Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick as Chelsea suffered a chastening 3-1 defeat against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter final. Here’s how we rated each Blues player.
Edouard Mendy: 5
There was nothing he could do about Benzema’s two headers that saw Real Madrid race into an early lead – they were placed perfectly beyond his reach. The third Madrid goal was undoubtedly his biggest mistake in a Chelsea shirt, gifting Benzema an open goal to complete his hat-trick with a scuffed pass to Antonio Rudiger.
Andreas Christensen: 5
Struggled to deal with Benzema as he returned to the starting XI. The Frenchman ghosted in between Christensen and Thiago Silva for his second. Replaced at half-time as Tuchel shifted his tactics.
Thiago Silva: 5
Normally the man for the big occasion, Silva struggled against the pace of Vinicius Jr and pure domination of Benzema. He will no doubt be arguing with Christensen about whose job it was to mark the striker when he scored his second goal.
Antonio Rudiger: 5
Of the back three, Rudiger had the most freedom to roam forward and help his team search for goals, but there was no repeat of his screamer against Brentford and he also had problems defensively.
Reece James: 7
His mere presence offers a different dynamic to Azpilicueta, as James pushed forward from the first minute. Showed no fear and no sign of any injury problems as he gave Ferland Mendy a tough evening. Forced a good save from Thibaut Courtois late on, which was nearly spilled into the path of Romelu Lukaku.
N’Golo Kante: 6
Much like against Brentford, Kante struggled to impact the game as much as he often does. While he was still solid, matching up against Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luca Modric, he was sacrificed at half-time by boss Thomas Tuchel.
Provided the assist for Kai Havertz’s goal with a cross floated perfectly over the Madrid back line. Jorginho impressed on his return to the starting XI, showing Tuchel what he’s been missing in recent matches. Was perhaps unlucky to be replaced in the 63rd minute as Chelsea chased goals.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Played in an unfamiliar left-sided position, starting ahead of Marcos Alonso. The captain forced a brilliant save from Courtois early in the second half, with a long-range effort that was heading for the top corner.
Mason Mount: 6
Was a handful for Madrid defenders early on, but faded as the game progressed. With Chelsea chasing goals at 3-1 down, Mount failed to find a spark or create a moment his teammates could profit from.
Christian Pulisic: 5
Returned to the starting line-up after international duty, but failed to give Madrid’s defenders much of a problem over the 63 minutes he played. Like Mount, he drifted in and out of the game.
Kai Havertz: 8
Scored Chelsea’s only of the game, at a crucial time, heading past Courtois from close range in the 40th minute. The German’s effort will give his side a glimmer of hope heading to the Bernabeu next week.
Mateo Kovacic: 6
Replaced Kante at the break as the Frenchman looked tired, but Kovacic couldn’t do much damage against his former club. Too often tried to play the ball around or through Madrid’s defence when the better option was to whip it into the box.
Hakim Ziyech: 5
Wasn’t able to impact the game as much as he would have liked after coming on at half-time. He was let down by weak passes from midfield on a handful of occasions, but didn’t really do enough to cause Madrid’s defenders any headaches.
Romelu Lukaku: 5
Could have scored with one of his first touches, but headed the ball wide of Courtois’ goal, unmarked from close range. Lukaku didn’t offer much to suggest Tuchel should start him at the weekend.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6
It was always going to be a tough ask for Loftus-Cheek to help turn the game around. He linked well with Havertz and Mount, but still left fans waiting for the moment he really announces himself as a player that can challenge for regular game time.