition's meanest backline (three goals conceded). What's more, the visitors have won all five of their away games in this season’s competition and been breached just once in the process. The Blues have seen off Krasnodar (4-0), Rennes (2-1), Sevilla (4-0), Atlético (1-0) and Porto (2-0) on their travels.

Thomas Tuchel's charges come into the match having put together a 10-match unbeaten away run for the first time in the club's history (W8, D2). The Whites face a testing semi-final tie with a place in the showpiece, to be played at Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium on 29 May, the prize awaiting the winners.