Football Features

“Defeat that is very sweet” – Player ratings as Chelsea crush Real Madrid but get knocked out by Little Luka and King Karim

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 23:07, 12 April 2022

Chelsea beat Real Madrid 2-3 after extra-time but still go out of the Champions League 5-4 on aggregate.

The Blues were brilliant at the Bernabeu and even took a commanding 0-3 lead, looking on course to make the semi-finals. But they switched off twice and were punished by the 13-time Champions of Europe.

Here’s how the players rated at Santiago Bernabeu:


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Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois – 7 – Made some saves, could do little about the Chelsea goals that got beyond him. Unreal Cruyff Turn to sit Kai Havertz down in extra-time. The best goalkeeper in the world?

Dani Carvajal – 8 – Defended so well. Rarely exposed like he was against PSG. Covered supremely well at centre-back in the second-half and through extra-time. Brimming with the kind of fire and leadership that Madrid desperately need.

Nacho – 7 – Massive block to stop Werner making it 0-2 and played well besides that.

David Alaba – 8 – Excellent display. Always on the front-foot and combative. His leaping header to win the ball back started the move that led to Rodrygo’s dramatic aggregate equaliser.

Ferland Mendy – 5 – Not the best performance as he was given the run-around by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and bar one tasty cross didn’t do enough going forward.

Casemiro – 6 – Worked hard but was completely overwhelmed at the base of midfield and sat down brutally

Luka Modric – 8 – Rubbish for 70 minutes, completely overwhelmed by the Chelsea midfield. Then in classic Hulk Hogan fashion rose up and just started no-selling the concepts of age, fatigue and entropy, turning into the best player on the park. His pass for Rodrygo’s aggregate equaliser honestly just defies belief. “Unbelieveable to describe this game,” said the Croat after the match, and honestly Luka trying to describe your pass was unbelievable!

The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner did Chelsea the courtesy of saying that they are “the most difficult team to play against,” but in the end insisted of his own side that “we keep believing, we keep fighting, and in the end we score two goals. We showed huge character.”

Finally, Modric summed the game up by saying: “defeat that is very sweet.”

Toni Kroos – 5 – Escapes a 4/10 because despite struggling he kept a 91% pass completion rate and had that one great burst and pass that would have seen Vinicius score but for Rudiger’s last ditch challenge.

Fede Valverde – 7 – Ran and ran and ran (and ran). Massive block in extra-time.

Vini Jr. – 7 – Mostly kept quiet by Reece James but still managed to escape his clutches twice, once to get him booked and again to whip a cross in for Karim Benzema to head Madrid into an aggregate lead.

Karim Benzema – 7 – Starved of service by Chelsea’s aggresive gameplan but still linked play nicely, defended space nicely and then, of course, appeared to head Real Madrid into an utterly ridiculous 5-4 aggregatte lead in extra-time.



Real Madrid Substitutes:

Eduardo Camavinga (for Kroos 73′) – 8 – Came on and changed the game with a phenomenal display. Covered every blade of grass it seems and played the gorgeous release pass for Vini to cross to Benzema for the winner.

Marcelo (for Mendy 78′) – 7 – Came on and Madrid goals followed. A true leader.

Rodrygo (for Casemiro 78′) – 7 – Scored a delicious volley to pull Real Madrid level. Offered a sense of threat on the right.

Lucas Vazquez (for Nacho 88′) – 7 – Battled ferociously.

Dani Ceballos (for Vini 115′) – 6 – Wasted time like a champ.


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Chelsea

Edouard Mendy – 5 – Had almost nothing to do until Rodrygo stuck one by him late in the game.

Reece James – 7 – Handled Vini Jr. much better after an early yellow card, shutting the Brazilian out of most of the game. Made a massive 8 tackles but still lost his man in extra-time for the killer goal. “Reece James had Vinicius locked down, one of the most in-form wingers in the world,” said Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport, “but the one moment he wasn’t in front of him; he set-up the winner.”

Thiago Silva – 4 – Had almost nothing to do except sweep up loose balls for much of the game but as soon as Madrid tested him they found weaknesses. Lost Rodrygo for Madrid’s equaliser and the Benzema winner was a masterpiece of malarkey from Thiago Silva, starting with his sloppy outlet pass turning the ball over to his ridiculously passive defending of Vinicius as he just stood there, hands behind his back, letting the Brazilian take his time to pick out Karim Benzema for the game-winner.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – A vintage Sergio Ramos performance from Antonio Rudiger at the Santiago Bernabeu in that he was explosively emotive, full of deranged passion, scoring a sublime goal from a set-piece and then quietly lost his man on a simple cross and allowed the opponent to score. If he does join Madrid in the summer he’ll fit right in!

After the match, Rudiger said quite simply: “over the two legs if you do these kind of mistakes you get punished.”

Marcos Alonso – 7 – Dominated the Madrid flank, creating numerous problems with his runs. Scored a stonking goal that was ruled out for handball. But still, the kid descended from a Real Madrid legend did well at the Santiago Bernabeu.

N’Golo Kante – 7 – Some exceptional sweeping early. Really pressed and harried Los Blancos in a way that recalled last season’s dynamic dominance, but this isn’t last season and he began fading badly in the last 20 minutes of the game, which let Madrid back into it.

Mateo Kovacic – 7 – Great tracking back. Really put a lock on Luka Modric for 70 minutes. However all that chasing exhausted him and like Kante he faded badly and let Madrid back into it.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7 – Absolutely superb in and out of possession. Dominated the right-flank playing wide enough to completely disrupt Toni Kroos and allow Reece James to hang back and deal with Vinicius. A lovely touch was key to the opening goal.

Mason Mount – 8 – Superb goal to give Chelsea the lead. Great movement and a lethal curled finish finish. Set-up Rudiger’s header with a devilishly curved corner as well. An incredible display and was unlucky to lose.

Timo Werner – 7 – Electric movement off the ball as always. Not always great on it but it was his kneed touch that set Mount away to score and he later scored Chelsea’s third goal himself after a lovely bit of dribbling turned into a silly bit of overdribbling which turned into a ridiculous deflected goal that could have put Chelsea through.

Kai Havertz – 6 – Really bright and lively with his movement, but just didn’t offer enough of a goal threat. Missed a sitter in extra-time.

Chelsea Substitutes:

Christian Pulisic (for Werner 83′) – 4 – Added nothing. In fact less than nothing as Chelsea looked mostly useless after he came on.

Hakim Ziyech (for Kante 99′) – 6 – Was bright and positive, looking to hurt Los Blancos. Why didn’t he come on sooner?

Saul (for Loftus-Cheek 105′) – 5 – Didn’t do much.

Jorginho (for Kovacic 105′) – 4 – Did nothing besides miss a sitter in extra-time after Ziyech’s deflected shot fell to him unmarked in the box. Strange to bring on such a passive passer of the ball when what Chelsea needed was height and goals.

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