Live Blog

Matchday LIVE: Chelsea vs Real Madrid in Champions League semi-final second leg

Stay up to date with Goal's live commentary coverage as Thomas Tuchel attempts to overcome Zinedine Zidane and set up an all-Premier League final

Updated
Chelsea celebration Real Madrid
Getty

Thank you and good night

2021-05-05T22:00:00Z

Well then, how about that. An all-English final, once again, in the Champions League - and by pure fortune, an opening night preview this very weekend.

Chelsea and Manchester City face off in the Premier League next, while Real Madrid have to pick up the pieces of their season and hurl themselves for one last push in La Liga.

We'll be there to see how they both do on the day - but until then, thank you for taking the time to join us - and have a great week!

Mason Mount Chelsea 2020-21
Getty Images

Chelsea celebrate historic victory

2021-05-05T21:55:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Blues score unprecedented Madrid double

2021-05-05T21:50:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Chelsea economical in victory

2021-05-05T21:45:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

The below stat actually feels genuinely hard to understand given how on top Chelsea felt for long stretches, but they somehow only had a third - less than a third, even! - of the ball tonight.

That is absolutely barmy.

Tuchel's CL history-making feat, explained

2021-05-05T21:42:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Thomas Tuchel has made history today - not bad for a man parachuted into a club halfway through the season after he was kicked to the curb by PSG. (There will be a delicious irony to him that his old side will not be in Istanbul and look set to lose the Ligue 1 title following his exit.)

But just what is it he has achieved? Our man Seth Vertelney has had a quick look.

You can read that here as we continue to unwind from a historic night for Chelsea.

Fabregas offers praise for Blues

2021-05-05T21:39:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Chelsea snag historic CL double

2021-05-05T21:36:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Something else to keep in mind for the history books today - Chelsea, with victory here, have become the first club to compete in both the men's and women's Champions League finals in the same season.

Emma Hayes' side turned over a first leg reverse at the weekend against Bayern Munich to set up a final with Barcelona later this month.

Now Tuchel's side have echoed their feat.

Premier League's Fab Four?

2021-05-05T21:31:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

While we wait for some further reaction, let us remind ourselves that not only two years after the last all-English affair in the Champions League final, we could be poised for exactly the same in the Europa League too.

On that occasion in 2019, it was Chelsea who triumphed over Arsenal, winning the only trophy of Maurizio Sarri's brief time at the helm, and the Gunners - under Mikel Arteta - could well be back this year.

To do so though, they'll need to turn over former boss Unai Emery and Villarreal. The winner will face Manchester United or Roma - but most likely Manchester United, given they hold a 6-2 advantage from the first leg.

Could it be four English teams at the top of the tree once again?

Tuchel: We could have scored so much

2021-05-05T21:28:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Ever the perfectionist, the Blues boss has been speaking to BT Sport, and notes his side could have definitely had a few more - but that it does not take away from their achievement.

“We deserved to win," he stated. "The first half was difficult because they had a lot of the ball and made us suffer. But we were dangerous with counter-attacks and we never lost that desire to defend.

“In the second half, there was an even better structure to defend. It was a fantastic performance and we could have scored so much earlier to be safe. But this is no time for criticism now. It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.”

Rice pays tribute to friend Mount

2021-05-05T21:25:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Zidane's gamble fails to pay off

2021-05-05T21:22:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

You may recall a bit of chat about that formation from Madrid earlier on this evening.

Well, Rik Sharma has picked over the bones for us - and it is not pretty reading for Zinedine Zidane.

Is this the end of an era at Santiago Bernabeu? The Frenchman left by his own will last time of course - but he may well be shown the door this time instead.

You can read that here.

Azpilicueta: We are ready for City

2021-05-05T21:20:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

The Blues skipper has taken the opportunity to pay credit to his goalkeeper in a chat with BT Sport, stating: "We can't forget the saves from Edouard Mendy in the first half. The second half we were clearly better and we had a few chances to score more goals - but we fought really hard.

"We have a fantastic squad, everybody pushes hard in training, to be together, to fight for everyone and to help each other. This is massive and we have created a strong group. We have plenty of things to fight for.

"It's a Champions League final! we have played them lots of times but it's the Champions League final. We believe in ourselves, we know we have to work hard but we are ready for it."

