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, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images) /

Three Real Madrid players worth praising

There were very few positive performances from Real Madrid in this 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, but I’d like to highlight three starters who did their best to keep Real afloat until Mason Mount’s game-sealing goal late in the match.

Thibaut Courtois is first. He made a big stop against Timo Werner in the first leg, and he had a couple of more important saves against Chelsea. Whereas Eden Hazard shirked under the spotlight against his former employers, Courtois heard the cries of “snake” and did his best to thwart the Blues.

The second is Karim Benzema, who was stopped twice by an excellent Edouard Mendy. Benzema created a goal from nothing in the first leg after hitting the post. And he had two more great tries in the second leg. He was, once again, the only man worth playing in the attack this week. It’s really sad how little help he has around him.

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And the third is Luka Modric. The well-rested Croatian led the team with 93 pass attempts, according to, and he also completed 92.5 percent of his passes. Modric had three dribbles completed to tie Vinicius for the team lead – but did not lose the ball nearly as frequently – and he also led the team as the only player with multiple key passes (two).