Real Madrid fought back from a goal down to knock out reigning champions Chelsea from the Champions League quarterfinals 5-4 on aggregate following two thrilling encounters.
Los Blancos had a 3-1 lead into the second leg, but goals from Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger levelled the aggregate score inside 51 minutes at the Bernabeu. With late-second half goals from Timo Werner and Rodrygo for both sides, the match went to extra time, where Real’s Karim Benzema scored a 96th-minute header (his career-high 12th Champions League goal in a single season) and sealed the win for the home side.
Real managed to qualify for the Champions League semifinals for the 15th time, more than any other team in the competition’s history (Barcelona and Bayern Munich are both on 12).
According to ESPN, “How can I explain the magic of this stadium? It helps the team and players a lot to never give up and we never gave up.” “I’m very happy to be in the semifinal, the more you suffer, the happier I am!” Real boss Carlo Ancelotti stated after the match.
Ancelotti was able to achieve a new milestone, reaffirming his claim that he is “Mr Champions League” deserving of the title. He is also only the third manager in history to qualify for the Champions League semifinals eight(8) times, the other two being Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. Few can match the 62-year-old Italian’s longevity in Europe’s top competition, where he has won the trophy three times.
As a manager, Ancelotti has advanced to the semifinals of the competition in four separate decades, with a total of five if you count his playing career.