Create
Notifications

Ranking Chelsea's 5 best players against Real Madrid | UEFA Champions League quarter-final 2nd leg

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
reaction-emoji
Sushan Chakraborty

With a massive two-goal deficit to overturn, Chelsea traveled to the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday night (12 April).

Last Wednesday (6 April), the Blues were all over the place against a spirited Madrid side at Stamford Bridge. But the Premier League giants looked a lot like their usual selves, driven and efficient, in the return leg.

Their visitors' efforts ultimately helped them snatch a 3-2 win on the night, but it wasn't enough. Chelsea fell to a gut-wrenching 5-4 aggregate defeat courtesy of a valiant turnaround by Los Blancos.

Thomas Tuchel's side needed an early goal to unsettle the Whites at home, and that was exactly what they achieved after 15 minutes. Mason Mount applied a sumptuous finish to slash Madrid’s two-goal advantage in half.

Six minutes into the second half, the Blues leveled on aggregate, with first-leg culprit Antonio Rudiger scoring a scorching header from a corner. The replay showed that it should have been a goal-kick instead, but the VAR did not interfere with the referee’s decision.

REAL MADRID ARE INTO THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL.They've knocked out Chelsea after winning 5-4 on aggregate.A match for the ages. 👏👏👏 https://t.co/2DMhoJGv1y

In the 63rd minute, Marcos Alonso scored for Chelsea, but the VAR rightfully ruled it out for offside. Twelve minutes later, Timo Werner found the back of the net in superb style, completing the turnaround for the visitors.

Unfortunately, the west London outfit failed to hold on to their 3-0 lead, conceding in the 80th minute from a Rodrygo volley. With the scoreline firmly balanced at 3-1 (3-3 on aggregate), the match went into extra time, where Karim Benzema scored the tie-winning goal for Real Madrid in the 96th minute.

Substitutes Christian Pulisic, Jorginho, and Hakim Ziyech had chances to win the game for the visitors, but failed to apply the finishing touches.

Despite coming up short on aggregate, Tuchel’s team gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side a massive scare in their own backyard.

Below, we will take a look at the five Blues stars who made it a night to remember for the traveling fans.


#5 Antonio Rudiger

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

Antonio Rudiger played a big part in completing Karim Benzema’s hat-trick last week. On Tuesday night, he made it a point to make amends by giving his all on the pitch.

The German tracked Benzema almost perfectly all night long, scored a thumping header in the second half, and surged forward whenever an opportunity presented itself.

Antonio Rudiger's game by numbers vs Real Madrid:123 touches (most)100% aerial duels won91 passes completed88% pass accuracy28 passes in the final third (most)8 duels won7 possessions won4 tackles made3 shots1 goalUnlucky to be on the losing side. 😅#UCL https://t.co/l75anaoR2T

Against Madrid, Rudiger attempted four tackles, won eight of 14 duels and played a key pass.

He unluckily lost his footing for Benzema’s goal, which allowed the Frenchman to apply the finishing touch. Other than that, it was a spotless game for the 29-year-old.


#4 Reece James

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

Having seen Andreas Christensen struggle against Vinicius Junior in the first leg, Thomas Tuchel opted to use Reece James as the right-sided center-back.

The bold decision turned out to be a masterstroke. James stuck with the Brazilian like glue and rarely afforded him time on the ball, harrying him out of possession more often than not.

Reece James’ first half by numbers vs Real Madrid:100% take-ons successful94% pass accuracy32 passes completed8 duels contested7 duels won5 tackles won3 attempted long balls3 successful long balls1 interception1 clearance1 foul drawnWhere’s Vinicius Jr.? 👀👏 https://t.co/j6p1MVw6TK

On Tuesday night, James won 12 of his 14 duels, attempted eight tackles, three shots on goal, and played a key pass.


#3 Mateo Kovacic

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

For reasons unknown, Thomas Tuchel did not field Mateo Kovacic in Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge.

Realizing his mistake, the German tactician gave Kovacic a place in his starting XI on Tuesday night. To no one’s surprise, the Croatian lived up to the billing against his former employers.

Mateo Kovacic just dropped one of the best 90 minute champions league performances from a midfielder I’ve seen, he’s a special, special player.

He carried the ball expertly, did a superb job at taking the fight to Madrid’s midfield, rarely misplaced passes, and popped up in dangerous areas.

Last night, he completed 94 passes with a 95.9 percent accuracy, made two key passes, won eight of 12 duels, and put in three tackles.

A solid shift by arguably the Blues’ best midfielder of the game.


#2 Timo Werner

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

Timo Werner has not had the best of times since joining the Stamford Bridge outfit from RB Leipzig for £47.5 million in the summer of 2020. He has often faced criticism for his lack of cutting edge and for not doing enough in big games.

Last night, he proved his doubters wrong, producing one of his best-ever performances for Chelsea.

Brimming with confidence following his brace over Southampton last weekend, Werner danced and toyed around with Madrid’s defense for most of the night. He did not get a clear-cut chance in the first half but that did not keep him from making a tangible impact on the scoreline. In the 15th minute, he found Mount with an inch-perfect through ball and the Englishman took care of the rest.

Timo Werner has been directly involved in more #UCL goals than any other Chelsea player this season:👕 5 games (3 starts)⚽️ 3 goals🅰️ 2 assistsLoves playing in Europe. 🇩🇪🇩🇪 https://t.co/WDbZKI3yUN

His best moment of the match, however, came in the final quarter of regular time. He cut in from the left, got past Carvajal, and had a go at goal. His effort clipped Courtois and nestled into the bottom-right corner of Madrid’s goal, beating Ferland Mendy.

The goal and assist aside, Werner made two key passes, won five duels, and completed two of his three dribbles.


#1 Mason Mount

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea’s poster boy Mason Mount produced a stunning performance against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

Making amends for his sub-par showing in the first leg, the Englishman pulled strings down the left flank and made Carvajal’s life miserable. He also scored his side’s opener and assisted the second against the 13-time European champions.

Latching on to Werner’s through ball, Mount scored emphatically against Thibaut Courtois in the 15th minute. The calmness he showed after getting on the ball was a thing of unparalleled beauty. Then, six minutes into the second half, the scorer turned provider, delivering the perfect corner for Rudiger to head home.

We were resilient tonight and proved our might. We just fell short but remain Chels through and through. https://t.co/EITUlS8Fh3

Apart from the two goal-contributions, Mount made four key passes, won five duels, attempted a tackle, and made 36 accurate passes with a 81.8 percent accuracy.


Where does Haaland rank in Paul Merson's 5 best Premier League transfers so far? Click here

Edited by Samya Majumdar
reaction-emoji

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...