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5 Things Learned: Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid | Champions League

A Karim Benzema hat-trick put Chelsea on the verge of elimination from the Champions League after a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge.

Benzema opened the scoring after a one-two between him and Vinicius Junior evaded Andreas Christensen, with the Brazilian crossing onto the head of the unmarked Frenchman, who powered a header past Edouard Mendy.

The Spanish side went further ahead three minutes later, a cross from Luka Modric brilliantly headed in across goal by Benzema.

Kai Havertz scored after 40 minutes to get the Blues back into the game. A cross from Jorginho was powered home by the German, despite former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois getting fingertips to the ball.

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In the second half, Chelsea substituted N'Golo Kante and Christensen for Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic, but in the first minute of the second half, a terrible error from Mendy gifted Benzema an easy chance to complete his treble, leaving the Frenchman an empty net to score into.

Chelsea had chances, but were unable to break Madrid down. They now have a tough task trying to stay in the Champions league next week at the Bernabeu.

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Here is five things Absolute Chelsea learned from Wednesday's defeat:


1) A torrid night for Andreas Christensen

Frankly, the rumour mill has been rife for months about Andreas Christensen's potential next destination. Tonight showed that he won't be missed. Every time Vinicius Junior was one on one with him, he looked sluggish, and every time Real Madrid were attacking, he looked like the clear weak link in the back five. His rumoured transfer to Barcelona cannot come soon enough, to be honest, the way he played tonight, it was like he had already left. 

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Kai Havertz scored to make it 2-1

Kai Havertz scored to make it 2-1

2) Edouard Mendy is not a ball-playing goalkeeper, so should stop trying to be one

This is not a criticism of the impact Edouard Mendy has had at Chelsea, on the whole, he has been outstanding for the Blues. However, there are weaknesses to his game, the main one has been exploited in the last two games against Brentford and Real Madrid. Mendy passing out from the back puts the backline under pressure, and cost the Blues a goal with a under hit back pass which left the Frenchman with an empty net. He also did this against Brentford, almost gifting Ivan Toney a goal. Mendy has been a great player for Chelsea, but tonight he may have ended their hopes of defending the Champions league. 

3) Romelu Lukaku as an impact sub is pointless

Romelu Lukaku entered the match in the 64th minute, and was given two of Chelsea's best chances soon after coming on, including a chance in the 69th minute that a player of his calibre should be finishing. But instead of netting, the Belgian striker headed wide, which pretty much sums up his second spell at Chelsea. He has looked uninterested and not the sort of player that the Blues thought they were getting when they paid 97 million for him. Him being brought on trying to save the game sums up the situation at Chelsea at the moment, dire at the back, and hopeless going forward.

Lukaku missed a vital chance in the 69th minute

Lukaku missed a vital chance in the 69th minute

4) Reece James is a vital cog to a successful Chelsea team

There were not too many positives to the game tonight for Chelsea, but one was certainly the return of Reece James. Chelsea looked most dangerous when James was in attacking positions, and his whipped balls into the box created confusion in the Real Madrid defence. James is vital to Chelsea's attack as well as their defence, and with him in the team, Chelsea look more dangerous going forward, it's unfortunate that the rest of the team were so poor.

5) Another lacklustre performance punished

The last two games have been terrible from a Chelsea point of view. Looked soft and fragile in defence, Mendy doesn't look like the player he was at the start of the season, and the attack are creating chances but not scoring. To salvage the remains of a season which started with such promise, Chelsea need to try and remember that they are World and European champions, because right now, they are playing like a mid-table Premier league side, who can't handle the expectations put on them.


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