‘NEVER SURRENDER’ AGAINST CHELSEA IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, THE ‘MAGIC’ OF THE BERNABEU HELPED US; CARLO ANCELOTTI.
Real Madrid progressed to the Champions League semi-finals despite a huge scare against Chelsea at the Bernabeu. The Liga giants led 3-1 after the first leg at Stamford Bridge but fell 3-0 behind in the return fixture as they stared down a humiliating exit. However, goals from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema ensured Real stayed on course for a record-extending 14th Champions League crown.
Carlo Ancelotti saluted the “magic” of the Bernabeu after Real Madrid swerved a damaging Champions League exit to Chelsea with a thrilling recovery.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Chelsea led 3-0 on the night – and 4-3 on aggregate – after blowing the runaway Liga leaders away on their own patch.
But Rodrygo volleyed home Luka Modric’s majestic pass to send the tie into extra time before first-leg hero Karim Benzema completed a crazy night by heading home the winner.
Ancelotti admitted his side suffered to reach the semi-finals and heaped praise on those inside the stadium.
“We struggled after going 2-0 down, I think the team went down a bit psychologically,” he said.
“How can I explain it? The magic of this stadium helps the players to never surrender, and we never surrender.
“I am very, very happy to have reached the semi-finals with this team, with this club, suffering a lot. But the more we suffer, the more I am happy.”
Victory ensured Ancelotti became the third manager in history to reach the Champions League semi-finals eight times after Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
Real will face either Manchester City or local rivals Atletico Madrid in the last four. City take a 1-0 aggregate lead to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Wednesday.
Ancelotti also commended fellow Spanish side Villarreal for reaching the semi-finals after their shock win over Bayern Munich.
“I think that tonight we showed that we can compete up until the very last match,” he said.
“I want to congratulate Villarreal, because Villarreal did something huge. I want to congratulate Unai (Emery).
“I think that few could imagine that Spanish football would have two teams in the Champions League semi-finals.
“Two are already there, and we could have a third one (Atletico) tomorrow, who knows? Nobody knows.”