Los Blancos were stunned by a proactive Chelsea side in the opening exchanges of the game, and the Blues deservedly took the lead when Christian Pulisic slotted past Thibaut Courtois after being found by Antonio Rudiger.
The opener sprung Real Madrid to life, and it didn’t take long for them to equalize as Karim Benzema’s stunning goal leveled things before the half-hour mark.
Unlike the previous round, Real Madrid will head into the second leg with the score poised at 1-1. Chelsea have the advantage at the moment, as Real Madrid will have to score at Stamford Bridge.
Marcelo remains bullish, though, and has said that the second leg will be different when the two teams square off in a week’s time.
“We knew it could happen [that Madrid could fail to win], but there’s another game [to be played],” Marcelo said after the game.
“We’re fine and we know what we have to do. The second leg will be different. We don’t choose the rhythm of the game, we have to adapt to what it is. We’re well and we’re calm.”
Real Madrid will have to learn from the first-leg mistakes against Chelsea
The ease with which Chelsea were able to control the game and often trouble Real Madrid was alarming on Tuesday. The away side dominated in nearly every department and will feel aggrieved for not winning the game.
Zinedine Zidane knows that his side cannot afford to be as porous and weak in the return leg, and will perhaps count himself lucky that full-time team talk was not about losing the first leg.
Real Madrid were slow to start the game, something they will have to work on when they face Chelsea in the return leg.
The Whites know they have the players to rise to the occasion and will have to be a lot more proactive to overcome a sturdy Chelsea side.
Thomas Tuchel has transformed Chelsea since taking over in January and they will take some stopping at their own stadium.