The world expected Real Madrid vs Chelsea to be a tightly contested Champions League quarterfinal. Yet, that was far from the case at Stamford Bridge.
Despite playing the first leg in London, Los Blancos pulled off a ruthless performance and demolished their opponents with a scoreline of 3-1.
According to reports from Daily Mail, there were some decisions taken ahead of kickoff that might influenced the result on the night.
The English media outlet reported that Thibaut Courtois told Karim Benzema to switch ends on Stamford Bridge after winning the toss just before kickoff.
As a result, the goalkeeper played in front of Chelsea’s most hostile fans during the first half and enjoyed a relatively comfortable second period.
Courtois is a player who knows Chelsea and Stamford Bridge inside out after rendering his services at the club for seven years. Despite playing for Chelsea for only four years, the Belgian made close to 126 appearances for the London based side.
The goalkeeper pushed for a move to Real Madrid following the 2017/18 season, and his decision was not well received by the fans. As a result, Courtois was subjected to insults and was called a ‘snake’ for leaving the club on bad terms.
Nevertheless, the Belgian has been far more successful since his move to Real Madrid. His suggestion to play against the hostile fans in the first half reaped benefits on the night as Karim Benzema went on to score a stunning hat-trick.
With the second leg scheduled later this week, Courtois will look to maintain a clean sheet and steer his side into the semifinals of the UCL.
Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January
Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.
For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.
According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.
For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.
For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.
Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.
For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.
Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.