If the Chelsea fans had any faith left, it was not rewarded. Boehly was as close to getting his prediction right as he has been to getting anything right since he took over at Stamford Bridge last May and oversaw an unfolding football implosion. So that is to say, not very close at all.
To no one’s great surprise, Chelsea did not win in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. In fact, if there were any surprise at all, it was that they only lost 2-0 to Carlo Ancelotti’s team. It should have been more. It probably would have been had Ben Chilwell not sacrificed himself and got a red card for pulling back Rodrygo after an hour when he was clean through.
It did not disguise the gulf in class between the two teams. Madrid were smooth and slick and expressive and confident. Chelsea were not. Not for the first time, it was hard to look at Chelsea in wonder at how little you get for £600m these days.
Madrid will be disappointed that they only had goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio to show for their dominance, particularly with Chelsea reduced to 10 men for so long. But it is stretching belief to think that a side newly marshalled by Frank Lampard but still looking desperately short of goals could score three in the return at Stamford Bridge next week.