Club legend Drogba celebrates victory

2021-05-05T21:16:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Mount: Final will be 'stunning game'

2021-05-05T21:13:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

More from Mason Mount with BT Sport, and he has cautioned that Chelsea will not get ahead of themselves - but has admitted that what will be the fourth encounter of the year should be one for the ages.

"We gave everything and we had that desire to win first half," he's added. "We had a couple of opportunities where we won the ball and should've scored but we got the one late on and it's great.

"We haven't won nothing yet. Hopefully we've got two massive cup finals and hopefully we can win. We've got [City] on Saturday. We've played three times already this season, so it will be a stunning game."

Madrid's unbeaten streak broken

2021-05-05T21:10:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Mount: We should have had five!

2021-05-05T21:07:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Matchwinner Mason Mount - who has set up a mouthwatering battle with Phil Foden in Istanbul now - is speaking to BT Sport. Quite naturally, he is over the moon.

"I can't put into words," he says. "Great performance tonight. It was a tough, tough game. They're going to come and give it everything but we worked hard. We should've probably had about five! But the most important thing is we won tonight. We want to go into every game winning it.

"It was one nil but that really didn't matter because if they score, they were back in the game. To get that one late on, you can see by the celebrations, it was a massive goal for us and gave us breathing space in the last five minutes."

Mendy makes CL history with clean sheet

2021-05-05T21:04:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

England expects...

2021-05-05T21:01:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Two years on from Liverpool and Tottenham's encounter, it's going to be two Premier League teams once more in the showpiece fixture of Europe's biggest club competition.

In Manchester City, Chelsea face an opponent for whom the stars seem to have finally aligned - but having denied them a prospective quadruple in the FA Cup already this term, the Blues will know that they can unlock Pep Guardiola's men.

A dress rehearsal awaits almost immediately in fact - in the shape of a top-flight clash this weekend, where City could be crowned Premier League champions.

Double delight for Werner and Mount

2021-05-05T20:58:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

Two tap-ins for Timo Werner and Mason Mount do the damage at Stamford Bridge - but really, Chelsea could have done without them in the end. They are headed to their third-ever Champions League final, where Manchester City await.

Thomas Tuchel becomes the first man to notch consecutive appearances in the showpiece game with different sides. He'll be hoping for a different result from the one he had with Paris Saint-Germain last year.

Real Madrid now face some serious soul-searching. Bereft by injuries this season, they have arguably exceeded some expectations to make it here - but this was a showing far below the exacting standards expected at Santiago Bernabeu.

Eden Hazard is back on the pitch to congratulate his former teammates. His manager appears to have snubbed a handshake or two.

Classy Chelsea make Champions League final

2021-05-05T20:55:00Z

Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

FT: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:53:00Z

CHELSEA REACH THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL!

Chelsea are off to Istanbul! For the second time in three years - and the third time in history - it will be an all-English affair in the Champions League final!
Chelsea celebration Real Madrid
Getty

SUB: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:52:30Z

There's going to be one more change for Chelsea, as the seconds tick down at Stamford Bridge. Olivier Giroud is on for Kai Havertz, for who the crossbar here has become a mortal enemy tonight.

Here's a remarkable stat for you: six of Chelsea's last seven European finals since 1998 - and all 3 of their Champions League finals now, as they will surely win - have come after sacking their manager during the season.

Maurizio Sarri's 2018/19 Europa League win is the only exception.

YELLOW CARD: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:52:00Z

(Federico Valverde, 90)

Federico Valverde's head hasn't gone, exactly, but he has tracked a long way across the pitch to clean out Christian Pulisic there.

He gets a booking for his troubles. It has not been Madrid's night. They have been overrun by this superb Blues performance.

SUB: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:50:00Z

ON: Mariano, OFF: Hazard

That is the end of Eden Hazard's homecoming at Stamford Bridge - and it has been one to forget.

Zinedine Zidane may have gambled on his star man today, but that run of injuries has clearly taken its toll. He's been a shadow of what he can be today.

SUB: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:48:00Z

ON: James, Ziyech, OFF: Azpilicueta, Mount

It's a double swap and two of Chelsea's most impressive performers - and make no mistake, that inability to finish aside, this has been a fantastic game from Chelsea - make way now.

Thomas Tuchel greets them with hugs. The celebrations are already getting underway on the Blues bench.

