The headline read: “Robbery of the century: Chelsea use Hazard funds to build a Champions League powerhouse.” This was a succinct way of describing the situation.
In the grand scheme of things, though, the whole semi-final tie was a walk in the park for Chelsea. It wasn’t what many expected, but the Blues made it look easy on Wednesday night. Thomas Tuchel’s side was dominant in the first leg and again bettered Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge.
Real Madrid no match for Chelsea
Saying this was a disastrous performance from the Blancos sounds charitable in hindsight. Real Madrid were simply no match for Chelsea throughout the 90 minutes.
Chelsea looked sharper on the night and played the more entertaining football. Even though they were not clinical given the number of chances they created, Chelsea still managed to score twice against Zinedine Zidane’s side.
It was game over for the Blancos once Timo Werner opened the scoring on the around the half-hour mark. From there, Chelsea created chance after chance and repeatedly attacked Madrid's backline.
Werner, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount were guilty of missing crucial chances before the Englishman made it 2-0 with five minutes left. Mount's strike capped off a wonderful night at Stamford Bridge.
Los Blancos no longer among the best in Europe
Just a few weeks ago, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was plotting the formation of a European Super League with other clubs across the continent.
However, the Blancos’ latest disappointment is evidence that the club is no longer among Europe’s best. While they have been saddled by debts at the administrative level, the results on the pitch have also not been good enough this season.
Real Madrid simply have not been the same since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure. Sadly, the money made from the Portuguese’s sale has not been effectively used by the Spanish side.
Speaking after the game, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane conceded that Chelsea deserved the win.
“They were superior, they deserved to win. They were more effective over the course of the match and they had a lot of chances too,” Zidane admitted after the game, as quoted by Goal.
"Over the course of the two matches, they deserve the qualification. These are matches of a very high level and we missed something tonight. It is not about organisation even though, in the duels, it was difficult.”
After winning the Champions League three times on the bounce, Real Madrid appeared to have reached the end of a dominant era. They are unlikely to be considered one of the best teams in Europe if they fail to rebuild their squad in the coming seasons.