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"Chelsea might face a 'psychological problem' against Real Madrid in the second leg" - Wenger

Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Vatsal Vora
ANALYST
Modified 28 Apr 2021
News

Chelsea earned a well deserved 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against Real Madrid in Spain last night.

American winger Christian Pulisic gave Chelsea the lead in the opening stages of the game before Karim Benzema scored a brilliant volley to level the scores on the night.

Despite Chelsea's away goal giving them the upper hand in the tie, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the Blues might face a psychological challenge in the second leg. According to the Frenchman, the fixture is still far from over.

"Chelsea vs Real Madrid a psychological battle now" - Wenger

Real Madrid have a lot of pedigree in their side and Chelsea are aware that the tie is far from over despite scoring an away goal. According to Wenger, Chelsea will have to decide on what strategy to adopt ahead of the second leg in seven days' time. Speaking to BeIN Sports, Wenger said:

"What is interesting in the Champions League is that you always have in the second game a psychological problem to sort out."
"If you’re the manager of Chelsea now you go home tonight and you have to convince your players to adopt a strategy in the second game."

Real Madrid know that if they want to progress through to the final, they have to score at least one goal, meaning we can expect Zidane to attack from the start.

But for Chelsea, the situation is not so straight forward. Speaking about Real Madrid's gameplan at Stamford Bridge, Wenger said:

"Because Madrid is in a different situation psychologically. They go to Chelsea and even if they score a goal it doesn’t change too much, they just play."
Real Madrid and Chelsea were locked level at full time. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid and Chelsea were locked level at full time. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Despite having the upper hand, it is Chelsea who face a dilemma on how to approach the second leg. Arsene Wenger had the following to say on how Chelsea should approach the game:

"So I say, will you try to get 0-0 or will you try to win the game? I would try to win the game."
"You are always be in trouble when the way to behave is not clear. Because the lack of clarity gets the players in between two."

The tie is poised perfectly with Chelsea, who were the underdogs in this semi-final, having the advantage at the moment. However, Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane are Champions League veterans and know exactly how to turn around these matches.

Chelsea will have a tall mountain to climb if they want to reach the final of the 2020-21 Champions League.

Published 28 Apr 2021
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