24.7 C
New York
Friday, May 14, 2021
Home8/10 for Pulisic, Kante; Benzema shines for the hosts
Array

8/10 for Pulisic, Kante; Benzema shines for the hosts

[ad_1]

Player ratings as Real Madrid and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

It was Chelsea who made a sparkling start to the game and should have been in front but Timo Werner failed to convert a glorious opportunity. However, the lead came soon after as Christian Pulisic went on a fine solo run before showing great composure to find the back of the net in the 14th minute.

Real Madrid started to look more purposeful after going behind as Karim Benzema struck the outside of the post before pulling his team back on level terms with a stunning finish after a well-worked corner from the home team. The game somewhat petered out after the half-time break as there were not many meaningful chances created by either team, with the contest ending in a 1-1 stalemate.

Chelsea will be pleased with the performance and the outcome, given as they have the away-goal advantage. Real Madrid, on the other hand, were well below their best on the night and will need to step it up in the second leg. Here are our player ratings for the Chelsea and Real Madrid stars from Tuesday’s blockbuster contest.

Embed from Getty Images

Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois: 7/10

Made a fine stop to deny Werner just ten minutes into the game before being rounded by Pulisic for the opener. Made three more saves after the break, all of which were pretty straightforward though. Misplaced just three of his 31 passes all night while also launching attacks with some quick throws.

Eder Militao: 8/10

Apart from one moment when he went in too early allowing Mason Mount to go on a jinking run, the Brazilian was rock-solid yet again. Strong and aggressive in his approach, Militao attempted (9) and completing (7) the most number of tackles in the game, while also making three interceptions, the highest by a Real Madrid player on the night.

Also got the assist for Benzema’s goal and finished with a 91% pass accuracy. Made a vital block on Werner, stopping a goal-bound effort early in the second period. Solid, all-round display.

Raphael Varane: 6.5/10

Did not start all too well, with Chelsea’s counter-attacks causing him some problems. Did well to cover for Nacho and Marcelo on occasion but couldn’t stop Pulisic from scoring. Dealt well with crosses and long-balls for the most part, making as many as seven clearances – a game high. Completed 61 of his 64 attempted passes.

Nacho: 5/10

For someone who has stepped up admirably in recent weeks, Nacho struggled a lot against Chelsea. Should have tracked Pulisic’s run and stuck with him in the lead-up to the goal but strangely chose to drop off and defend the goal, leaving Courtois exposed. Left spaces open at the back and needed the likes of Toni Kroos and Varane to cover for him, especially with Marcelo struggling defensively. Capable of so much better.

Dani Carvajal: 5.5/10

Made a couple of tackles and an interception but was pretty much a non-entity going forward as he and Ben Chilwell seemed to pretty much cancel each other out on their flank. Does not look fully fit.

Luka Modric: 5.5/10

One of those rare games where the veteran Croatian failed to make any sort of meaningful contribution. Was overwhelmed at times by Chelsea hounding him and the pace at which the Blues broke forward left him stranded. Did manage one key pass and was fairly accurate with his passing but nowhere near his best.

Casemiro: 6.5/10

Much like most of his teammates, the Brazilian did not start all too well but grew into the game as time went on. Involved in the buildup to Benzema’s goal with a good header at the back-post and was much steelier after the break, finishing with three tackles, two interceptions and three aerials won.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

Chelsea’s intense pressing ensured that he wasn’t able to dictate the game as he usually does for Real Madrid. Did work hard off the ball though, often dropping back into the left-sided centre-back position to cut out attacks. Finished with four tackles and two interceptions and also managed a couple of key passes as well but not at his usual level.

Marcelo: 5/10

Not good enough from the veteran. Wasn’t sure of his positioning early in the game either getting dragged infield way too much or blocking Nacho’s attempt to overlap at times. Offered little in terms of defensive security as he struggled to keep up with the pace of the Chelsea attackers. The cross in the buildup to the equaliser was a saving grace. Continues to decline rapidly.

Karim Benzema: 8/10

Where would Real Madrid be without him! Looked purposeful from the kickoff, even as his teammates took some time to get on the same page. Pressed well from the front, held up the ball and linked up well with those around him. Struck the woodwork with a fine effort before going on top it with a sensational strike to equalise. The way he controlled the ball to set himself up for the volley was just top-class. Had a shot go over and another blocked in the second half.

