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Chelsea vs Real Madrid (2-0) Match Summary: Zidane’s dreadful tactical decisions

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[coach 523937] made only a single change from the first leg as Havertz came in for Pulisic. All over the media, it was a major discussion with the American dropped after scoring an away goal in Spain. However, his splendid performance against [team 11] in the [league 8] was probably the reason behind this decision by Tuchel.

As for [team 3468], their inspirational captain, Ramos, returned in place of [player 95807]. Also, a former Chelsea player and legend, Hazard, started. Once again, Zidane opted for a back five. However, the even more surprising decision was to deploy Vinícius at right wing-back. On the other side, [player 98903] replaced [player 185140] after his disappointing display in the first leg. Benzema partnered with the Belgian upfront.

First-Half

Right away from the kick-off, Real Madrid dominated the possession and looked comfortable in the midfield. However, it was an unproductive possession as they were unable to penetrate Chelsea’s backline. The blues’ defensive structure was solid as the away side continued to struggle to create an opening.

[team 18] were not dominating possession, but when they were winning the ball back, their transitions were penetrative and fast. [player 129511] and Kante were recovering possession in critical areas, and the Frenchman was bossing the midfield.

Chelsea’s energetic start almost paid off as Werner finished a low cross from [player 1601]. However, the goal was quickly disallowed as the German was slightly offside and should have worked hard to stay onside. Later, [player 93948]’s outstanding effort was matched by the brilliance of [player 99137] in goal as the striker was close to giving his side the lead.

Overall, Chelsea were looking the more dangerous side, and Madrid’s lack of robustness was proving costly. Vinícius was struggling to track Chilwell’s offensive runs and was having a hard time in an unfamiliar position.

Chelsea’s goal came, and [player 31823] got his redemption after missing an absolute sitter back in Madrid. [player 1193] played a lovely pass into Havertz, whose dinked finish struck the bar, and Werner scored from the rebound.

Another fine save by Mendy denying Benzema again, after some progressive play by [player 268].

Real Madrid were looking weak and sluggish in their play. Something had to change before the tie would completely get away from the record winners of the [league 2]. [player 30289] and Modric were struggling to get into the game and had no advanced options when they had the ball. [player 159700] was also having a hard time to combine with the two midfielders alongside him.

Second-Half

The start to the second was similar to the first as Chelsea’s high energy pressing continued and Madrid’s passing was unprogressive. [player 1331], whose selection raised a few eyebrows, was having an abysmal game. Every time he received the ball, he passed it backwards instead of running at Chelsea’s defenders.

Real Madrid continued to dominate possession, but there was no penetration whatsoever. Constantly, when they were losing the ball, they struggled to cope with Chelsea’s rapid transitions.

Chelsea’s strong start saw [player 32612] hitting the bar again. This time with his head after a tremendous leap and a well-executed header only for the crossbar to deny Chelsea a second goal.

Chelsea kept creating some huge chances, but their finishing was ridiculously bad. Mount had a terrific chance, but he put an awful lot of power behind it, and the ball went over the bar. Then, Kante was also presented with a one-on-one chance, but once again, [player 1314] did enough to keep his side in the game. If not for the Belgian shot-stopper’s excellence, Real Madrid’s chances would have finished by now.

[player 32438] came on for Werner. The American made an immediate impact as his flashed cross across the goal was not touched by anyone. Chelsea were now missing so much that it was getting nervous for Tuchel on the sidelines.

Chelsea kept pushing for the all-important second goal to kill the tie, and eventually, they got there. Once more, the American superstar kept his cool and assisted Chelsea’s golden boy, [player 537121], to book their place in Istanbul.

Zidane got his tactics wrong

[coach 407775]’s brilliance when he managed to win three Champions League in a row is still deservedly applauded. However, he has made some dreadful mistakes during his second spell as the Real Madrid manager.

Against Chelsea, the decisions to play [player 184941], who lacked match fitness due to his covid issues and an unfit Hazard, were two major mistakes. Also, to play [player 600687] at right wing-back was a terrible decision. The Brazilian has been one of their best players, and to then deploy him in an unfamiliar role was another poor decision by Zidane.

Clearly, a back-three didn’t suit his side in the first leg, so not changing the shape back to a usual 4-3-3 was another questionable decision.

Despite having 68% of the ball, they couldn’t create a few good chances. Of course, Chelsea’s defending was exceptional, but you would always expect Real Madrid to find a way to create some reasonable chances.

Fixture Details: [fixture 18017200]

With the English side having the away goal from the first leg, Real Madrid had to respond but Zidane’s poor team selection and a sluggish performance led to a defeat at Stamford Bridge.

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