The inevitable defending champions Real Madrid and Italian heavyweights proceeded into the last four of the prestigious UEFA Champions League as they dictate their authorities on their opponents last night.
Real Madrid defeated Chelsea, away at Stamford Bridge with some brilliant finesse from Brazilian wonderkid Rodrygo scoring a brace and AC Milan cruised past their Italian counterparts Napoli, on aggregate as Giroud and team makes the headlines after making it into the semis after 16 long years.
Giroud- the substitute “Lion”
It can get difficult to grab the headlines if you have Zlatan Ibrahimovic in your team, but Olivier Giroud belongs to a different planet, as he seems to thrive at 36 years old, although under Zlatan’s shadow.
He made up for his missed penalty as he smashed home late in the first half, with an assist from Rafael Leao, increasing his goals tally to five, making him the first Milan player to achieve this feat after Ibrahimovic in 2011/12 season, proving to be a rightful heir of the throne which belongs to Zlatan.
Rodrygo- the wonder never ceases
Brazilian wonderkid Rodrygo, who has always been known for his clutch performances in the knockout stages of UCL, once again lived up to his name as his brace helped Real dictate their authority over Chelsea, away at Stamford Bridge.
Karim Benzema seems to have found an unlikely competition as he is rivalled by his own teammate as the Brazilian seems to perform every time his team reaches the UCL knockout. He seems to dribble past Chelsea goalie with ease as he stepped up in time to take Real into the semis.
Little short of a fairytale
Napoli has been having a dream run this season as they have cemented their position on top of the Serie A table. With the likes of Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia, they are yearning for a long-awaited Scudetto, but their 12-game unbeaten home run in Europe’s elite competition suffered a break as they were outscored by their Italian counterparts Milan.
When Napoli goalie Meret denied Giroud from the spot, supporters inside Stadium Diego Maradona dared to dream, but luck did not seem to be on their side as “Kvaradona” missed a spot kick. Although Osimhen headed an equalizer, it arrived late as the Rossoneri were already celebrating their advance into the last four.
Lampard’s experiment “almost” pays off
When Real Madrid trounced Chelsea in the last leg, Lampard was heard saying he was clueless, and he was allowed to experiment with a new squad, employing Kai Havertz as ‘false nine’, which proved to be a sheer confusion among the fans.
The front trio of Gallager, Havertz and Kante pressed their opponents and it was visible as they were trying to go past the former Chelsea keeper Courtois. This “chaos theory” almost paid off but it was Rodrygo’s night as he hit past two against the English side, who are reeling at the lower half of the table.
Likely rematch for Real
Carlo Ancelotti’s side had comfortably cruised past Chelsea in the last-eight tie, but might face a daunting task if they go on to face Pep’s side in the last four, provided they win their return leg against heavyweights Bayern, with the Germans trailing 0-3 from the first outing.
Real defenders will have their task cut out to stop Halaand, who is creating milestones in almost every matches.