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euro showdown Chelsea may regret their failure to put Real Madrid away when they had their chance

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Tommy Martin hosts Virgin Media Sport's Champions League coverage

Tommy Martin hosts Virgin Media Sport's Champions League coverage

Tommy Martin hosts Virgin Media Sport's Champions League coverage

It's crunch time in the Champions League semi-finals and here are the thoughts of Virgin Media Sport's Tommy Martin on the battle for a place in the Istanbul final later this month.

Chelsea v Real Madrid (agg 1-1) – Live on Virgin Media Two

“You come at the king, you best not miss.”

Last week’s first leg in Madrid reminded me of that line from The Wire, the HBO cops ‘n’ drug gangs drama set in the ghettoes of Baltimore. Chelsea had Real Madrid on the ropes in the first half hour and should have put them to the sword. Time and again they cut open the Spanish giants – only once did they make their dominance count.

Real steadied the ship and, while Timo Werner was blowing chances at one end, Karim Benzema struck back at the other.

Still, the view in studio was that Chelsea could return to London with a spring in their step, once they’d dried off from the torrential Madrid rain. This performance was yet another feather in Thomas Tuchel’s cap, to add to the impressive victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup a few weeks earlier.

But will they regret not putting Real away? After all, there’s a reason the Spanish champions are looking to reach their 17th final in this competition, more than any other club. Navigating this competition’s treacherous latter stages is in their blood – and a big chunk of this current squad have done it multiple times in recent memory.

The good news for Chelsea is Real’s seemingly never-ending run of defensive injuries, Raphael Varane the latest victim.

The Blues attackers should get more chances – they better not miss this time.

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