Real Madrid hold off Chelsea; Villarreal stun Bayern

Sports Desk, Apr 12 (EFE).- The two most recent Champions League winners went out of the 2021-2022 edition of Europe’s elite club competition on Tuesday, as Chelsea fell short against Real Madrid and upstarts Villarreal bested Bayern Munich.

After falling 3-1 in the first leg in London, the Blues stormed out to a 3-0 lead at the Santiago Bernabeu to take a 4-3 edge in the tie, but youngster Rodrygo leveled the aggregate for the hosts in the 80th minute and veteran Karim Benzema got the winner in extra time.

While the Blancos, with a record 13 Champions League titles, are headed to the semifinals for the 31st time, Villarreal have only reached the final four on two previous occasions.

With most observers having already written them off, Chelsea opted for boldness and got their reward in the 15th minute with a goal by Mason Mount to narrow the gap to 3-2.

Antonio Rüdiger headed past Thibaut Courtois early in the second half to level the tie and Madrid native Marcos Alonso put the visitors ahead in the 62nd minute, only to see the goal disallowed by VAR because the ball brushed his hand in the buildup.

Chelsea finally took the lead in the 75th with a Timo Werner goal and the holders looked set to continue their title defense until conceding to Rodrygo two minutes after the Brazilian came on.

Six minutes into the first extra time, Vinicius Jr.’s cross found Benzema – author of all three Real Madrid goals in the first leg – and the French striker beat Edouard Mendy with a header.

The Blues battled on and Hakim Ziyech forced a stop from Courtois in the dying seconds.

Europa League holders Villarreal were looking at the prospect of extra time against Bayern at Munich’s Allianz Arena as the sides were deadlocked 1-1 on aggregate, but late sub Samuel Chukwueze scored with two minutes left in regulation to send the Spanish club into the semifinals.

Bayern, who have won the Champions League six times, most recently in 2020, were heavily favored against the LaLiga side, but lost the first leg 1-0 and had to wait until the 52nd minute of Tuesday’s contest to get on the board courtesy of Robert Lewandowski.

The hosts flew forward in pursuit of a winner, but the usually reliable Thomas Müller squandered a pair of great chances and Chukwueze sealed the victory for the Yellow Submarine. EFE rmm-rz/dr

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