Thomas Tuchel has done a pretty sparkling job as Chelsea manager so far, most people would agree.
The German led a Premier League resurgence after things had gone a bit south under Frank Lampard, and he even reached the final of the FA Cup in his first half-season in charge. That didn’t work out as planned but he did win the ultimate prize in European football – the Champions League.
Tuchel saw off the mighty Real Madrid, then managed by Zinedine Zidane, en route to winning the trophy, maintaining what is currently an unbeaten record for the Blues against Los Blancos in continental competition.
They will duel again in the quarter-finals of the 2021/22 Champions League, so here’s a rundown of their meetings to date.
Chelsea and Real Madrid first faced each other way back in May 1971, in the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup.
The Blues took a second half lead through Peter Osgood but were pegged back by an ageing Real side; Ignacio Zoco pouncing on a defensive mistake to equalise.
There was no penalty shootout to head to back in those days, so it was off to a replay to settle the score.
Osgood was again on the scoresheet for Chelsea just two days later (imagine that scheduling in the modern game…) with John Dempsey also bagging.
That was enough to render Sebastian Fleitas’ strike for Real irrelevant, landing the Cup Winners’ Cup trophy for Chelsea.
It was 27 years before Chelsea and Real Madrid would lock horns again, this time in the Super Cup.
Real Madrid had just won the Champions League and Chelsea had enjoyed success in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, making this a clash between champions.
Gus Poyet was the match winner for Chelsea, scoring ten minutes from time to allow Dennis Wise to lift their third trophy of 1998.
23 years later Chelsea and Real Madrid did battle once more, this time in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
After Timo Werner had missed an early sitter for the Blues, Christian Pulisic kept his composure to round Thibaut Courtois and squeeze a shot between two defenders on the line to open the scoring.
But Karim Benzema, surprise surprise, produced a wondrous touch and thunderous finish to level the scores; Chelsea heading back to Stamford Bridge with a valuable away goal.
Played during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the second leg was again played in front of an empty stadium – and it was Chelsea who would book their place in the final with a wonderful performance.
Werner opened the scoring from close range, nodding into an empty net after Kai Havertz’s lobbed effort had hit the bar, and there was no way back for Real Madrid after a late Mason Mount second.
The Blues would beat Manchester City in the final – Havertz scoring the winner – with this win over Real ensuring they remain unbeaten against them.