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Friday, March 1, 2024

Notebook: New signings left to kick up their heels on the bench and Cole a livewire on the touchline


holders real Madrid ruined past Chelsea in the semifinals of Champions League with Rodrigo’s double won 2-0 for a 4-0 aggregate victory at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in what is likely to be a mouth-watering Manchester City,

Trailing 2-0 from last week’s clash at the Bernabeu, Chelsea had their moments but failed to take their chances in the opening half and at the start of the second and made them pay as Rodrygo sent them through. silky spaniels By.

He opened the scoring in the 58th minute and tapped in again in the 80th minute, prompting a huge exodus of Chelsea fans.

N’Golo Kante twice came close to reducing the deficit and Real’s former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois made a crucial save just before half-time to frustrate his old club.

Mail Sport’s Adrian Kazumba looks at some of the things you might have missed at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea could not stop Real Madrid who entered the last four of the Champions League

Chelsea could not stop Real Madrid who entered the last four of the Champions League

new signings left on the bench

In a big Champions League night for the Blues, two of the three Chelsea forwards registered for the knockout stages sat on the bench.

And it didn’t say much for them that when Chelsea needed goals it was attackers Mykhailo Mudric and Joao Felix who initially found themselves from the sidelines – both entering the field after only 67 minutes.

Mudrich has started just one of Chelsea’s knockout matches and has been an unused sub in two. With former defender Benoît Badiachile, who started his Chelsea career impressively around the time the team was named, could have been a better pick.

With an apparent lack of cutting edge, letting go of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also be a decision they look back on with some regret.

Joao Felix (left), Mykhailo Mudric (centre) and Raheem Sterling were subs for Chelsea

Joao Felix (left), Mykhailo Mudric (centre) and Raheem Sterling were subs for Chelsea

Sanchez meets familiar faces

Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez – a Chelsea target – was an interesting and interested spectator sitting in front of the Stamford Bridge press box.

He might be overjoyed to be back after being part of the Brighton team that won the title just a few days ago.

And whether it be his former Brighton goalkeeper coach Ben Roberts, now on the Chelsea staff, or teammates from the Spain international who were on either side of him, there will be plenty of familiar faces to catch up with.

Chelsea's goalkeeping target Robert Sanchez was in attendance for the European tie

Chelsea’s goalkeeping target Robert Sanchez was in attendance for the European tie

there is a livewire on the col touchline

Ashley Cole was as prepared for this tie as any player on the pitch seemed. A member of Frank Lampard’s coaching staff the former moved back to England, having been a key figure throughout.

As the warm-up came to a conclusion, Cole was giving one of his final pep talks to Chelsea’s backline and it was full of passion and some swear words, with Mark Cukrella, the official in his old position, turning his attention to one A notable target point.

Then after one of the game’s defining moments, after avoiding a red card from Eder Militau, Cole was front and center amid Chelsea’s protests, which at one stage became so fierce that the situation was referred to fellow coach Joe Edwards. There was a need to calm down.

His anger at that decision was understandable.

Chelsea coach Ashley Cole (centre left) was as prepared for the tie as any player on the pitch

Chelsea coach Ashley Cole (centre left) was as prepared for the tie as any player on the pitch

forks almost an unlikely hero

Frank Lampard, in his first spell in charge of Chelsea, said there is more to N’Golo Kante than just being a ball winner.

The Frenchman was handed a more attacking role by Lampard, tasked with supporting Kai Havertz and his touch map shows how much he progressed against Real last night.

And but for better finishing it could have paid off with Kante missing two of Chelsea’s best chances.

N'Golo Kante missed a great chance to score for Chelsea in the first half

N’Golo Kante missed a great chance to score for Chelsea in the first half

music mix up on bridge

The atmosphere before the match was strange due to some glitches.

The Champions League anthem failed to play, prompting flag-waving Chelsea supporters and scarf-wearing Madrid fans to create a civilized atmosphere.

Then the working music was still ticking away when referee Daniele Orsato blew his whistle to start play.

Carlo cuts things off for Jude

Carlo Ancelotti (above) refused to answer a pre-match question about Jude Bellingham

Carlo Ancelotti (above) refused to answer a pre-match question about Jude Bellingham

In trademark fashion, Carlo Ancelotti answered a pre-match question about Jude Bellingham.

‘Unfortunately, Bellingham is a Dortmund player and I don’t like to talk about players from other teams. Sorry,’ he said, ever gentleman.

But in the background in Spain, away from the glare of the cameras, Madrid’s groundwork and discrete discussions about a deal for Bellingham continue.

A Dortmund player now but a Madrid in the summer? quite possibly.

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