Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid
European Champions Chelsea welcomed Real Madrid to Stamford Bridge for a replay of last year’s semi-final tie. Carlo Ancelotti and Thibaut Courtois returned to familiar grounds, and so did Mateo Kovacic. Thomas Thuchel’s side suffered a shock defeat to Brentford, and they were looking to make up for their flaccid performances in recent games. Their counterparts came fresh off a controversial defeat of Celta Vigo.
The game was open and that played into the hands of Real Madrid who looked sharper and more purposeful. Vinicius Jr broke Chelsea’s last line with a brilliant run before Karim Benzema headed home in the 21st minute. Chelsea looked rattled, and this team does not respond well to being rattled. Within three minutes, the Frenchman added his second. The World champions were shell-shocked and struggled to escape their half. Real Madrid were almost running away with it when The Blues began to gain a foothold in the game. Benzema missed a good chance for his hattrick, but you felt that it was inevitable. However, before half-time, a gorgeous Jorginho ball found Kai Havertz. The silky German headed home to pull one back. With the deficit halved, both teams went in for the break with the scores at Chelsea 1-2 Real Madrid.
The onus was on Chelsea to grab the equalizer, but AFCON 2021 champion Edouard Mendy had other ideas. He gifted the former Lyon man the ball, and he got that hattrick. Back-to-back hattricks for the French international. Thibaut Courtois made a brilliant save from captain Cesar Azpilicueta before Romelu Lukaku somehow missed from 6 yards out. Chelsea huffed and puffed while Madrid shithoused the rest of the game into a stalemate. Real Madrid beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to take an advantage into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Villarreal 1-0 Bayern Munich
Europa League champions Villarreal defeated Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich at the Estadio de la Ceramica. It was Bayern’s first away UEFA Champions League loss in 22 games since Unai Emery and his PSG side beat The Rekordmeister in September 2017. Arnaut Danjuma scored the only goal of the game in the 8th minute when he deflected Dani Parejo’s shot in. Manuel Neuer was beaten all ends up.
Villarreal thought they had a second when former Arsenal and Valencia defensive midfielder put the ball in the net only to have it ruled out. In truth, The Yellow Submarines should have inflicted a heavier defeat on the German giants. Arnaut Danjuma missed a terrific chance to double the lead as the Dutchman looked unstoppable on the counter. Bayern never looked settled for this game, and there was no clearer example than when Manuel Neuer was caught napping in the middle of the field. The Spanish side could not capitalize on his error and positioning with an ambitious lob tailing wide.
Alphonso Davies, back in the Bayern starting line-up after almost four months out, was as lively as can be with his speed causing the Villarreal rearguard all sorts of problems. He had two quickfire shots in the second half that did not go in while Kingsley Coman also came close. Villarreal defeated the record German champions and subjected them to their first UCL game without a goal in over three years. Robert Lewandowski was anonymous again. Just like against Freiburg this weekend. They face off again at the Allianz Arena next week, and Bayern will need their number 9 firing again if they want any chance of overturning things.