The UEFA Champions League anthem did not ring around Stamford Bridge ahead of Tuesday night’s quarter-final clash between Chelsea and Real Madrid – and fans couldn’t quite believe what was going on.
It appears someone behind the scenes at the 40,000 capacity stadium forget to press play before Tuesday’s second leg tie.
And as a result, both sets of players in the line-up looked slightly perplexed by the unfolding scenes.
Los Blancos goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois looked around like he was expecting the anthem to kick in, while teammate Karim Benzema stared directly into the stands.
There was no UEFA Champions League anthem played before kickoff. pic.twitter.com/DPOBUDa6tO
— Madrid Universal (@MadridUniversal) April 18, 2023
📸 – Havertz & Gallagher ahead of kick off! pic.twitter.com/wWQ3R3LObG
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) April 18, 2023
Here’s how fans reacted to the incident.
One said: “This is our last Champions League game in years and we don’t even get to hear to anthem,” while another wrote: “Did Chelsea just mute the Champions League anthem in the stadium to make sure Madrid don’t turn into aura-monsters?”
A third wrote: “No Champions League anthem at Stamford Bridge.. its like they know they won’t ever hear it again.”
A fourth added: “Maybe Chelsea played the Champions League anthem really quietly so people could hear Todd Boehly shout his score prediction from his box.”
Back in 2017, ahead of Manchester United’s final Champions League group stage match against CSKA Moscow, the anthem failed to play inside Old Trafford.
BT Sport reporter Des Kelly explained after the final whistle that the “CD kept skipping” and with time running out before kick-off, staff were left with no choice but to scrap their pre-match plans.
As you can hear in the footage below, fans inside the Theatre of Dreams started singing the famous anthem instead.
Ahead of Tuesday’s kick-off in West London, Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who scored 164 goals in 381 games for the Blues, said he no longer recognises the club he used to play for.
“I knew this club with a certain class during the Abramovich era, but today I find it lacking. It’s very hard for me to see how they got rid of certain people,” he told Canal+.
“They should go back to the principles and values they had. I don’t recognise my club anymore.”