Reece James and Hakim Ziyech are on in their place.

YELLOW CARD: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:46:00Z

(Mason Mount, 87)

The England man is surely on cloud nine right now and that may feed into his energetic challenge on Eder Militao, one that isn't exactly legal.

He'll get a booking, but it'll be the last act of his evening. He's about to sit out the final few minutes. Thomas Tuchel won't take any risks now.

GOAL: Chelsea 2-0 Madrid (3-1)

2021-05-05T20:44:00Z

(Mason Mount, 85)

BOOK YOUR TICKETS, THOMAS TUCHEL! CHELSEA ARE SURELY GOING TO ISTANBUL NOW!

Two goals, two tap-ins - but Blues fans will not care! The manager punches the air with delight as Mason Mount - who else?! - finally finds the second goal of the game for the hosts.

Christian Pulisic has run several fantastic moves down the right flank since coming on and he does it again here, drawing out Courtois to the edge of his post, before sliding a delivery back in. The box is crowded, but the England man hones in to push it into the net.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:41:00Z

This game, as it enters the final 10 minutes, should not be this nervous. It should not be this tight. Chelsea should be over the hills and far away by now.

Instead, despite some superb play to tear up Madrid at the back with impressive ease, they have failed to find a second since the break.

Remember, a goal for Los Blancos takes us to extra-time - and any draw beyond that would send the visitors through on away goals.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:38:00Z

SUB: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:35:00Z

ON: Rodrygo, OFF: Casemiro

Zinedine Zidane turns to his bench again as the game enters the final quarter-hour and it is Rodrygo who takes to the field.

A moment later, Pulisic slides a peach of a low cross into the six-yard area and Havertz somehow fails to make contact at the far post.

They could genuinely be four or five goals up. Thomas Tuchel must be doing his nut in right now.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:32:00Z

A Blues corner flashes across the box from the right side, and skims past the far post with a wayward touch.

The pressure feels like it sits wholly upon Madrid, even when Los Blancos slip out of their own half and down the other end.

It has been a catalogue of missed chances. They're lucky that none of them have come back to bite them yet. City - in both an upcoming Premier Legaue clash and a potential final - are likely to punish them roughly for such wastefulness.

Jorginho Hazard Chelsea Real Madrid 2021
Getty

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:29:00Z

As it stands, Chelsea are 20 minutes or so away from a third Champions League final, and a first since 2012.

There would be some form of poetry in facing Manchester City should they get there, given they faced their neighbours Manchester United in one of the competition's all-time great finales in 2008.

But as long as they fail to find a second, Madrid remain dangerously close, even if they are on the back foot.

SUB: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:26:00Z

ON: Pulisic, OFF: Werner

Now it is Thomas Tuchel who makes a change - and Timo Werner's pace is hooked, to be replaced by the muscle of Christian Pulisic.

The former's goal - the highlight of the game so far - has put Chelsea on their way to Istanbul.

But his replacement, dropped for the start of this game, might be able to double that, given he surely feels like he has a point to prove to his manager now.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:25:00Z

Just what do Chelsea need to do to find a second here?!

N'Golo Kante is the latest to have a pop, following a spectacular Werner break, and Courtois again denies a relatively tame finish tucked in from the left by the Frenchman.

Moments earlier, Hazard proved why he was left on with a half-chance that felt like Madrid's best moment of the night. It's a stern reminder that this game is far from safe for the Blues. They need that second for comfort.

N'Golo Kante Chelsea Real Madrid
Getty

SUB: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:22:00Z

ON: Valverde, Asensio, OFF: Mendy, Vinicius

The first swap of the game comes - and Eden Hazard is not coming off just yet.

Zinedine Zidane surely believes the former Chelsea man has more to give. It is Mendy and Vinicius - the latter tormented so much by Ben Chilwell today - who make way for Federico Valverde and Marco Asensio.

YELLOW CARD: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:21:00Z

(Nacho, 62)

The first booking of the second half goes the way of Madrid for a challenge from Nacho on Kai Havertz - and the Chelsea man does not take it kindly.

There is a little bit of a scrap between the pair and the former has to be dragged away before he does something he might regret.

He escapes with a yellow, but the tensions are still bubbling under the surface here.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:18:00Z

Thibaut Courtois with a save that might just keep Real Madrid in the Champions League!

