By Aiwu Esele
L-R: Chelsea’ Pulisic dribbles Courtois to net the opening goal while Benzema equalizes through an overhead kick for Real
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic got a significant 14th minute goal that gives them an edge at Stanford Bridge in eight days time. He got the ball in a counter- attack, dribbled Thibaus Courtois who was abandoned by his defenders Nacho and Varane who crowded the goal post protectively but could not prevent the ball from going in. In fact, defender Varane deflected Pulsic’s shot into the net. Real Madrid, slow in warming into the match, revved up their play and got a deserved goal in the 29th minute through Karim Benzema who displayed an incredible control with his head and finishing it off with an over head kick.
Chelsea could have put the game to bed if they had not lost chances as striker Timo Werner missed two such chances, one of them saved by Courtois from close range and another played wide by the German centre forward. The first half was more of attack and fluid style of play by both sides, while the second half witnessed cautious play by players of both teams.
Eden Hazard’s introduction in the second half against his former club Chelsea was not enough for Real to find a second goal as they continued their poor run of never winning a game against Chelsea. This, however, is their first meeting in 23 years. Winner in the return match will face winner between Man City and PSG, who play tomorrow