Defending champions Real Madrid handily beat Chelsea 2-0 in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in a match whose final scoreline could have easily been more lopsided.

Chelsea started strong under new caretaker manager Frank Lampard, Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling going close early on only to be thwarted by Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois playing against his former club.

However, the hosts grew into the game and went ahead just after 20 minutes when Karim Benzema pounced on a loose ball in front of goal and rolled it into an open net after Kepa Arrizabalaga deflected a Vinicius Junior shot into the Frenchman’s path.

Madrid had eight shots on goal in the opening half and Chelsea will have likely been happy to limp into the dressing room trailing only 1-0 at the break.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side continued to look far stronger than their Premier League opposition as the second half began and Chelsea’s job became even harder ahead of the hour when Ben Chilwell hauled down Rodrygo from behind as he rushed toward goal and was shown a straight red card.

The one-way action became even more pronounced and Madrid soon had their second when Marco Asensio lashed home a shot from the top of the penalty area minutes after replacing Rodrygo in the 71st.

The win puts the 14-time European champions in the driver’s seat ahead of the second leg at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge on April 18.

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Real Madrid vs. Chelsea – Football Match Report – April 12, 2023