Kai Havertz has had the hat-trick that never was this evening, as he races up with another break that cuts Los Blancos open like a soggy burrito at the back, only to plant his low shot directly towards the keeper.

A bit of lift would have caught the former Chelsea man off his line, but it is the wrong play in the end. How costly could these misses be for the Blues?

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:15:00Z

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:12:00Z

Double bubble for Chelsea - and two misses that could prove costly!

The first, a header from Thiago Silva, is more excusable, with the veteran centre-back nudging a free-kick over the crossbar in a crowded box.

But the second, as Mason Mount blazes a path from a throw-in close to halfway towards the box before smashing an overpowered finish over Courtois and the goal, is one that the England man should have done better with.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:09:00Z

Antonio Rudiger - sporting a black mask for medical reasons this evening - has been quietly impressive at the back for Chelsea so far. He has been a key part of that Blues line that has effected a strong showing against Madrid's attacking line.

He's not the only one. Thiago Silva - like his manager, looking for another Champions League final - has shown that age is just a number today too.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:06:00Z

Kai Havertz hits the crossbar for the second time tonight!

A yard or so lower and that would have slipped between the woodwork and Courtois' glove. It is a corker of a header from the Germany star, with Cesar Azpilicueta the man to supply a great cross to set him up.

Chelsea have come out of the blocks with the pace of a greyhound. Madrid will have to switch up to meet them quickly - or bring them back down to their own level.

Havertz Real Madrid Chelsea
Getty

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T20:03:00Z

We are back underway - after a prolonged break, thanks to the walk between Madrid's dressing room in the health club behind Stamford Bridge, of all places - for the second half.

Zinedine Zidane has made no changes and nor has Thomas Tuchel. A huge half of football is incoming.

Eden Hazard Real Madrid Chelsea 2021
Getty

Madrid looking 'second-best'

2021-05-05T19:57:00Z

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

Will Hazard ever be the same again?

2021-05-05T19:54:00Z

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

It has been a quiet evening for Eden Hazard so far on his return to Stamford Bridge - he's yet to notch a key pass, in fact.

But after such a stop-start tenure at Santiago Bernabeu since he arrived, can he ever be the player he was at his peak with the Blues again?

Our writer Rik Sharma mulled it over and you can read that here.

Werner follows in Hazard's footsteps

2021-05-05T19:51:00Z

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

Werner tap-in puts Blues on top

2021-05-05T19:48:00Z

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

Timo Werner's disallowed goal only lit the fuse - and a tap-in from a Kai Havertz chip is what has put Chelsea in the driving seat of this Champions League semi-final.

It has not been plain sailing - two fantastic Karim Benzema efforts, parried by the excellent work of Edouard Mendy has seen to that - but so far, Real Madrid haven't quite unlocked their hosts on the counter the way they have seen their own defence opened up.

But there is a long way to go yet. This is the Champions League, after all.

HT: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:45:00Z

Mount carves another neat run, this time on the right, and sees his delivery knocked away for a corner - but there won't be time to take it. There's no added minutes and the referee blows for half-time.

It's the Blues who have one foot on the plane to Istanbul, after a fine 45 minutes - but this is far from over.

The second half - and whatever drama it may entail - is all still to come.

Werner Chelsea Real Madrid 2021
Getty

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:42:00Z

The battle between Ben Chilwell and Vinicius has been one of the most intriguing battles today, and it is the former who is coming out on top. Zinedine Zidane may need to figure out how to plug a readily exploitable gap during half-time.

Mason Mount runs down the same channel now, cuts inside and sees a shot deflected at close-range by the defence. Werner attempts to chop a follow-up attempt in, but simply loops it into the hands of Courtois.

There's only a few minutes before we get to the break at Stamford Bridge.

YELLOW CARD: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:39:00Z

(Andreas Christensen, 39)

It's getting a little bit tasty out there, isn't it?

Andreas Christensen is the latest man to be flashed a yellow card, thanks to a challenge on Ferland Mendy.

Both sides are giving each other the full works when it comes to tackles. A reckless slip could prove crucial here.

YELLOW CARD: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:37:00Z

(Sergio Ramos, 37)

Tensions boil over in the box as the corner is played short and swung in, and Sergio Ramos bodily throws Cesar Azpilicueta to the turf.

