Chelsea will face Manchester City in an all-English Champions League final in Istanbul after overrunning a fading Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge Wednesday night.
Thomas Tuchel’s hosts were grateful to goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for two fine first-half saves to deny Karim Benzema but they were able to build on the 1-1 draw they achieved in Madrid when Timo Werner headed in from almost on the goal-line in the 28th minute after compatriot Kai Havertz had lofted a finish on to the bar.
It set the platform for a second half of total Chelsea domination that was nevertheless laced with anxiety as the hosts missed chance after chance to put the game to bed.
Real’s former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved from N’golo Kante and Havertz, who also headed against the bar, while Mason Mount shot wildly over the top when clean through.
It was Mount, though, who finally sealed Chelsea’s place in their first Champions League final since they won the competition in 2012.
The outstanding Kante, who was also instrumental in the opening goal, fed substitute Christian Pulisic and his cross was turned in by Mount with five minutes left.
The result adds another chapter to the remarkable transformation under Tuchel since he succeeded the sacked Frank Lampard in January – and gives him the chance to make amends for the 2020 Champions League final, when his Paris St-Germain side lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.