Villarreal completes stunning upset over Bayern to reach Champions League semifinal
Villarreal stunned six-time European champion Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 16 years on Tuesday thanks to Samuel Chukwueze’s 88th-minute goal that salvaged a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Villarreal’s 1-0 lead from the first leg was wiped out by Robert Lewandowski seven minutes into the second half, but Chukwueze completed a counterattack within four minutes of coming off the bench to extend the Spanish team’s surprising run in the competition.
The entire city of Villarreal — with a population of 50,000 — could fit into Bayern’s 75,000-capacity stadium.
But the same resolve that saw Villarreal beat Manchester United in the 2021 Europa League final has now seen Unai Emery’s side oust both Juventus and Bayern in the knockout phase of the Champions League.
Liverpool or Benfica awaits in the semifinals, with the English club holding a 3-1 lead over the Portuguese side heading into Wednesday’s second leg at Anfield.
Chelsea ousted despite win over Real Madrid
Chelsea’s title defence in the Champions League ended despite a 3-2 win against Real Madrid on Tuesday, with Karim Benzema spoiling the English team’s comeback by scoring in extra time to put the Spanish powerhouse back into the semifinals.
Benzema had scored a hat trick in the first leg to give Madrid a 3-1 lead, then got the decisive goal at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with a header off a cross by Vinicius Junior six minutes into extra time.
The hosts had looked beaten after going down 3-0 in regulation, but substitute Rodrygo evened the aggregate score in the 80th and Madrid found a way to reach the last four for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons.
Madrid will next face either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid, which play on Wednesday in the Spanish capital with City defending a 1-0 lead from the first leg.
The loss will add to Chelsea’s off-the-field turmoil amid the forced sale of the club after sanctions in Britain against oligarch owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chelsea sits in third place in the Premier League, five points clear of Tottenham in the final Champions League place with a game in hand.
Chelsea had eliminated Madrid 3-1 on aggregate in last year’s semifinals en route to its second Champions League title.