REAL MADRID 1-1 CHELSEA

Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea: Madrid player ratings as Champions League semi-final first leg ends all square

Courtois rescued Real Madrid with a miraculous save in the first half. Nacho and Militão both played well, while Benzema was key.

Madrid
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Real Madrid player ratings in 1-1 Champions League draw with Chelsea
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA

Thibaut Courtois:

Probably the world’s most in-form goalkeeper right now. In the 10th minute he produced one of the saves of the season, denying Timo Werner from point-blank range. Very assured whenever he had to deal with crosses, giving his former club no chance of scoring when they sent high balls into the box from out wide.

Dani Carvajal:

Far from being in the best of shape given his recent injury absence, he wasn’t helped by the system, either: right wing-back with no-one ahead of him on his flank. He found the going very tough. Was substituted late on, clearly knackered.

Éder Militão:

A very good performance. He looked overwhelmed in some Chelsea attacks during the visitors’ whirlwind first-half period, but the fact Madrid managed to get themselves back into the game was in large part down to his forceful defensive play. His second-half display was excellent.

Raphaël Varane:

Without Ramos, these are the types of games where Varane needs to show a level of leadership that he has never managed to offer. Zinedine Zidane picked him in the middle of the defensive three, and he wasn’t the leader Madrid had hoped for. Chelsea’s forwards got the better of him too easily, catching him out of position on several occasions.

Nacho Fernández:

One of Real Madrid’s most in-form players. He struggled to cover the gaps left by Marcelo, who offered him precious little help, but still managed to snuff out a number of dangerous attacks.

Marcelo:

Zidane gave him his first start in a big game for a while, and the Brazilian again showed why he no longer has it in him to perform at this level. He left gap after gap at the back and contributed little going forward. Lacking both physically and in terms of desire.

Casemiro:

Very uncomfortable when bringing the ball out from the back, and not infrequently struggled to deal with the movement of Chelsea’s attackers, who pulled him out of position on several occasions. He put in a good final half hour, though, producing a number of important interceptions.

Toni Kroos:

N’Golo Kanté stuck on him like glue and prevented him from settling at any point of the night. Despite that, he contributed his midfield intelligence and cross-field passes whenever he could. He improved in the second half.

Luka Modric:

A very poor first half; he was completely neutralised by Chelsea’s midfielders. He played better after the break, setting the tone for an improved Real Madrid.

Vinicius:

Produced one good run with ball at feet and helped a lot in off-the-ball pressing, but had less of an impact than he is used to having. Having struggled to shine, he was the first player to be substituted by Zidane.

Karim Benzema:

Madrid depend on him in attack. He offered the best movement and was at the heart of his side's best opportunities, hitting the post with a powerful drive after 22 minutes, just when the hosts were finding life the most difficult, and scoring the equalising goal that halted Chelsea’s momentum.

Substitutes:

Eden Hazard:

The first player brought on by Zidane, Hazard offered little of real note.

Marco Asensio:

Zidane raised eyebrows by playing Asensio as a left wing-back. He’s not at home there and looked to move into attack and into more central positions whenever he could.

Álvaro Odriozola:

His most notable intervention was a robust challenge on Antonio Rüdiger that cost him a yellow card.

Rodrygo Goes:

It’s tough to understand this substitution by Zidane: it was made in stoppage time (wasting precious seconds), with Madrid’s chief goal threat making way (Benzema) as Los Blancos looked for a winner.