Chelsea were ‘so much better than Liverpool’ and are a ‘team of athletes’ who don’t moan about the referee! Madrid’s media hail the way the Blues overran Real… and they don’t fancy the Spanish giants’ chances of making the final
- Real Madrid have tough task ahead against Chelsea in the Champions League
- Blues have an away goal heading into semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge
- Madrid papers praised Chelsea as ‘so much better than Liverpool’ after 1-1 draw
- Marca labelled Thomas Tuchel’s side as ‘team of athletes with an infernal rhythm’
Real Madrid’s media marvelled at the way powerful Chelsea overrun them in the rain at the Alfredo di Stefano on Tuesday night and asked serious questions about the team’s ability to get the win they need next week at Stamford Bridge to reach the Champions League final.
Marca columnist Jose Luis Hurtado wrote: ‘It was Pep Guardiola who once called Madrid ‘a team of athletes’ after his Bayern team were beaten 4-0 by them, who knows how he would describe this Chelsea side and the infernal rhythm they kept up for 90 minutes.’
No one left the communal Madrid jaw dropped more than N’Golo Kante. ‘He’s a Claude Makelele for the times of Twitter, Instagram and Twitch,’ said Marca of Chelsea’s midfielder.
Madrid’s papers were effusive in their praise of Chelsea following their 1-1 draw with Real
Chelsea went to the Alfredo Di Stefano and came away with a vital away goal in the rain
There was also praise for Thomas Tuchel who Zinedine Zidane has failed to beat in any of the five games he has faced him in. Marca was impressed despite the fact that the Chelsea manager: ‘might not have the Charisma of Klopp or the World Cup of Löw or the youth of Nagelsmann.
‘So much better than Liverpool’ was how another columnist Jose Vicente described Chelsea.
All this does not bode well for the second leg and Diario AS columnist Alfredo Relaño lamented: ‘The 1-1 is not a good result. Chelsea showed signs of being a better team than Real Madrid. They were a lot better in the first half hour. They are the favourites to be in Istanbul.’
Chelsea celebrate their opening goal, scored by Christian Pulisic (2L), on Tuesday night
Marca compared N’Golo Kante’s performance to that of ex-Chelsea great Claude Makelele
After a humbling night at the hands of Tuchel’s team the Madrid commentators were also clinging to the fact that reinforcements are on their way. Marcelo said post-game: ‘It will be a very different game next week.’
In part that might be because they will not have to call on the Brazilian. Ferland Mendy will be back and so will Fede Valverde. Sergio Ramos could also be fit to return.
The Wednesday morning papers were only a reflection of the way Spanish television covered the game live. With former Spain goalkeeper Santi Canizares leading from the front around the pundits tables it was all long faces and pessimism over Madrid’s chances of tuning the tie around.
The mood was brightened by one man, however. Roberto Carlos has temporarily taken over the role of post-match spokesman from Emilio Butragueño who is on bereavement leave after his sister died.
Spanish media also praised Thomas Tuchel, who kept up his record against Zinedine Zidane
Roberto Carlos was Real’s spokesperson after the game and he insisted Madrid can go through
The Brazil and Real Madrid legend put on a convincing brave face saying: ‘We have 13 Champions Leagues and we will go to London to win.
‘This was a tough semi-final [first-leg] against a very strong rival. But we will go there and play our football and win. Our history permits us to believe that we can do it.’
He even shot down all those referee conspiracy theories that circulated before the game. ‘The referee was perfect,’ he said. ‘When we just talk about football everything is easier.’
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