Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after the first leg vs. Chelsea

Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Marcelo
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Is Marcelo a liability at wing back, too?

Marcelo started as a left wing back in a 2-0 win over Eibar. As you can tell by the scoreline, Marcelo held up well in that clean sheet victory. He was horrible as a left back in a back four against both Getafe and Real Betis, but, well, we already knew he would be an issue in that role with Ferland Mendy out. Marcelo’s defending has declined significantly.

But there was hope his defending wouldn’t be that big of an issue against Chelsea as a wing back, especially with an in-form Nacho Fernandez covering for him on the left side of the defense.

Unfortunately, Marcelo was dreadful. His cross helped create the team’s lone goal, so all was not bad. But defensively, yes, Marcelo was a disaster, especially when Nacho was a bit slow to the punch in the first half.

Marcelo was often not even in the picture to make a stop defensively. He was mistake-prone in his positioning and frustrated fans. His performance against Chelsea is a sign that while he can be a passable wingback against weak attacking sides like Eibar, he cannot play this position either against strong opposition.

Was Eder Militao the MOTM?

Real Madrid center back Eder Militao is just 23 years old, yet he has looked like a veteran of the Champions League this campaign. Considering he was a standout in the competition for FC Porto before joining Los Blancos, he had some experience succeeding in this competition. But the level Militao has shown in recent weeks is even beyond the encouraging signs we saw at Porto or even in Madrid last season.

Militao was brilliant against Liverpool, and he put on defensive masterclasses in 0-0 draws with Getafe and Real Betis, quite literally keeping his team in the match against Getafe. And we can say the same about his display against Chelsea this Tuesday.

Per, Militao had seven tackles, four clearances, three interceptions, and one blocked shot. He led the team in tackles and interceptions, with the block being a key shot-stopping one against Timo Werner close to the six-yard box.

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Militao, in my book, was the best player on the pitch for Los Blancos, even above Thibaut Courtois and Karim Benzema, who had more decisive actions. To me, Militao’s consistent brilliance throughout the 90 wins the day. He was Real’s MOTM. Once more.