Benzema is getting better, “like wine”, wakeup call for Tuchel’s Chelsea
Real Madrid’s victory over Chelsea puts Tuchel’s team on the brink of an exit. Benzema’s hat trick made them all too aware of their defensive weaknesses.
Age is but a number. Perhaps even sometimes, the older the better. Real Madrid proved on Wednesday that soccer players don’t always dry up and fade away as they get older. Some shine even brighter.
Karim Benzema, 34, Luka Mordic, 36, and Toni Kroos, 32 are all looking as fresh as ever. Benzema has scored consecutive hat tricks in the Champions League. He and the rest of the team ran all over Chelsea on Wednesday, Kroos helping Mordic dominate in the game and Benzema completely annihilating Chelsea’s defense, leading Madrid to a 3-1 victory over Chelsea.
“Every day, Karim Benzema is getting better. Like wine. Like wine, every day he is getting better,” said Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti. And he’s right. Benzema now has 11 goals in the Champions League, more than any other Frenchman in a single UCL campaign.
What does the Real Madrid victory mean for Chelsea?
The 3-1 loss means that Chelsea does still have hope for reaching the last four when they face Madrid again on the road on Tuesday, but they need to do a lot of work on defense first.
“I worry more about Southampton than I worry about Real Madrid next week,” said Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel. “If we don’t get our heads on straight and our mentality right, we will not win in Southampton. And then this tie is not alive.”
Chelsea have conceded three or more goals in consecutive games at home for the first time since October 2012. Last week, they lost 4-1 to Brentford and this week too, they crumbled whenever their opponents had the ball.
As tensions rise off the field with Chelsea’s future uncertain, who knows what the club will look like by the time they play Madrid in the second leg on Tuesday?