Benzema hat-trick leaves Chelsea mountain to climb

Karim Benzema of Real Madrid holds off the challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between Chelsea FC and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on April 6, 2022 in London, United Kingdom.


Chelsea's hold on the Champions League hangs precariously after Karim Benzema's hat-trick put Real Madrid in a position of power following the quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti made a winning return to the club where he won the Premier League and FA Cup double after veteran France striker Benzema delivered his latest masterclass.

Benzema, 34 and fresh from the treble that sunk Paris St-Germain in the last 16, punished holders Chelsea with two magnificent headers in the space of three minutes midway through the first half.

Kai Havertz's header gave Chelsea hope before the break but keeper Edouard Mendy's poor clearance seconds after the restart gifted Benzema his third to put Real in command of the tie before the second leg at the Bernabeu next Tuesday (12 April).

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