A tap-in by Karim Benzema and a powerful strike by substitute Marco Asensio earned European champions Real Madrid a 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg in the Spanish capital on Wednesday.
Benzema, the scourge of Chelsea at the same stage of the competition last season, converted from point blank range in the 21st minute when Kepa Arrizabalaga saved from Vinicius Junior but could only touch the ball in the direction of the Frenchman.
It was Benzema's 90th Champions League goal with the last 11 all coming against English clubs.
Chelsea - under caretaker coach Frank Lampard after a dismal season so far - went close to scoring in the first half but Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling were thwarted by Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois playing against his former club.
The Londoners' chances of getting back into the game suffered a major setback in the 59th minute when Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card for bringing down Rodrygo with a tug of the Brazilian's shirt when he was bearing down on goal.
Asensio had been on the field for just three minutes when he was fed by Vinicius on the edge of the box and the Spain international drilled in a low shot that went through the legs of Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana and beyond Kepa's dive.
The win at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium puts the 14-time European champions in the driver's seat ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge on April 18.
Benzema, who scored a hat-trick in London last year before getting another in Madrid in a 5-4 aggregate thriller, could have effectively seen off Chelsea in added time at the end of the second half when he headed over with the goal at his mercy after Kepa could only punch the ball as far as him.
Chelsea substitute Mason Mount then came close to a crucial goal for the Blues when he turned and shot in the penalty area but former team mate Antonio Rudiger, also on off the bench, raced in to block.
In the end, the Londoners failed to scored for a fourth match in a row - three of them in the Premier League - their longest barren run since 1993.
Lampard - Chelsea's top goalscorer who returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell as coach until the end of the season after Graham Potter was fired this month - embraced Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, himself an ex-Chelsea manager, at the final whistle.
"They're a very good team but we have to believe," Lampard told BT Sport, referring to next week's return leg in London.
Milan take narrow lead over Napoli with Bennacer goal
AC Milan took a big step towards their first Champions League semi-final appearance for 16 years as Ismael Bennacer's goal secured a 1-0 home win over Napoli in the quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.
On a rainy night, Serie A leaders Napoli's first European clash with seven-times European champions Milan was also their first appearance in the quarter-finals of Europe's most prestigious club competition.
"I am above all happy to enjoy evenings like this with our fans," AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli told Sky Sport Italia after his side kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet in the Champions League for the first time since 2004-05.
"The history of Milan speaks to many Champions League victories, but the recent years saw us dream of getting here, so we wanted to enjoy it.
"We didn’t build out well from the back at the start, giving Napoli the chance to hurt us, but we got the first home win over Napoli in three years."
Attempting to avenge their 4-0 home defeat by Milan in Serie A this month, Napoli began pressing immediately.
Napoli had their first chance when the Milan defence failed to clear a low ball across the goal, but Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's attempt was blocked on the line.
Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski fired in a thunderous effort on goal, but Milan keeper Mike Maignan tipped it over the crossbar.
Milan's first opportunity came from striker Rafael Leao, who took the ball in his own half and made a solo run into the Napoli box before shooting just past the far post.
Although Napoli dominated most of the first half, the hosts took the lead five minutes before the interval when Brahim Diaz teed up Bennacer who struck a low shot inside the far post.
Milan had the opportunity to double their lead when a header from Simon Kjaer struck the crossbar and bounced down, with the referee signalling that the ball did not cross the goal line.
Napoli's situation worsened 16 minutes from time when midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa received a second yellow card for pushing Theo Hernandez.
Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs issued 10 yellow cards - four to Milan and six to Napoli - with Napoli's Kim Min-jae's booking ruling him out of the second leg along with Anguissa.
"Any absence is damaging at this stage of the season, but we also have players who can fill in, which is why we are where we are. We trust the squad. We are sad not to have Anguissa, as it feels unjust not to have him, but there’s nothing we can do," Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said to Sky Sport Italia.
"We were on the verge of substituting Anguissa when it happened, so that is disappointing that it took us a minute or two to think of who to replace and I wasn’t paying enough attention to the referee. I don’t comment on the referee, that is not my role."
Although Napoli had several chances and more attempts on target than Milan, they missed Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen, who was out with a thigh injury.
Milan are the only team to beat Napoli more than once this season in all competitions ahead of the second leg of the quarter-final on April 18.