Real Madrid will host Chelsea on Wednesday, April 12 in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. Carlo Ancelotti will face his former club, while the Blues will try to reverse a disappointing season under Frank Lampard.
The Champions League is in the DNA of Real Madrid. The most successful club in the history of the competition (14 titles) showed it again in the 1/8 finals. After beating Leipzig in their group, the reigning Spanish champions let the magic work against Liverpool, defeating their rivals 2-5 in the first leg at Anfield and then taking the lead in the return leg (1-0). It is more difficult for Carlo Ancelotti’s side to remain on the podium within Spain, given Barcelona’s dominance in the league.
Before the national team break, the Creamers were beaten 2-1 by the Catalans at Camp Nou, leaving them 12 points behind the leaders. Real Madrid then took revenge on Barça, defeating them 0-4 in the middle of last week and securing a place in the Copa del Rey final. On Saturday, however, the team lost 2-3 at home to Villarreal in La Liga.
Chelsea won the 2021 UEFA Champions League trophy and will need to improve significantly in the final part of the season if they are to win Europe’s premier competition again. The London club is struggling in the league despite huge resources and generous spending, and ranks only 11th in the table. The club’s new coach, Graham Potter, has been in charge of the Blues since September, but was sent off last week. Frank Lampard was appointed acting coach – the Englishman had already led the team for two years.
To earn the right to play in the next Champions League, Chelsea will have to win the current draw, as the capital is unlikely to finish in the top four in the APL. Earlier, the visitors finished first in their group, ahead of AC Milan, and passed Dortmund (1-0 defeat, 2-0 win) in the 1/8 finals.
Last year, fans witnessed a thrilling quarter-final between these clubs in which the Blues’ 3-2 victory at the Bernabeu was in vain as Real Madrid went on to win 5-3 on aggregate in the two matches. Exactly 365 days after the triumph in the Spanish capital, Lampard and the team will embark on a mission of revenge.
It’s no secret that the teams have had diametrically opposed seasons. “The Villarreal, of course, has shown that Ancelotti’s men are far from reliable in defense, but Los Blancos rested a number of their leaders at the weekend and will now do everything possible to take the lead in the first match at the Bernabeu. “Chelsea is in crisis, has lost their head coach and can’t find their game. We do not believe in a sensation here, and we expect a win for the Madrid side.