There are hands all over from several Chelsea players in the build-up, needling the Madrid captain, and he responds by letting his frustration boil over.

He gets a booking, despite his protests, while the Blues man gets away scott-free.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:36:00Z

Mendy to the rescue again!

Karim Benzema, for the second time today, comes breathtakingly close to unlocking Chelsea as he beats the offside trap and nails a fantastic header, one tipped just over the bar by the shotstopper.

That is a fantastic save from the Senegal international.

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:34:00Z

Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:31:00Z

Thomas Tuchel is very happy with that finish, and you can't blame him. If his side prevail today, he'll become the first man to take different sides to consecutive Champions League finals.

Zinedine Zidane will be less than impressed however. On one level, this changes nothing for his side - they still had to score to have a chance of progression. But now it means they will need two if they hope to win outright and avoid penalties.

Madrid have looked suspect on the break. Can Chelsea kill this game off early? Or will they allow their opponents back into the contest?

GOAL: Chelsea 1-0 Madrid (2-1)

2021-05-05T19:28:00Z

(Timo Werner, 28)

That one will count for Timo Werner - and it is a tap-in of the finest order!

Chelsea break in the final third after dislodging Madrid of the ball, and Kai Havertz picks up the throughball on the left edge of the box. He tries to beat Courtois with a chip finish over the keeper - and hits the crossbar!

But the ball hangs in the air and before any Blancos player can scramble back to clear, Werner is there to plant a header into an open net, meeting the ball as it drops back from its apex. First blood goes to the Blues.

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid (1-1)

2021-05-05T19:26:00Z

Karim Benzema, what a shot!

The Madrid man almost bends it into the bottom-right corner, curled in around a defender from the opposite side of the box after Chelsea afford them too much time to set up, and it requires a full-stretch punch from Mendy to turn it away.

The subsequent corner is soft and the Blues have been let off the hook. That is an emphatic warning shot.

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid (1-1)

2021-05-05T19:24:00Z

So far, a lot of action has come down Chelsea's left flank, moving into Madrid's right channel - and it's sparked something of a tussle between Chilwell and Vinicius.

The two come together off the ball, and the referee comes to reprimand them for their conduct.

There could be yellow cards - or more - from the pair of them as this game weaves on.

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid (1-1)

2021-05-05T19:21:00Z

DISALLOWED GOAL: Chelsea 0-0 Madrid (1-1)

2021-05-05T19:18:00Z

(Timo Werner, 18)

Timo Werner thought he had the opener there!

He slots in a close-range finish after Chelsea pick Madrid's pockets and coast downfield, with Chilwell slipping a lovely low ball across from the left edge to be nudged past Courtois at the far post - but the linesman's flag is up.

If there is any consolation to be had for the Blues, it will be with the ease that they exploited their opponents on the counter.

Werner Courtois Chelsea Real Madrid Champions League
Getty

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:17:00Z

Mount coasts into the penalty area again and a moment later, Werner plays a similar move.

Nacho does great to deal with the low, probing ball flicked in, and Madrid win a free-kick as he tumbles to the turf in a crowded box.

Down the other end, Luka Modric whistles in a low shot that Mendy has no problem dealing with.

YELLOW CARD: Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:14:00Z

(Jorginho, 14)

The first booking of the game has been handed out, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it is for Chelsea.

Eden Hazard looks to break after that spell of Blues pressure and Jorginho promptly chops him down with a hefty tackle.

He'll take the yellow card to stave off any danger, but he'll have to be careful now.

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:12:00Z

Madrid are gradually starting to string together some more speculative skill - indeed, they've suddenly upped their overall possession quite quickly - and Nacho fires in an effort with a clean sight of goal that Edouard Mendy takes easily.

Chelsea respond though with a pair of decent opportunities - a shot from distance from Antonio Rudiger, of all people, that Courtois punches away, before the goalkeeper is called upon to divert Mason Mount's cut-back.

Vinicius concedes a free-kick from the subsequent corner but Casemiro heads away the set-piece delivery and Madrid are left relatively untroubled in the end.

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:09:00Z

Ben Chilwell robs Vinicius of possession deep inside his own half with a smart press now and Timo Werner is able to cut a neat path into the Madrid box.

Sergio Ramos does well to muscle him towards the post, before Thibaut Courtois - another former Chelsea man out to foil his former side today - sweep in to seize upon the ball.

