Chelsea drew 1-1 with Spanish club Real Madrid CF in the UEFA Champions League semi finals. It’s an away goal advantage for Chelsea at this point of time. But Thomas Tuchel and his men will feel they’ve missed out on a great opportunity to get the win against Real Madrid.
The Blues started out with the same formation that they used against West Ham United in the Premier League. A successful formation which had both paces as well as technical ability. Cesar Azpillecueta starting out at right wingback. Supported by Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, and Timo Werner upfront.
On the other hand, Zinedine Zidane too opted for a 3-5-2 formation to tackle with Chelsea’s width. He deployed Marcelo and Dani Carvajal with Kross, Casemiro, and Luka Modric in the centre. However, this tactic failed horribly in the first 30 minutes as Chelsea outran them completely.
N’golo Kante, that’s the name. What an absolutely terrific performance from a gem of a player. The French tank absolutely dominated the so-called engine of Real Madrid. Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro were left scrambling after him as he beat them on technicality, strength, and pace.
Chelsea capitalised on the great start and with just 14 minutes on the clock, Christian Pulisic opened the scoring. Antonio Rudiger played in a lofted ball and Pulisic ran into the box. He left Thibaut Courtois on the floor and scored a brilliant individual goal.
However as fate would have it, even when most of the players have a good night, just that one guy having a bad time can destroy the performance. And that’s exactly what happened. Timo Werner missed a host of chances which could’ve put the game to bed.
And while one striker missed sitters, the other put on a show. Karim Benzema did what Karim Benzema does best. From literally nothing, he equalised for Real Madrid. A fantastic finish on the turn after controlling the ball with his head.
Timo Werner spoils the party for Chelsea:
In the second half Real Madrid were able to play a bit more freely as Chelsea didn’t press that high as compared to the first half. However, they couldn’t create many chances as well. Neither time looked bright after the halftime break.
The Blues had their best chance with Havertz running through on goal with Hakim Ziyech in support. However the German international couldn’t find him as Eder Militao got in a crucial tackle. Raphael Varane came the closest for the Los Blancos as his header went just wide.
Overall Chelsea will be the happier lot but this game is definitely far from over. Real Madrid have a good away record and plus they have let in just the one away goal. For Chelsea, if they can continue to play the same way and take their chances- they’re the clear favourites.
‘He missed a big one at West Ham and now he’s missed a big one here, that does not help. But it doesn’t help crying about it or regretting it all the time. There are millions of people who have harder things to deal with than chances that you miss. So the good thing about sport is that no one cares tomorrow, today we were sad and angry in the moment – this is normal.’ said Thomas Tuchel
He is sad, he is angry and disappointed. Tomorrow he has a free day and the next day he must put his chin up. He’s a top guy, a professional guy. He works hard. He’s in the positions. He will not stop believing. Everyone accepts the situation like it is. With strikers, if you score the next game, nobody speaks.