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Real Madrid survive superb Chelsea comeback to reach Champions League semis
Real Madrid got the better of yet another special night in the UEFA Champions League as it survived a brilliant comeback from Chelsea in a thrilling quarterfinal at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Tuesday.

It was Karim Benzema yet again who made the difference, with the Frenchman scoring in extra-time to secure Madrid's place in the semifinals after losing 3-2 on the night but winning 5-4 on aggregate.
Madrid had taken a 3-1 advantage into the second leg after Benzema scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last week, but the tie was turned on its head after Chelsea fought back to lead 3-0 on the night.
Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner had looked to give the reigning European champion another iconic win in the competition, but Madrid bit back with just 10 minutes remaining to force extra-time.
Madrid's first goal was simply a work of art, orchestrated by the brilliant Luka Modrić. The midfielder executed a perfect pass with the outside of his boot, allowing Rodrygo to volley home from close range.
Neutral fans welcomed another 30 minutes of chaotic football, and it was Madrid who found the decisive goal in extra-time, with Benzema heading home a brilliant cross from Vinícius Jr.
"The more I suffer, the happier I am," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after the game. "It was a lot of suffering, though.
"We won because we had the energy to keep the match alive. The players were brave and faced it like warriors," he added.
'There are no regrets'
After looking lackluster in the first-leg, Chelsea was much improved for its trip to Spain and came so close to a memorable win.
The three goals had temporarily silenced the home support and Madrid was struggling to lay a glove on the Premier League outfit.
In truth, Chelsea had chances throughout the game to finish off the tie and even had a goal disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) after Marcos Alonso was ruled to have handled the ball before lashing his effort into the top corner of the net.
Even in extra-time, with Madrid hanging on, Chelsea went close a number of times but failed to find the all important goal that would have seen it force a penalty shootout.
Notably, Kai Havertz -- who was exceptional in the second leg -- should have done better with a free header inside the box which he steered wide.
Manager Thomas Tuchel, who was constantly stalking the touchline and shouting at his players during the match, said he was proud of the team despite being knocked out.
"We went to the full limit today. I'm very proud of my players and I think we deserved to qualify but luck was not on our side," said Tuchel, who was shown a yellow card for his passionate protests toward the referee in the closing stages.
"There are no regrets. These are the kinds of defeats you can take with pride as a sportsman. The demand at Chelsea is very high and the players responded in a way that makes all of us proud."
Ultimately, it was 13-time European champion Real Madrid who once again found a way to win and will now face either Manchester City or Atlético Madrid in the final four.

MADRID, April 12 (Reuters) - Real Madrid saw off a stirring Chelsea fightback to book their place in the Champions League semi-finals following a 3-2 defeat after extra time in a scintillating second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday to go through 5-4 on aggregate.

Chelsea had looked on course to complete an astonishing comeback after taking a 3-0 lead in their quarter-final second leg with goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and an excellent individual effort from Timo Werner.

Yet the hosts came roaring back, with Rodrygo finishing from a superb pass by Luka Modric to level the tie 4-4 on aggregate and force extra time when Karim Benzema headed home to decide a remarkable encounter.

Real Madrid will now face either Manchester City or local rivals Atletico Madrid in the last four, with the English side taking a 1-0 lead into their quarter-final second leg in Spain on Wednesday.

It was a Champions League night for the ages at a packed stadium as a brilliant Chelsea came within 10 minutes of completing a rescue act that their manager Thomas Tuchel had said they were unlikely to accomplish.

His team took the game to Real Madrid as they looked to turn around a two-goal deficit from the first leg and it took only 15 minutes for Mount to open the scoring from a through ball behind the defence.

Chelsea were even more aggressive after the break and scored their second in the 51st minute when Rudiger guided home a header from a Werner corner to level the tie 3-3 on aggregate.

Four minutes later, Werner found Marcos Alonso inside the area and he thrashed his finish into the top corner only to see his effort chalked off by the video assistant referee who had spotted a handball from the Spanish left back.

With the visitors on top, however, it was only a matter of time until they scored their third which arrived in the 75th minute from a brilliant piece of individual skill from Werner, who left two opponents on the ground before dispatching a precise shot past Courtois and inside the far post.

In the very next move, Kai Havertz was denied by former Chelsea keeper Courtois, who made a magnificent save to stop his close-range header.

Yet just when Real looked completely out of the game, Modric worked his magic, finding substitute Rodrygo at the far post with a delightful pass with the outside of his boot that the Brazilian volleyed past Edouard Mendy in the 80th to take the game to extra time.

That was the cue for Vinicius Jr and Benzema to show up and rescue Real Madrid from what would have been one of the biggest shocks they had ever suffered at home.

Vinicius worked his way inside from the left corner, and sent a lovely cross onto Benzema's head, and the Frenchman bulleted it past Mendy as the ecstatic home fans exploded with joy.

"It was another incredible night, what a sweet tasting loss," Modric told Movistar Plus.

"We didn't give up until the end. Despite going 0-3, I don't think we played a bad game. Another night of suffering, but the important thing is that we have qualified."
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It was Karim Benzema yet again who made the difference, with the Frenchman scoring in extra-time to secure Madrid’s place in the semifinals after losing 3-2 on the night but winning 5-4 on aggregate.
Madrid had taken a 3-1 advantage into the second leg after Benzema scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last week, but the tie was turned on its head after Chelsea fought back to lead 3-0 on the night.
Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner had looked to give the reigning European champion another iconic win in the competition, but Madrid bit back with just 10 minutes remaining to force extra-time.

Madrid’s first goal was simply a work of art, orchestrated by the brilliant Luka Modrić. The midfielder executed a perfect pass with the outside of his boot, allowing Rodrygo to volley home from close range.

Neutral fans welcomed another 30 minutes of chaotic football, and it was Madrid who found the decisive goal in extra-time, with Benzema heading home a brilliant cross from Vinícius Jr.

“The more I suffer, the happier I am,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after the game. “It was a lot of suffering, though.