Werner couldn’t miss as Chelsea sink Real Madrid to set up all-English CL final

Timo Werner, Chelsea

Timo Werner could not miss as he helped Chelsea into an all-English Champions League final after the Blues defeated Real Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The under-fire Germany forward nodded in from a yard out as Chelsea lined up a meeting with Manchester City in Turkey later this month. It’s the third time in 14 seasons that two English clubs have contested Europe’s premier competition and Thomas Tuchel’s men deserved it. Despite Real dominating possession and the passing stats, Chelsea were much the more dangerous team and should have been out of sight in the second half. Werner’s first half header looked like it would be enough for Chelsea to progress before Mason Mount scored on 85 minutes to ease Chelsea’s nerves and send them through 3-1 on aggregate.

Kai Havertz started in the false nine role as Chelsea hosted Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Germany playmaker Havertz forced his way into Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI courtesy of his brace in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Fulham.

Toni Rudiger started in defence wearing a protective face mask, with Cesar Azpilicueta at right wing-back, and Timo Werner and Mason Mount joining Havertz up front.

Captain Sergio Ramos was fit to return after a three-month lay-off with a calf injury for Real, who also had ex-Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard in their starting line-up.

Chelsea’s first effort on goal came from the unlikely source of Rudiger. It was a decent effort too. His dipping shot forced a diving save from Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea thought they had scored on 19 minutes. Werner found the net from close range following Ben Chilwell’s low cross. But the German striker moved too early and was deemed offside.

Karim Benzema then used all his power and skill to turn on the edge of the box and fire in a shot which a diving Edouard Mendy repelled with one hand.

But on 28 minutes Werner did get the breakthrough with a simple close range header after Havertz had hit the bar.

N’Golo Kante opened up the Madrid defence with a great turn. Then played a one-two with Werner before releasing Havertz. The German then clipped a left-footed effort over Courtois and onto the bar, but Werner was there to gobble up the rebound.

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Ten minutes before half-time, Benzema got the wrong side of Rudiger to connect with a brilliant cross from Modric. However, Mendy was on hand once more to deny the striker, turning his close-range header over the bar. 

Ramos was then booked after throwing Cesar Azpilicueta to the ground in the Chelsea box as he tried to attack a cross

Sergio Ramos TEAMtalk

Just two minutes into the second half Havertz hit the bar again. Azpilicueta lifted a precise cross in from the right flank and Havertz headed against the bar, this time there was no Werner to convert the rebound.

Thiago Silva then headed over from a Chilwell free-kick and Mount combined with Werner in the final third. Only to blast his shot over the bar after charging through the Real Madrid backline.

Havertz then missed a great chance from close range just before the hour mark. A simple ball over the top from Mount allowed Havertz to raid through on goal. But with only has Courtois to beat, the Belgian came out on top deflecting the shot wide with his leg.

Modric TEAMtalk

Eden Hazard then latched on to a loose ball in the right-inside channel and drilled a low strike that Mendy saved. But moments later Kante saw a fine chance saved by Courtois after Werner led a break out from the back.

The hosts then wasted another chance when sub Christian Pulisic played in a cross across the face of goal but Mount failed to add the crucial touch from a few yards out.

Pulisic then pulled a shot wide with nine minutes to go after Havertz and Kante combined well in the final third.

But with five minutes to go Mount sealed for Chelsea. The England man slid in to connect with Pulisic’s cutback to find the bottom-right corner.

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