Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea: Player ratings Los Blancos put one foot into semi-finals against 10-man Blues

Madrid

Real Madrid put one foot into the final four of the UEFA Champions League after a 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Los Blancos were comfortably on top for the vast majority of the game and could easily have scored more than twice. Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the first half and Marco Asensio finished it off after the break after Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red for bringing down Rodrygo.

Chelsea focused on the counter early and Joao Felix broke through one-on-one after just 90 seconds, but Eder Militao chased him down and could only send his shot straight at a grateful Thibaut Courtois.

The Blues were solid at the back as well and it took 12 minutes for ball-dominating Real to get their first glimpse of goal. Benzema weaved his way into the box but was forced into a narrow angle and fired into Kep’s arms.

In the 20th minute, some sloppy play at the back from Chelsea was punished when Dani Carvajal lost through Vinicius Junior, whose effort was fed by Benzema into the path of a simple header.

Chelsea responded almost immediately when Reece James crossed to cause chaos in the box, but Courtois reacted quickly to deflect the ball behind the bar.

In the first 25 minutes, Vinicius could have scored straight away after bursting into the box and threading the ball past Kepa, but Thiago Silva was there to clear the line.

Los Blancos began to take complete control, wave after wave of attack directed at Chelsea’s back line, who, while looking a bit frantic, dealt with most threats quite well.

It stayed that way for the rest of the first half. Real finished with 60% possession and outshot Chelsea ten to three as they dominated before the break but were unable to add to their lead.

The same story started in the second half as Real pushed forward. After just five minutes, Luka Modric’s effort from the edge of the box went over the bar with Chelsea still hanging on.

That task was made infinitely more difficult just before the hour mark as Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card for bringing down Rodrygo as the last man.

Chelsea survived another 15 minutes before scoring a second goal. A quick corner landed at Asensio’s feet on the edge of the box and the Spaniard headed into the bottom corner.

Benzema should have added a third in the dying embers but surprisingly sent his header over the bar before Mason Mount’s effort to pull one back was superbly blocked by Antonio Rudiger.

Overall, it was routine for Real, who will be frustrated by not being completely out of sight in the play-off.

Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Thibaut Courtois – 7/10 – Made an excellent save to deny Sterling straight after the opening goal and looked comfortable all night long.

RB: Dani Carvajal – 7/10 – A glorious ball for the opening goal in what was an overall thoroughly impressive performance.

CB: David Alaba – 6/10 – Didn’t really need to do a whole lot.

CB: Eder Militao – 7/10 – Great recovery pace to catch and deny Felix early on. Looked comfortable throughout.

LB: Eduardo Camavinga – 7/10 – Great energy down the left side. Barely tested defensively and allowed to get involved in everything in attack.

DM: Toni Kroos – 8/10 – Sloppy defensively in the early stages but soon settled into the game and started to control things. Metronomic with his passing.

CM: Luka Modric – 7/10 – Pressed with impressive energy to force Chelsea into mistakes at the back.

CM: Federico Valverde – 8/10 – Dominated in every position of the pitch. Physically a step above the rest but let himself down with some average finishing.

RW: Rodrygo – 7/10 – Probably the least involved of Real’s front three but still a real threat.

ST: Karim Benzema – 8/10 – Dropped deep to link things up but showed his natural poacher to tap home the opener.

LW: Vinicius Junior – 7/10 – His dribbling was sensational but Vinicius’ end product was a little underwhelming. Should have had more than just the ugly assist for the opener.


Substitutes

Marco Asensio (71′ for Rodrygo) – 7/10 – A perfect introduction and could have had another goal.

Antonio Rudiger (71′ for Camavinga) – 6/10 – Didn’t really need to get involved before an excellent block to deny Mount late on.

Dani Ceballos (81′ for Modric) – N/A

Aurelien Tchouameni (84′ for Kroos) – N/A


Manager

Carlo Ancelotti – 8/10 – Took ten minutes to figure out how to cancel out Chelsea’s threat and never looked back. The difference in level of organisation between the two teams was clear as day.


Chelsea player ratings (3-5-2)

GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5/10 – Couldn’t do anything about the opening goal but once again failed to keep out a shot from the edge of the box.

CB: Wesley Fofana – 4/10 – Booked early on and looked nervous on the ball. Struggled up against Vinicius.

CB: Thiago Silva – 5/10 – Got an important clearance off the line but looked a little rusty on his return to the starting lineup.

CB: Kalidou Koulibaly – 6/10 – Also struggled but looked the most comfortable of Chelsea’s back line. Excellent defending to chase down Rodrygo early in the second half, but pulled his hamstring in the process and was forced off.

RM: Reece James – 3/10 – Didn’t do enough to help Fofana against Vinicius, but also didn’t get involved in attack either.

CM: Mateo Kovacic – 3/10 – Found it really tough to get involved. Some really sloppy passing as he was bossed about by Modric.

CM: Enzo Fernandez – 4/10 – The work rate was undoubtedly there but Fernandez couldn’t get things to tick in attack either.

CM: N’Golo Kante – 5/10 – Looked excellent for the first ten minutes as Chelsea focused on countering, but lost his impact when Real’s dominance began.

LM: Ben Chilwell – 2/10 – Wasn’t allowed to have his usual impact in attack and looked lost in defence even before his red card. He was covering for Cucurella, however, and was let down by his teammate.

ST: Raheem Sterling – 3/10 – Appeared to tire after the first 20 minutes but was undeniably starved of service.

ST: Joao Felix – 3/10 – Was not the focal point Chelsea needed. Should’ve done better on a handful of occasions early in the game and never seemed to recover.


Substitutes

Marc Cucurella (54′ for Koulibaly) – 4/10 – Lost Rodrygo and left Chilwell on an island for the red card.

Kai Havertz (65′ for Sterling) – 5/10 – Barely involved through little fault of his own.

Trevoh Chalobah (65′ for Felix) – 5/10 – Did his part in trying to hold on.

Conor Gallagher (74′ for Kante) – 5/10 – An energetic cameo.

Mason Mount (74′ for Silva) – 5/10 – Escaped a booking for what could have easily been a red card just minutes after coming on.


Manager

Frank Lampard – 3/10 – Chelsea’s system was right for the first ten minutes but Lampard had no answer once Real started to figure it out. His job soon became damage limitation but bringing on Cucurella ahead of Chalobah was a mistake.


Player of the match – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

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