Chelsea grabbed a potentially vital away goal in a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first-leg tie.
The backdrop of Real’s training ground may not have screamed ‘Champions League semi-final’ but the quality on the pitch was up to the usual standard in the first half with Chelsea taking the lead after 13 minutes when Christian Pulisic rounded Thibaut Courtois to give Thomas Tuchel’s side the perfect start.
Madrid looked an ageing side up against the bright and bubbly Chelsea attack but managed to fire their way back into the game when Karim Benzema latched onto a couple of knockdowns in the Chelsea area to level the scores in thumping fashion.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were superior on the night and might even regard themselves as unfortunate not to take an advantage into the return at Stamford Bridge in eight days’ time as they set their sights on a final date against either Manchester City or Paris St-Germain in Istanbul on 29 May.
Chelsea over-ran Madrid in the early stages and should have taken the lead when Timo Werner shot straight at keeper Thibaut Courtois from only six yards.
Chelsea were ahead after only 14 minutes when Christian Pulisic kept his cool to steer home a clever finish.
Real were on the ropes but danger man Karim Benzema, who had glanced the outside of an upright from long range, brought them back into the game with a brilliant equaliser, cushioning the ball with a header before sending an acrobatic volley beyond Edouard Mendy in the 29th minute.
Chelsea had the better of the second half but could not carve out the chance to score a potentially vital second. Manager Tuchel will still be very satisfied with both the performance and result.