Connect with us

Features

Three talking points from Chelsea 0-2 Real Madrid

Published

on

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Real Madrid replicated their first-leg result against Chelsea on Tuesday night when the two teams faced off in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The end result was a dominant 4-0 aggregate win for Los Blancos and a spot in the semi-finals.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men found the back of the net twice in England, both coming off the boots of Rodrygo Goes. However, there were far more crests and troughs for the men in white last night than the result would suggest.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from Chelsea vs Real Madrid.

1. Chelsea reborn for 45 minutes

If the first leg of the UEFA Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Chelsea was anything to go by, one would have expected a one-sided game at Stamford Bridge. The English giants were poor in Spain, struggling to even win the ball back and string passes together.

However, the second leg did not lack any of the Champions League’s usual fire. Purely going by the opening half, it was actually Chelsea that appeared to be the better team.

In the first 45 minutes, the hosts had not only more possession but over double as much threat in front of goal when compared to Real Madrid.

They had seven shots in the first period, creating and missing two big chances in the process. They had two shots blocked and forced two saves from Thibaut Courtois. Marc Cucurella’s chance late in the first half went down as a massive opportunity squandered as his effort from point-blank range was denied by Courtois.

For the performance the hosts delivered in the opening period, it would not be wrong to say that they deserved a goal. However, Real Madrid’s ability to counteract and deny that only shows why they were clearly the superior side over two legs.

2. Saviours all over the field

Courtois, Militao were brilliant for Real Madrid (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s run to the semi-finals has been relatively straightforward so far, but things could have gotten complicated on Tuesday night. Los Blancos’ only came out unscathed because they had no dearth of individual performers at Stamford Bridge.

To begin with, Thibaut Courtois was magnificent in goal. The Belgian has always enjoyed the UCL nights, but his six saves including five from inside the box against Chelsea could well go down as one of his best. His denying Marc Cucurella, in particular, was a game-changing moment.

Eder Militao and Eduardo Camavinga stepped up to the occasion in defence and recorded jaw-dropping numbers.

The Brazilian had 16 defensive actions on the night including eight clearances while the French star won a whopping 11 duels in addition to five clearances, two tackles and two interceptions.

Federico Valverde bossed the middle of the park and was rightly crowned as man-of-the-match at full-time. He did not lay a foot wrong, producing three key passes and completing all four attempted dribbles against Chelsea. Further, he created one big chance and got the assist for Rodrygo’s second goal.

The saviour in the final third was young Rodrygo. The Brazilian sensation overshadowed his teammates with smart movements, combinations, and positioning. He created Real Madrid’s opening goal on his own and was in the right place at the right time to bury the second one.

3. Two more steps to go

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are now just two ties away from etching their name on the UEFA Champions League trophy for the second time in as many years. A spot in the final four is theirs, and with the draw already made, Ancelotti knows his next hurdle.

Manchester City and Bayern Munich face off later today at the Allianz Arena to seal a semi-final berth against Real Madrid. The bookies have Pep Guardiola’s side as overwhelming favourites following their 3-0 lead from the first leg.

On the other half of the draw, a Milan derby in the semifinal could be on the cards. Irrespective of the result in Italy, Real Madrid would be the favourites if they made the finals.

There is thus just one difficult hurdle to cross for the Merengues in the form of Manchester City, spearheaded by Erling Haaland. A positive result in the semi-final would take them on the cusp of defending their title and would set up a final not many would see the Merengues lose.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Features

Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament

Published

on

Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.

Spain

Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.

England

Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.

France

Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.

Germany

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.

Turkey

Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.

Croatia

Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.

Ukraine

Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

Continue Reading