Champions League: Real Madrid and AC Milan on their way to the semifinals

Defending champions Real Madrid have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals in the Champions League.

Champions League: Real Madrid and AC Milan on their way to the semifinals

Defending champions Real Madrid have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals in the Champions League. In the first leg of the quarter-finals, the Spanish football record champions won 2-0 (1-0) against Chelsea on Wednesday at their home Santiago Bernabéu. Karim Benzema (21st minute) and Marco Asensio (74th) scored for the Madrilenians, who were superior over long stretches. Chelsea ended the game with a man down after Ben Chilwell saw a red card for an emergency brake (59'). In the second game of the evening, AC Milan won 1-0 (1-0) against Frankfurt conqueror SSC Naples.

At Real, coach Carlo Ancelotti included Toni Kroos in the starting XI, while German international Antonio Rüdiger came on after 71 minutes. DFB teammate Kai Havertz was initially only on the bench at Chelsea, he entered the pitch in the 65th minute.

Chelsea got off to a good start, after a counterattack a strong save by Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois thwarted João Félix's possible lead for the Blues (2'). After the lively start, coach Frank Lampard's team increasingly went on the defensive. Real kept getting closer and finally celebrated the well-deserved 1-0 after a goal from Benzema. In return, Courtois prevented the prompt equalization against Raheem Sterling with a great reflex.

But overall, Real was the better, the more dangerous team. Again and again, the royals managed to use their technically strong tips. And when Chilwell had to leave the field for being the last defender to pull the rushing Rodrygo by the jersey, there was little left for the Blues. After a short corner, Kroos and Vinicius Junior freed Asensio, who was lurking on the edge of the penalty area, and finished flat to make it 2-0. A result that Rudiger saved when he threw himself in a shot in added time. The second leg takes place next Tuesday at Stamford Bridge in London.

In the second quarter-finals, Napoli failed to avenge AC Milan for a depressing 4-0 in the league. In contrast to the clear home defeat on April 2nd, the eleven of SSC trainer Luciano Spalletti were in parts the clearly better team. Even outnumbered - Zambo Anguissa saw the traffic light card (74th) - the Serie A leaders still had chances. In the end, a goal from Ismael Bennacer (40th) handed Milan a narrow home win.

The guests had a better start in the first meeting between two Italian teams in the Champions League since 2005. After less than a minute Chwitscha Kwarazchelia had the first SSC chance, Davide Calabria clarified in dire need just before the goal line. Napoli, who lead the domestic league with 16 points, continued to press without top scorer Victor Osimhen (adductor problems) and created a number of chances.

After 25 minutes, Rafael Leão sprinted at high speed into the visitors' penalty area for the previously passive home team, but pushed the ball just wide of the SSC goal. Milan's offensive also relied on speed to make it 1-0, when the hosts surprised the Spalletti team in a counter-attack and Bennacer finished with a powerful left-footed shot.

At the beginning of the second half, Milan coach Stefano Pioli's side were initially lucky when goalkeeper Mike Maignan deflected an Eljif Elmas header just past the crossbar of the Milan goal. Napoli remained the better team afterwards, the Milanese hardly posed any danger. Despite a hot final phase with several good opportunities, the guests did not score a goal. The second leg takes place on Tuesday in Naples.