Football: Real Madrid ease into Champions League semi-finals with win over Chelsea, AC Milan down Napoli to advance

Holders Real Madrid breezed past Chelsea into the semi-finals of the Champions League, with Rodrygo's double securing a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday (NZ tiem) for a 4-0 aggregate victory that sets up a likely mouth-watering clash with Manchester City.

Trailing 2-0 from last week's clash in the Bernabeu, Chelsea had their moments but failed to take their chances in the opening half and at the start of the second and were made to pay as Rodrygo sent the silky Spaniards through.

He opened the scoring in the 58th minute and tapped in again in the 80th to spark a mass exodus of Chelsea fans.

N'Golo Kante had twice come close to cutting the deficit and Real's former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois made a crucial save just before halftime to frustrate his old club.

And when Rodrygo finished off a sweeping counter-attack there was no way back for the London club who have lost all four games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager.

It is the first time Chelsea have lost four games in a row since 1993.

The closing stages were almost academic and Real turned on the style with Federico Valverde teeing up Rodrygo's second.

While Chelsea's season will end trophy-less under their new American owners despite a 500 million pounds (NZ$1b) outlay on new players, 14-times European champions Real march on with manager Carlo Ancelotti eyeing the trophy for a fifth time.

Manchester City lead Bayern Munich 3-0 heading in to their quarter-final second leg on Thursday.

Chelsea's fans cranked up the volume more in hope than expectation from the kickoff and the hosts almost got the perfect start when a Reece James cross sat up kindly for Kante but he bounced a volley wide.

Real were content to play a containing game but still looked capable of killing the tie whenever they moved forward and Rodrygo, who scored a vital goal for Real against Chelsea at the same stage last year, smashed a shot against the post.

Home keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga then beat away a Vinicius Junior effort before Real's master craftsman Luka Modric found himself through on the right but Arrizabalaga saved.

A Chelsea goal before halftime would have energised the mood and it almost arrived in stoppage time when James fizzed a ball across the area and Marc Cucurella looked poised to score only for Courtois to smother his effort brilliantly.

Kante's deflected effort went agonisingly wide early in the second half and that proved Chelsea's last hope.

Rodrygo skipped past Trevoh Chalobah's wild lunge and his cross eventually was played back to him by fellow Brazilian Vinicius for him to slot home.

With a safety cushion established, Real's fans wedged in the corner were already serenading their team by the time Real picked apart Chelsea's defence again for Rodrygo to deliver the knockout blow into an empty net.

AC Milan players celebrate their quarter-final win with their fans.
AC Milan players celebrate their quarter-final win with their fans. Photo credit: Getty Images

AC Milan have booked a semi-final berth for the first time in 16 years, after surviving a barrage of pressure at Napoli, thanks to a first-half goal from Olivier Giroud that secured a 1-1 draw and 2-1 aggregate success.

Napoli battled until the end but could not break down the resilient Milan defence until Victor Osimhen equalised three minutes into stoppage time with a bullet header but it was too late as the referee ended the match seconds later.

Milan will face either Inter Milan or Portuguese side Benfica in the last four.

After Milan won 1-0 in the quarter-final first leg, Napoli pushed for the opening goal from the start as the visitors were forced to defend deep.

Milan were awarded a penalty after 22 minutes when Mario Rui clattered into Rafael Leao but Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret dived to stop Giroud's low strike.

As a result of the intense pressure exerted by the hosts, Milan were able to exploit the holes in the home defence and went ahead through Giroud just before halftime.

Rafael Leao sprinted with the ball from his own half past the Napoli defence before rolling it across to Giroud who slotted home from close range.

Napoli had a glimmer of hope eight minutes from time when Fikayo Tomori handled the ball inside the box, but Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's penalty was saved by Mike Maignan.

Osimhen was shackled all night until his added-time header but it came too late for Napoli and their disappointed fans.