Karim Benzema was made for the bright lights - unlike Chelsea! Winners and losers as lethal Real Madrid brush aside Blues

Comments (0)
Karim Benzema celebrate Real Madrid Chelsea 2022-23
Getty Images
The Frenchman continues to torment English opposition, opening the scoring in his side's 2-0 win over Chelsea at the Santiago Bernabeu

Karim Benzema just loves playing against Premier League clubs.

The French forward opened the scoring in Real Madrid's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday night, meaning his last 11 goals in the Champions League have all come against English opposition. Imagine how many he'd score if he was playing against the likes of Wesley Fofana and Ben Chilwell on a weekly basis!

Vinicius Junior would run riot, too, in fairness. The winger danced through the Blues' back-line all evening and it was his shot which allowed Benzema to open the scoring, and his pass which Marco Asensio whipped into the bottom corner to seal victory for the home side.

This quarter-final tie is not yet over, of course. Chelsea could yet turn things around in the second leg at Stamford Bridge but that appears highly unlikely right now for two reasons: firstly, the Blues' abject form; and secondly, the continued presence of Benzema up front!

Below, GOAL runs through the winners and losers from another great night for the Ballon d'Or holder, who has now netted 20 goals against Premier League clubs in continental competition (only Lionel Messi has more!)...

  1. WINNER: Karim Benzema
    Getty Images

    WINNER: Karim Benzema

    He was always going to score, wasn’t he? Chelsea made it rather easy for Benzema to break the deadlock, but his positioning to create the tap-in opportunity should not be ignored. The French forward simply ghosted into the box, and was entirely unmarked as he turned the ball into an empty net.

    Benzema was equally effective for the remainder of the contest, working in tandem with Vinicius to terrorise the Chelsea backline. He could’ve perhaps had a second in stoppage time, but will still be satisfied with his opener. And besides, he'll get another chance to add to his impressive haul against Premier League clubs when these two sides meet again in west London next week...

  2. LOSER: Joao Felix's finishing
    Getty Images

    LOSER: Joao Felix's finishing

    How Chelsea would dearly love to have a No.9 of the quality of Benzema. The club's clueless new owners have spent a record-breaking amount of money since taking over last year and yet they've not got a single reliable goalscorer.

    After all, anybody who was expecting loan signing Joao Felix to score freely for Chelsea was obviously deluding themselves. The Portuguese has never been prolific, neither for club nor country.

    But nobody could have foreseen that his finishing would be this poor. When big chances have presented themselves, particularly in the Champions League, Felix has fluffed his lines time and time again. At this stage, it's not even surprising.

    What was shocking about his failure to score after being put clean through on goal early on was the dreadful lack of pace which allowed Eder Militao to catch up with him. Felix may have plenty of technical qualities but one really does wonder what top club would be willing to take the forward of Atletico Madrid's hands at the end of the season.

  3. WINNER: Vinicius Junior

    WINNER: Vinicius Junior

    Vinicius seems to do this every game these days. The winger tormented Wesley Fofana for 90 minutes, twisting Chelsea’s centre-back inside out with a series of cuts, feints and stopovers.

    His neat run in behind led to the Madrid opener, while his electric pace stretched play for Los Blancos. He was good at keeping the ball here, too, and made the right decision more often than not.

    That was exactly the case for Madrid’s second, when the winger fed a wide open Marco Asensio, who curled one into the bottom corner from outside the box. He tried to force it later on, and clearly wanted a much-deserved goal. But it was an absolutely tireless showing from a player that is somehow still getting better.

  4. LOSER: Wesley Fofana

    LOSER: Wesley Fofana

    Chelsea have overpaid for an awful lot of players this season but giving Leicester nearly £70 million for Wesley Fofana looks like a particularly dreadful deal. The centre-back's potential is obvious but he Frenchman is nothing like the finished article, as we saw once again at the Bernabeu.

    Now, as outlined above, Vinicius Junior is capable of destroying even the most experienced of defenders but the easy with which he repeatedly breezed by Fofana was staggering. The one positive for the former Leicester City man is that he managed to stay on the pitch after picking up a booking inside five minutes, although that was mainly because he failed to get anywhere near the Brazilian thereafter.

  5. WINNER: Marco Asensio
    Getty Images

    WINNER: Marco Asensio

    Asensio has fallen out of favour at Madrid with Rodrygo perennially improving and Federico Valverde establishing himself as one of Ancelotti’s favourites. He’s played sparingly in recent weeks, and has failed to inspire much confidence when on the pitch. His occasionally sloppy play has drawn the ire of Madrid fans.

    But Asensio was clinical here, whipping the ball into the bottom corner for a much-needed Madrid second with 20 minutes remaining. He perhaps could’ve added another shortly after, with another long range effort nearly sneaking in at the near post. It’s difficult to see Asensio growing into a bigger role into the team. So, when he’s on the pitch, Asensio simply has to make an impact. He did so here, and Madrid are far better for it.

  6. LOSER: Ben Chilwell

    LOSER: Ben Chilwell

    On Tuesday, Ben Chilwell signed a new contract with Chelsea and said he hoped to "bring more smiles to the faces of the fans" who have made him feel so welcome at Stamford Bridge.

    Just over 24 hours later, he provoked nothing but frowns after stupidly pulling back Rodrygo as the Brazilian bore down on goal. Granted, he wasn't at fault for the defensive breach. Marc Cucurella had completely lost Rodrygo's run and Chilwell had rushed across from his right-wing-back berth to try cover. But quite why he elected to foul the forward is anyone's guess. There was no guarantee that Rodrygo was going to score. Indeed, the only certainty was that Chelsea had no hope of restricting Real to just one goal with 10 men.

    Chilwell is now out of the second leg at Stamford Bridge, meaning Cucurella might have to start, which is only further reason for frowns among the Chelsea faithful...