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Real Madrid beaten by Chelsea: players exhausted, Zidane confused


Looking at it properly, Real Madrid couldn’t really have expected much more. Their squad is weakened (Bale and James left last summer and Borja Mayoral, Jovic and Odegaard during the season) and lacking players, particularly up front. A single striker is their only real threat. Last night Benzema did well with the slim pickings that reached him, with two efforts that had Mendy in difficulty, particularly the first. Moreover this already depleted squad has been hit by a plague of injuries, leading to them playing three players still recovering from injury in a Champions League semi-final second leg: Sergio Ramos, Mendy and Hazard. With the rest of the group exhausted.

Real Madrid badly organised

To protect Sergio Ramos, who was clearly not 100%, Zidane put out his two available centre-backs and left the wings to Vinicius and Mendy. The idea to put Vinicius there felt like a major gamble and it turned out badly. Confused, lost, he committed a heap of fouls in defence and offered nothing up front. Mendy wasn’t Mendy, but a shadow. Zidane later changed them for Valverde and Asensio, but by then the course of the game had been decided. As to Hazard, he bustled about, but produced nothing of any worth except a tame shot. Overall, a feeble team, badly organised. A lamb to the slaughter.

Chelsea could have scored a lot more

Facing them was a fine team who knew that 0-0 would see them through. Chelsea were happy to wait and hit Madrid on the break, showing that the Madrid defence was open on Vinicius’ side and through the middle. When Pulisic came on in the second half he ran riot down the right. Luckily for Real Madrid, just as happened in the Di Stéfano Stadium, Chelsea wasted a bunch of chances. An absolute mountain of them, in fact. That left us Madrid fans with a absurd, desperate hope until Chelsea’s goal went in, late on. Chelsea have a good team, but they struggle to get the ball in the net - but against Madrid they had so many chances at least two were bound to end up going in. All in all…