With a dominant start and a milestone goal by Christian Pulisic, Chelsea showed its strength against Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals.
Chelsea took control early in Tuesday’s first leg to hold the Spanish powerhouse to a 1-1 away draw, with Pulisic becoming the first U.S. international to score in the tournament’s last four. He also surpassed DaMarcus Beasley to become the top American scorer in Champions League history with five goals. A red-hot Karim Benzema equalized for a lackluster Madrid squad on a rainy night at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium in the first Champions League match since the controversial Super League folded last week amid widespread criticism. The largely closed breakaway competition would have had Real Madrid as one of its leaders, and Chelsea also was among its founding members before dropping the idea along with the other English clubs. Madrid didn’t officially back out of the Super League but had downplayed the possibility of retaliation by UEFA in its Champions League matches. There were no refereeing controversies in Tuesday’s match.