Real Madrid: Four takeaways from a well-deserved loss to Chelsea

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /

Heading into the second leg match at Stamford Bridge, there was reason for Real Madrid fans to be optimistic about their team’s chances of advancing to the Champions League Final. Although Chelsea outplayed Real in the first leg, Los Blancos managed to draw 1-1 despite being far less than 100 percent. With the likes of Fede Valverde, Ferland Mendy, and Sergio Ramos returning, there was hope for a considerably better second leg.

It didn’t take long for that hope to dissipate. Real Madrid were dreadful, showing no attacking impetus throughout the 90 minutes, other than two great efforts from Karim Benzema. And they could have lost by more than 2-0, if it weren’t for Thibaut Courtois and Valverde’s heroics.

Here are five takeaways from a Champions League tie that Los Merengues well and truly deserved to lose.

No urgency, no structure

You know how Pep Guardiola used to overthink things at around this stage of the competition and get his Manchester City or Bayern Munich sides eliminated? Well, that’s exactly what happened in this game with Zinedine Zidane, who went with a back three instead of the standard 4-3-3 and, worse yet, came up with a haphazard gameplan against Thomas Tuchel.

Whereas Chelsea were organized defensively and never troubled by Real, Los Blancos’ defense was all over the place. Eder Militao was playing three positions at once, the midfield was nowhere to be found against counters, and Ferland Mendy was playing higher up the pitch than Eden Hazard at times.

Nothing Real Madrid did made any sense. Compound that with a lethargic attack that meandered in possession, and you had the ingredients of an attacking disasterclass. It’s no wonder why Real did not score any goals.