Reigning champions Chelsea had a nightmare outing at Stamford Bridge against Real Madrid in the Champions League in the first leg of their quarter-final fixture. The home side were under pressure to come up with a strong response after their 4-1 loss to Brentford at home in the Premier League.
However, they failed to step up to the occasion and now find themselves trailing by 3-1 as they prepare for the second leg in Spain. It was a particularly disappointing night for the Chelsea backline who were unable to deal with Real Madrid's attacks and were caught open too often.
Veteran centre-back Thiago Silva is trying to keep the spirits high in a situation where it is easy to lose faith. The former PSG captain posted a tweet hoping to put on a fighting display in the second-leg as they now find themselves in a desperate position to defend the title. Silva tweeted:
"Losers are those who give up on fighting. And we won't give up. We will stand back as many times as needed."
It would be foolish of Real Madrid fans to believe that Chelsea are inept of making a comeback in the second-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. Last season, Thomas Tuchel's men outplayed Los Blancos when Zinedine Zidane was the coach in the UCL semi-finals.
The Blues will definitely feel some encouragement this time around with the away goal rule being scrapped by UEFA for this edition. This means a 2-0 scoreline in the second leg, which would have otherwise gotten eliminated, would still take them to extra-time.
Easier said than done, though.
Chelsea boss not very optimistic about turning it around against Real Madrid
The Blues manager stood stunned on the sidelines as he watched his side get neutralized by Carlo Ancelotti's men as they played out from the back. The hosts did try to press high and with intensity but there was a certain poise about the visitors as they moved the ball and made seamless transitions.
Andreas Christensen felt uncomfortable when he got isolated with Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema, the hero of the night, with his hat-trick being a menace. Both Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva were unable to stop him from scoring two wonderful headers.
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made life more difficult for Chelsea as he was involved in a costly mix-up with Rudiger in the second-half. The Real Madrid No.9 pounced on the opportunity to score into an open net to get his hat-trick.
Thomas Tuchel lacked confidence over his side in the press conference and said:
"No, the tie is not alive at the moment. You cannot expect a result from this kind of performance. We need three goals and how often did this happen? Let's be honest."
In the past, we have often seen managers taking pressure away from their sides by making such comments. Only time will tell if the Chelsea boss was trying to downplay his side to motivate them or give a brutally honest assessment.