Friday, December 9, 2022



Champions League – Real Madrid dreams big



Champions League – Real Madrid dreams big. Chelsea could not face the power of Real Madrid and Benzema. The French striker scored again a hat-trick with the white shirt. And it should already be scored for the Ballon d’Or. The Spaniards shone at Stamford Bridge and are dreaming big about the Champions League.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

In the most adverse scenario, Real Madrid uncorked the bottle and started playing soccer as if nothing had happened. It was a victory of unquestionable impact and prestige that bears the signature of Karim Benzema. The best player on the continent today.

Benzema was precise, incisive, undetectable, author of another hat-trick in a row after the miracle against PSG. He was the architect of this victory at home of the Champions League champion. But alongside Benzema there was an extraordinary team. With ample resources in all its lines.

From the winger with Vinicius to the always miraculous glove of Courtois. Chelsea went down with honor, scoring almost twenty times. With Havertz as the best player. But the impression was the opposite of last year.

Ancelotti’s plan was favored by Tuchel’s choice. With Christensen at right center-back, James thrown in and Azpilicueta on the left flank. Vinicius benefited, who rummaged through the flank that closed the future Barcelona center-back.

Although the first warning was a long ball from Kanté that left Havertz one-on-one with Alaba, well covered by the Austrian. Real Madrid was a hammer from the start. A steal by Valverde set up Benzema and the counterattack led to Vinicius on the opposite side.

The Brazilian broke inside and shot against the crossbar. A mistake by James set up Vinicius in the area and he failed to make the right decision. There were no more warnings.

Benzema is the best in Europe

Back to Benzema: he can no longer have detractors. He is accused of not being a striker to use, a player of area. But in three minutes he disproved the theory.

First, he combined with Vinicius in a one-two, the Brazilian went as a winger and served back for a goal that was a foregone conclusion. And Karim’s powerful header burst like a thunderbolt into the goal.

Chelsea did not react. They lost the ball and allowed the white long attack. Modric picked up the ball, crossed it into the box and Benzema -backwards, settling his head- cushioned the shot towards the post. Two minutes after the first goal, the score was 0-2 to Real Madrid. Benzema looked impressive.

Real Madrid was a bit complacent and lured Chelsea with the ball out of the box. With doubts, the Blues started to look more and more confident. Favored by some inaccuracies in the touch and the ability of Havertz to appear where he was not expected.

It was Havertz himself who gave Chelsea hope. When he got past Carvajal and headed the ball home. The Londoners were within striking distance. But nothing could go right.

The break could have done Chelsea some good. And Tuchel immediately stuck his hand in with the departures of Kanté and Christensen and the entry of Ziyech and Kovacic. But it was quite the opposite.

Normality returned a minute into the second half. When Benzema again chased an impossible and caused the blunder of Mendy.

Chelsea’s goalkeeper and Rudiger made a mistake on an exit and Benzema pressed. The striker recovered and scored into an empty net. Who knows if Tuchel’s decision with the change to defend with four and remove Kanté favored the local confusion.

Real Madrid are serious candidates

The scenery was perfect for Real Madrid, and for a long time they were lord and master of the match. Chelsea did not arrive and the Whites did not lose the ball. Although they did not reach the enemy area with clarity. A flat match.

The best Real Madrid of the season came back to life. And at a level that invites their fans to dream about the Champions League. Well, like every year.

Surely Chelsea will press at the Bernabeu. And they would do well not to trust and remember what happened with Juve after that 0-3 in Turin. But Real Madrid has one foot in the Champions League Semifinals.

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