This has been sparky stuff but neither side is yet to gain a clear-cut foothold

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:06:00Z

Welcome back, Eden Hazard!

Andreas Christensen plunges into the Belgian with a meaty challenge, which sees no immediate free-kick as advantage is played. When the game does come to a halt, referee Daniele Orsato has a quick word with the Chelsea man.

It's been an industrial start off the ball from the Blues.

Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:03:00Z

Timo Werner floats neatly down the left flank, looking for a long ball, but is deemed to have drifted offside.

Madrid look to be toggling between four and five at the back, in what could be a particularly fluid approach designed to keep Mason Mount at bay.

Keeping him quiet will be key for the visitors.

KO: Chelsea 0-0 Madrid

2021-05-05T19:00:00Z

We are underway at Stamford Bridge!

There's an early problem with the ball for both sides and a new one enters the game almost immediately.

A huge game awaits.

Teams emerge at Stamford Bridge

2021-05-05T18:55:00Z

The sides are taking to the turf in London, which appears to be operating its own peculiar weather ecosystem today.

In a moment, the Champions League Anthem - one of a dozen songs guaranteed to be an unlikely floorfiller when the nightclubs reopen - is set to echo around the ground.

Destiny is upon us.

The weather outside is frightful...

2021-05-05T18:50:00Z

...but will the game inside Stamford Bridge be any more delightful? We're less than a quarter-hour out.

Marcelo dodges election bullet

2021-05-05T18:45:00Z

One of the more unusual plot threads dangled across the build-up to this game was whether Marcelo would be able to make it after being called upon to assist with election duties, a civic occupation in Spain.

Fortunately for Zidane's side, he appears to have avoided having to partake on this occasion, and is with the rest of the team today, on the bench in London.

You can read about that story here.

Ramos a four-leaf clover for Madrid?

2021-05-05T18:40:00Z

Werner out to prove doubters wrong

2021-05-05T18:35:00Z

One man with a point to prove today may well be Timo Werner, whose fine performance against Fulham at the weekend served as a potent reminder of his talents.

He has been far from a failure since his arrival at Chelsea, but sky-high expectations from certain quarters has seen him unfairly scapegoated on occasion.

Rumours continue to swirl of an incredible - if somewhat complicated - move for Erling Haaland, but our man Alex Keble believes that Werner will prove his doubters wrong in time.

You can read that piece here ahead of kick-off.

City rising towards history

2021-05-05T18:30:00Z

Whoever wins tonight already has the benefit of knowing who they'll be facing - Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard, a Champions League winner with Barcelona, was brought to England from Bayern Munich with the express aim to win the biggest prize in Europe, one which had eluded the club's owners ever since they pumped the Etihad Stadium full of cash and transformed their fortunes.

It is a shame that so much focus has been given to the near-culmination of their ambitions and the resumption of Guardiola as the continent's greatest manager over the squad that has made history to get them there.

It is their talent that deserves the recognition and hopefully they will receive their dues, regardless of the result in Istanbul, as much as everyone else.

Riyad Mahrez
Getty

Madrid entering new territory

2021-05-05T18:25:00Z

The Magic of Mount

2021-05-05T18:20:00Z

But if there is one man to pick out from the hosts' starting XI this evening as a potential gamechanger - come on, it can't really be anyone other than Mason Mount right now, can it?

Outside of Harry Kane - and possibly the equally in-form Phil Foden - there's likely no other player that's a surer bet for Gareth Southgate's England squad at Euro 2020 than the Blues man.

Often chastised as a teacher's pet option under Frank Lampard by less-than-impressed critics, he's proved them doubtless wrong time and again this term - and if he can steer his side to a Champions League final today, he'll only further enshrine his legend.

Havertz rewarded for Premier League hot streak

2021-05-05T18:12:00Z

Christian Pulisic got the nod last time out, before ceding way for his teammate in the 66th minute in Spain - but this time, it is the in-form German who gets the nod over the USMNT star.

A double against relegation-threatened Fulham - hardly the most taxing of opponents, but a double nevertheless - has lifted Havertz above the man he has replaced on the goalscoring charts for the season, and that is of great importance.

If he's on song again this evening, he could prove to be the key to breaking down Madrid's defence as they welcome back their sternest taskmaster.

