For those who had provided Chelsea a 1-1 draw within the first leg of their Champions League semi-final towards Actual Madrid earlier than kick off, Thomas Tuchel would have little doubt taken it.
Nevertheless, as issues progressed on Tuesday night time you can not assist however get the sensation that the Blues might come to remorse not higher exploiting Los Blancos’ horrible begin to the sport.
Within the first half, however significantly within the opening 20 minutes, Chelsea seemed sensational. Zinedine Zidane – who has obtained extra credit score as a tactician throughout his second spell in cost – had arrange Real to match their opponents.
Los Blancos lined up with a again three of Eder Militao, Nacho and Raphael Varane with Dani Carvajal and Marcelo appearing as wing-backs. On paper, this made sense and it was a tactic that Zidane additionally employed within the spherical of 16 towards Atalanta. Within the second leg of that tie, Actual formed up equally to how they did on Tuesday night time, securing a 3-1 victory.
The scoreline didn’t inform the entire story although, with Real not playing that well. It was far more a case of Atalanta dropping the sport than Zidane’s fees profitable it.
They seemed equally uncomfortable in a again three towards Chelsea.
On each side, their wing-backs had been leaving again gaps that the midfield – whose lack of legs was painfully clear at any time when the Blues broke ahead – couldn’t fill. Marcelo’s positioning was significantly weird. In possession, the Brazilian was popping up in all places, often tucking into an nearly defensive midfield place. Different occasions he camped out on the shoulder of the final defender.
No matter what vibe he was feeling going ahead, he constantly failed to trace again. This was uncovered most blatantly within the tenth minute. After Mason Mount had skipped previous a pair of untamed challenges, he floated a ball to Christian Pulisic on the again put up who then laid in on a plate for Timo Werner. He then did what he does finest: miss an absolute sitter.
Throughout this complete alternate Marcelo was not even in view of the digicam and it might not be the final time than Varane was left to cope with Chelsea’s scary transitions unaided.
Throughout this lightning opening 25 minutes, Chelsea scored via Pulisic and registered 4 additional pictures whereas Actual had only one. This was not the one metric the Blues dominated both. In addition they competed extra dribbles, tackles and had extra possession with their waspish urgent serving to to maintain Toni Kroos’ and Luka Modric’s affect to a minimal.
But for all their good work, they went into the break stage with their opponents attributable to their incapability to defend a set piece.
After the break Actual tweaked their form and managed to get a foothold within the sport. It’s unlikely they may make the identical errors in Wednesday’s second leg both, suggesting that Chelsea might come to rue that missed Werner likelihood and their failure to capitalise on their fiery begin in eight days’ time.