Vinicius Junior: 5.5/10

A quiet outing for the Brazilian, who did not enjoy much joy on the left like he had done against Liverpool in the previous round. Did make a couple of key passes but those amounted to little. Not much of a goal threat, which is credit to Chelsea’s defensive discipline.

SUBSTITUTES

Eden Hazard: 5/10

On for Vinicius in the 66th minute. Not much of note apart from a pass to play Alvaro Odriozola in.

Alvaro Odriozola: N/A

Replaced Carvajal with less than fifteen minutes left. Booked late on for a rash challenge.

Marco Asensio: N/A

Came on for Marcelo in the 77th minute. Not much time to make an impact.

Rodrygo Goes: N/A

Stoppage time substitute for Benzema.

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy: 6/10

No chance for Benzema’s brilliant finish. Other than that, did not have a single save to make as he was well-protected by his defence. Solid with his distribution.

Andreas Christensen: 7/10

Steady and solid, the Danish defender ensured that Vinicius Junior did not get a lot of joy on his side. Composed when on the ball, read the game well and positioned himself well to cut out threats.

Thiago Silva: 7/10

Apart from not getting the block in on Benzema for the goal in time, the veteran Chelsea star enjoyed a solid game as well. Dealt well with whatever came his way, which wasn’t always much, and used the ball well when in possession, misplacing just four of his 53 attempted passes.

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Sublime pass over the top to set Pulisic on his way for the opening goal. Like the rest of his defensive partners, was solid all game long and let little past him, especially in the second half when he ensured Benzema was largely quiet.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10

Preferred over Reece James at right wing-back again, the Chelsea skipper did his bit to keep Vinicius Junior quiet but was beaten in the air by Casemiro leading up to Benzema’s equalising goal. Other than that, pretty assured, although did not offer much going forward.

N’Golo Kante: 8/10

The Frenchman was constantly afforded space and time on the ball in dangerous positions in the first half when he drove forward from the centre but the final ball was lacking. Was brilliant after the break as he time and again cut off attacks from the home team while pressing them intensely, which forced them into going back or making errors. His quality on the ball also improved a great deal as well in the second period.

Jorginho: 7/10

May not have stood out but Jorginho was critical to Chelsea starting the game the way they did. Held his own against the likes of Kroos and Modric, while offering the Blues control in the middle of the park. Made three interceptions and a key pass in what was a solid display, if not spectacular.

Ben Chiwell: 6.5/10

A good, hard-working performance from the former Leicester man who did well to cut out Carvajal’s attacking threat. Although that also meant he wasn’t able to make as much of an impact going forward either. Scuffed a shot wide and played a couple of key passes but his final delivery could have been better on a few occasions.

Mason Mount: 7/10

Full of energy and running, the Chelsea academy graduate was one of the brightest sparks in their quick start. Did amazingly in the lead-up to Werner’s chance in the first half going on a fine run before finding Pulisic. Continued to put pressure on the Real Madrid midfielders while driving forward at every possible occasion. Made a couple of tackles and interceptions each.

Christian Pulisic: 8/10

Chelsea’s best attacking player on the night, Pulisic caused problems to the Real Madrid defence with his runs and movement from the get-go. Should have had an assist early on but Werner spurned the chance. Left his stamp on the game with a stunning run and composed finish to Chelsea in front. Created three chances – more than any player on the night and completed five dribbles. Is starting to come into his own.

Timo Werner: 5/10

Having scored against West Ham at the weekend, one would have thought he would be full of confidence heading into Tuesday’s game. But that was not the case as he looked sloppy and uninspiring. Spurned a great chance to put Chelsea in front just ten minutes and hardly threatened the goal after that. Worked hard, ran the channels but he is in the team to score goals and he did not.

SUBSTITUTES

Hakim Ziyech: 6/10

Had a few bright moments with some good passes and a shot from a free-kick that was saved.

Kai Havertz: 5/10

Replaced Werner in the 66th minute. Held up the ball well and won a free-kick in a good position. Didn’t offer a goal threat, though.

Reece James: 6/10

On for Azpilicueta in the 67th minute. Offered a bit more than his captain going forward with his pace troubling Real Madrid.



[ad_2]

Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: