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Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea: Player ratings as Christian Pulisic scores important away goal for the Blues

A Karim Benzema strike cancelled out Christian Pulisic’s opener…




real madrid 1 1 chelsea player ratings as christian pulisic scores important away goal for the blues
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A splendid Karim Benzema strike cancelled out Christian Pulisic’s opener as Real and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in Spain.

The Blues should have gone in front inside 10 minutes but Timo Werner fired straight at Thibaut Courtois from point blank range. Soon after Pulisic did open the scoring, latching onto Antonio Rudiger’s perfect long ball and showing great composure to delay his finish.

Benzema was the only Real player causing Chelsea problems and minutes after he clipped the bar the Frencham equalised, controlling well from a set piece before smashing the ball into the roof of the net.

After the break things simmered down. Not even the introduction of former Chelsea favourite Eden Hazard could spark the game back into life, leaving the tie delicately poised heading into next Wednesday’s second leg.

Here are your Real and Blues player ratings from the Spanish capital…

N'Golo Kante, Eder Militao
Militao enjoyed tackling in the rain | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 7/10 – Made a big, big save from Werner early on – one of three overall.

Eder Militao (CB) – 8/10 – Imposed himself with some crunching tackles. Dealt well with Chelsea’s pressure putting in a well rounded defensive display.

Raphael Varane (CB) – 7/10 – Did well to cover for Marcelo’s slack defending down the left in the first half.

Nacho (CB) – 6/10 – The least eye catching of Real’s defenders. He was beaten a couple of times by Chelsea’s forwards.

Luka Modric, Cesar Azpilicueta
Modric got better as things progressed | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Dani Carvajal (RWB) – 6/10 – It was honours even in the battle between him and Chilwell with neither player getting much joy.

Luka Modric (CM) – 5/10 – Nowhere near as influential as we know he can be. His lack of legs sometimes showed and Chelsea swamped him well.

Casemiro (CM) – 7/10 – His big header at the back post created Benzema’s goal. After being broke on a few times early on, he steadied things after the break.

Toni Kroos (CM) – 6/10 – A marginal figure. Again, the Chelsea press limited his influence.

Marcelo (LWB) – 5/10 – His positioning was all over the place in the first half. He tucked inside going forward, offering little, and left Varane exposed in defence.

Karim Benzema, Luka Modric
Benzema scored a fine goal | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Karim Benzema (ST) – 8/10 – Dragged his side through this tie kicking and screaming. Clipped the bar minutes before bagging a fine equaliser.

Vinicius Junior (ST) – 5/10 – Looked a little lost at times, not knowing when to drop deep and when to peel in behind.

Eden Hazard, Kai Havertz
Hazard enjoyed a 25 minute cameo | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Eden Hazard – 6/10 – A fairly quiet return against his old team, though they were a few moments of class.

Alvaro Odriozola – 6/10 – Not a lot to report.

Marco Asensio – 6/10 – Marginal figure.

Rodrygo – N/A

Antonio Rudiger
Rudiger had a good game | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Edouard Mendy (GK) – 6/10 – Not a great deal to do. Benzema gave him little chance with the goal.

Andreas Christensen (CB) – 7/10 – A comfortable evening. He read things well but was not tested too much.

Thiago Silva (CB) – 7/10 – Tried his luck for range in the first half. Not a great deal to do defensively.

Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 8/10 – Set up the opener with a delicious long ball. His passing was great all night and created some openings for his team.

N'Golo Kante, Eder Militao
Kante was busy in the middle | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Cesar Azpilicueta (RWB) – 5/10 – Bullied by Casemiro in the build up to Real’s equaliser. Other than that he did fine, although you feel Reece James might have exploited Real more down the right.

N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – A few clumsy moments but he was mostly impressive. Did his usual defensive work but also drove his team forward expertly.

Jorginho (CM) – 6/10 – Kept Chelsea ticking over with his metronomic short passing.

Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 6/10 – A fairly quiet evening. One or two decisions in the final third could have been better.

Christian Pulisic
Pulisic bagged the opener | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Mason Mount (RW) – 7/10 – A spirited display. He was always trying to make something happen but did not get the rub of the green.

Timo Werner (ST) – 5/10 – Another shocking miss early on. Like, really bad. As always he still put in a shift but he has to start taking these chances.

Christian Pulisic (LW) – 8/10 – His team’s brightest spark. Showed great composure to open the scoring and carved open a string of opportunities for his side.

Hakim Ziyech
Ziyech was active but lacked that killer instinct | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech – 6/10 – Lacked that final ball but was always involved.

Reece James – 6/10 – Offered more going forward than Azpilicueta.

Kai Havertz – 6/10 – Won a free kick on the edge of the box that his teammates could not take advantage of.

Source: 90 Mins

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