Kai Havertz Chelsea 2020-21
Getty Images

Hazard heads for homecoming

2021-05-05T18:08:00Z

Ex-Blues man out to spoil old team's plans

If there's anything to match the psychological boost of Ramos' return though, then it is the potential red flag of Eden Hazard, held out to the bull horns of his old club.

The Belgian swapped Stamford Bridge for Santiago Bernabeu in a somewhat acrimonious move at the start of last season - and since then, he has played less than 40 games for them, beset by a slew of injuries.

He's finally shaken off his latest problem at the most opportune moment, to return to London and the scenes of his most famous heroics in English football - but can he really be the key to toppling Tuchel and company?

Ramos roars to return

2021-05-05T18:04:00Z

Defender plays for first time since March

It's the news that Los Blancos and their supporters have been waiting to hear for over a month - that Sergio Ramos is fit and ready to play.

The veteran defender and Spain skipper has been out since mid-March with a calf injury, a problem that has kept him sidelined for much of a busy run-in.

His side have kept themselves on course in his absence though - and now, he is back in the fold as he looks to steer them to another European final.

Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid, Champions League 2020-21
Getty

Team News: Chelsea v Madrid

2021-05-05T18:00:00Z

Havertz, Ramos, Hazard all start

But if there is one side who will be smiling when looking at the teamsheets for tonight, it won't be Tuchel's side. Madrid have two major names in the fold - and both could prove fatal for their opponents' chances.

Here's how they line up...

There is only one change for Chelsea from the first leg - and it is an attacking one. Kai Havertz gets the nod over goalscorer Pulisic, who makes way to the bench. That could be a big one. But for Madrid, their three swaps have even greater consequences. Sergio Ramos, the defensive glue of this side, is back from injury - and Eden Hazard faces his former side in what could be the biggest game of his club career.

Last time out...

2021-05-05T17:57:00Z

In fact, there is only one kind of history that matters to this game - and it's only a week old. This is, of course, the second leg of this Champions League semi-final.

Both sides are tied from the first leg Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Christian Pulisic's first-quarter-hour strike for Chelsea cancelled out by a spot of Karim Benzema skill.

But as it stands, it is the hosts who have the upper hand here, and not only by dint of playing on home turf. Their goal in Spain - away from the cauldron of their own backyard - gives them advantage. For them, it is arguably their berth in the final to lose - and Madrid's to gain.

...Or Mr Blue Sky?

2021-05-05T17:53:00Z

But history counts for nothing when it comes down to games like this. It doesn't matter how many medals generations before you won - what matters is what you do on the night.

Chelsea know this. The Blues have triumphed only once in this tournament before, when Didier Drogba saved them at the death of regular time and nailed the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in 2012.

Thomas Tuchel knows this. He was in the losing dugout less than a year ago when his Paris Saint-Germain side lost to the Bavarian giants.

History is irrelevant. The next 90 minutes - and possibly beyond - are what matters, and the hosts are not going to be intimated by what's to come.

Chelsea celebrate vs Everton, Premier League 2020-21, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Marcos Alonso
Getty

Nights in White Satin...

2021-05-05T17:49:00Z

In years gone by, you'd have been hard pressed to find a bookmaker that wouldn't have made Zinedine Zidane's team the favourites for this clash.

No team has won more the European Cup or the Champions League more than Real Madrid. Their 13 triumphs - a full baker's dozen - and three more finals is unmatched by any other side.

Their boss has form too. In his first spell in charge, the Frenchman led them to a hat-trick of victories in this competition, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. History is on their side.

Vinicius Junior Real Madrid Liverpool Champions League 2020-21
Getty

🎉 ⚽️ Welcome to Goal Matchday Live! ⚽️ 🎉

2021-05-05T17:45:00Z

Good evening and welcome to Goal's live matchday blog!

We're into the final throes of what has been another crackerjack European season - and now, the Champions League provides us with its penultimate semi-final.

There's one game and one game only tonight - and it will decide who will join Manchester City for a shot at the most prestigious trophy in continental club football.

It's Chelsea against Real Madrid (20:00 BST), the Blues against Los Blancos at Stamford Bridge - and you can follow it all here, live and dangerous.

Buckle in, folks. This one's going to be a cracker.

Kai Havertz Timo Werner Billy Gilmour Chelsea Fulham 2020-21
Getty