Chelsea v Real Madrid

'Chelsea will get hammered at Bernabeu!' - Tuchel warns they'll lose to Southampton & then Real Madrid again if they repeat Champions League first leg

23:35 SAST 2022/04/06
Thomas Tuchel Chelsea 2021-22
The visitors produced an impressive performance at Stamford Bridge as their star striker Karim Benzema netted a hat-trick

Real Madrid overwhelmed Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday as Karim Benzema again proved the most dangerous man on the pitch, with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel warning of grave danger if his players don't improve quickly.

Benzema notched a hat-trick in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge and has his side on the brink of the semi-final.

Kai Havertz scored for the Blues, but they were otherwise wasteful as they chased the game, with substitute Romelu Lukaku producing perhaps the worst miss.

What has been said?

"We don't have to go to Madrid, we have to go Southampton and it is very important to process this," Tuchel told BT Sport. "It is crucial that we go to Southampton. If we keep playing like this we will lose at Southampton and then we will get hammered at the Bernabeu.

"It is a heavy loss. It was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge. Individually and as a team it was by far not enough. It was far from our standards and then you lose games.

"Passing, where we passed, how we passed, when we passed, when we attacked, the ball possession game... first half was so from any standards that we set ourselves that we cannot complain when we lose."

Tuchel repeatedly told reporters that, as it stands, there was no way back for the Blues.

"Today, is this tie alive?" he asked. "No."

Quizzed on whether that was a poor message to send his team, he said: "If you want to put it on this sentence, put it on this sentence.

"I worry more about Southampton than I worry about Real Madrid in the next week. There is my focus. Today, is this alive? No. Not with this performance. First of all we need to play Southampton and if we don’t get our heads straight and mentality right we will not win in Southampton. And then this tie is not alive.

"If things change, maybe, but how many clubs in worldwide football won with three goals difference? How often did this happen? So maybe we should be realistic and should not get fatalistic and think that I give the wrong message. Let’s be honest. We are competitive and need to find our competitive spirit and our quality and then we can hope."

Ancelotti offers perspective

"We played well," Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. "Good control of the game, good build up from the back, dangerous counterattack. It was a good night but it is only the first half of this round.

"It was really good. We showed good organisation defensively. We had a fantastic performance up front from Benzema. A good performance.

"We have an advantage. We have to prepare for the next game in the league and then Tuesday will be another game. We have a lot of respect for this team who were the winners of the last Champions League."

Chelsea's defensive worries

Chelsea have suffered back-to-back home defeats for only the second time under Thomas Tuchel, also doing so in April last year.

This is the first time since 2012 that the Blues have allowed at least three goals in consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge, having given up four to Brentford this past weekend.

They were persistently troubled by Real Madrid on the counterattack as Benzema and Vinicius Junior threatened a back line that until recent times had been mostly stellar with Tuchel in charge.

Further reading

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