Another Champions League night, another Karim Benzema hattrick as Real Madrid cruised into a 3-1 advantage at Stamford Bridge. A place in the semi-finals isn’t quite sealed yet, but Los Blancos have left themselves with every chance after this impressive victory. Full player ratings below;
Thibaut Courtois-7: We are used to a certain excellence from Real Madrid’s two axis up front and in goal and Wednesday night was no different. The Belgian wasn’t too busy against Chelsea, but the saves he was asked to pull off were stellar and could prove vital in deciding this tie next week in the Bernabeu.
David Alaba-7: The Austrian bounced back from a challenging game against Celta over the weekend with a strong showing at Stamford Bridge. No chairs this time around which, obviously, brings his rating down.
Eder Militao-6: If I were to nitpick this performance, it would be that Militao didn’t have an excellent game. He got himself suspended for the home leg, coughed up easy possesion in a dangerous position in the first half and was among the players to lose Kai Havertz in the lead-up Chelsea’s goal.
Dani Carvajal-6: Got beaten all ends up for the Chelsea goal and then nearly redeemed himself by scoring at the other end. Didn’t do anything too notable in the second half which, given Carvajal’s form this year, is probably a good thing.
Casemiro-7.5: I felt Casemiro had an excellent game, particularly in the first half where he was so prominent in disrupting Chelsea’s attempts to play through the middle. He also had a good day in possession, connecting a majority of his passes without producing anything too stunning.
Toni Kroos -7: Was a good outlet in the first half. I felt he wasn’t very prominent in the second 45 and, in terms of passes attempted, he was mildly the quieter midfielder.
Luka Modric-7.5: His ancient age only make his godly ability all the more glorious.
Fede Valverde-8.5: Perhaps controversial but I thought Fede was Real Madrid’s second best player on the pitch on Wednesday. Deployed on the right wing, the Uruguayan clocked a classic Valderde game. He was energetic, aggressive and productive out wide and a performance like this will leave Oscar Tabarez scratching his head as to how Ancelotti was able to coax such a prominent performance from the midfielder in the wide position.
Vinicius Junior-8: You’d of bet your house on Vinicius finishing that shot that rattled off the bar, but I was impressed with how Vini was able to take stock and conjure up an excellent assist for Karim’s first goal not long after. He gave Christiansen a run for his money in the first half and struggled a little more against James in the second.
Karim Benzema-9: Do you remember that Valencia match where Benzema missed six or seven chances and we all thought his time at Madrid was over? I think we all knew he had games like this one in him, but some of us feared we’d never see it. Now those performances are a weekly occurrence and each one makes that u-turn Benzema’s legacy has taken at Real Madrid a little more dramatic. Stunning.
Nacho Fernandez-5.5: Came on for Militao the same time as Lukaku trundled onto the pitch for Chelsea and immediately the Belgian had two chances to score in the air. One certainly feels there is still life in this tie with Militao suspended for the return leg.
Eduardo Camavinga-N/A: Didn’t have enough time to make an impact
Dani Ceballos -N/A: Came on late into the match
Gareth Bale-N/A: Ditto Bale