Chelsea at Stamford Bridge were left humiliated by a near-perfect game from Real Madrid as they exposed Chelsea’s defensive vulnerability pretty evidently. But the glory of Champions League nights is well known for some spectacular comebacks and Chelsea fans will be hoping for one such night in Bernabeu.
The score-line of 3-1 looks like the seal done for Carlo Ancelotti’s team and the heroics against PSG in the last tie at Santiago Bernabeu just throws out all hopes for the Chelsea fans. But, one thing that Chelsea fans are well aware of is the way Tuchel goes out in do-or-die games. This team has managed well to unite their best abilities under the German’s leadership and grinded some great results. Here we look out at the possible reasons of how the Chelsea team can manage to inspire a comeback.
Although the German has termed the tie as ‘all over’ but one definitely knows that when it comes to fighting back, there is no one better than Thomas Tuchel. The German has an elite mentality of never giving up and he has outclassed every big name who has been in the opposition dugout. Ancelotti got the better of the Chelsea manager in the first half and the unreal finishing was the point of separation. In the second half, Tuchel came out with a plan but a mistake from Mendy very early in the half just allowed Real Madrid to settle back. The second half still had some encouraging moments for the Blues, only for their inability to finish hurting them.
In the upcoming game at Bernabeu, Tuchel knows that he has to go all-out attack and score a minimum of 2 goals. One can expect a shift to back 4 but Tuchel would be backing his strength and will go for his tested formula of back 3 with wingbacks advancing high up to join the attack. Thus, Reece James and Alonso will have a big part to play in the fate of the game.
An errorless game from Tuchel could be the core reason for one of the greatest nights in Champions League history IF the Chelsea team can make the comeback!
N’golo ‘Kan’ Do Anything!
Chelsea’s Champions League win against Real Madrid last season over the two legs was catalyzed The French star was adjourned the Man of the Match award in both the legs of the Semi-Finals tie and this was followed by another Man of the Match award in the Finals against Manchester City. But this season it will not be wrong to say that the ever so reliable midfielder has not been at his best this season. The game against Real Madrid was no such exception and the team missed his presence in the midfield. N’golo Kante was awarded the start over Kovacic, for whom he was subbed off in the second half. The goals in the first half showed the gap between Chelsea’s defensive line and the attacking line with Madrid dominating the midfield completely. The second goal was a pure midfield mistake with no one present to mark Modric and prevent the cross.
Chelsea were very appropriately losing the midfield battle and thus the loss in the middle was haunting them in the half. Kante does not bring the same ability as Kovacic to drive with the ball in the attacking half but his destroying role was missing in the match which allowed quick transitional play for Real Madrid. His presence in the semis last season was very much helping the Chelsea squad for the same which prevented Real Madrid to go on an attacking spree. Chelsea not only have to score twice but also try not to concede at Bernabeu, and one man who can stop Real Madrid to build up from the midfield has to be N’golo Kante. Kante has to be the nightmare for Madrid’s midfield if he wants his team to create a historical night.
King Kai Supremacy!
One man who was impressive for Chelsea despite their recent struggle has been none other than their Champions League Final hero, Kai Havertz. Thomas Tuchel has himself praised Kai for his improving abilities on the pitch regardless of what is happening with the team around him. Kai Havertz is now known to score some historical goals for Chelsea including the goal that won Chelsea the Champions League and the goal which crowned Chelsea the World Champions. Last game as well, the German was on point with a great header which has helped Chelsea at least have some hope entering the return fixture. He was at the other end of a pin-point cross from Jorginho which helped Chelsea to get one goal back.
Now the matter of fact for Chelsea is that they need to score at least 2 goals to stay in the tie and then work on winning the tie. The one and only source for Chelsea scoring right now look like Kai Havertz. Increasing his goal tally with each game passing, it looks like Kai has finally acclimatized in London and now is ready to shine to his potential.
With Eder Militao suspended, Kai Havertz can look to back himself in a one-on-one battle against Nacho if he could isolate him. He even can drop down deep to help his midfield and allow the runners alongside him to attack the backline of Madrid. With Reece James and Azpilicueta both expected to start on the right, he should be ready to score some headers again. The semi-final last season saw Kai’s one of the best performances where he could have ended up with some goal contributions only to be unlucky to hit the post and his teammates not able to score. But this season, he has the opportunity to himself go for it as he is the man in form and is playing in his preferred position.
To win at Bernabeu has never been easy for any team, and with their own desired score-line has been near to impossible. But this is something that has happened in recent history and well can be repeated if Chelsea plays to their caliber and have luck on their side!