“He caused us a lot of problems. He was a nuisance”- Real Madrid defender complains about Chelsea star

April 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has described N’Golo Kante’s tireless performance in the 1-1 Champions League semi-final first-leg draw as a “nuisance”.

It was hardly a surprise that 30-year-old midfielder was named the man of the match on Tuesday evening.

The Chelsea Chronicle report that the midfielder was involved in more duels (21) and completed more dribbles (6) than anyone else on the pitch.

Even Varane, who should be familiar with such an industrious display from his fellow France international, was impressed.

“N’Golo? He was a nuisance, that’s clear,” the Real Madrid defender told RMC Sport in his post-match interview.

“At this stage of the season, physicality is a determining factor, and it’s true that he runs a lot [laughs].

“He caused us a lot of problems, he managed to break the lines, he also has this ability to recover balls.

“We know the quality of this team, and he is one of their strengths.”

Kante’s energy was key to Chelsea’s arguably winning the midfield battle in that game.

Photo Credit: ChampionsLeague/Twitter

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Tuchel reveals how he was forced into last-minute tactical change after Real Madrid Changed their usual formation

April 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed his side were forced into a last-minute tactical change after seeing Real Madrid’s line-up on Tuesday night.

In his post-match press conference Tuchel confirmed he was not prepared for Real lining up in a 3-5-2 formation.

Speaking to reporters, he said: “So we prepared [for] a 4-3-3.

“When we saw the line-up we had a quick talk in the dressing room to slightly change who has to do what with the two strikers and the three in the middle.

“We had to adapt.”

Real lined up with three centre-backs, a packed midfield and Karim Benzema partnered by Vinicius Junior upfront.

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Marcelo to miss second leg of Champions League semi-final against Chelsea

April 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports that Real Madrid defender Marcelo could miss the second leg of their Champions League semi-final in London because he has been called up to monitor a polling station during local elections.

The elections for the Madrid assembly take place on Tuesday, 4 May.

Real, who were held 1-1 at home in the first leg, play the second leg at Stamford Bridge on the following day.

According to the BBC, the Spanish club are “analysing the situation” to see if “any regulation will let him travel with the team”.

The Brazil left-back started in Tuesday’s game, which saw Chelsea come away with an away goal in a deserved draw against the 13-time European champions.

The Brazil left-back started in Tuesday’s game, which saw Chelsea come away with an away goal in a deserved draw against the 13-time European champions.

Unless Marcelo is excused from his election-day duties, he will not be permitted to travel with the team the day before the game.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo report the club had appealed to the Electoral Commission, but the request was denied.

All Spaniards on the electoral register can be called up to work at polling stations and are paid 65 euros (£56), needing mitigating circumstances to be excused.

Marcelo, 32, was granted Spanish citizenship in 2011.

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Thibaut Courtois caught on camera, tells Olivier Giroud what he did about Werner’s glaring miss after Real Madrid mater

April 29th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been caught joking about Timo Werner’s and how he stopped the ball going into his net.

During the opening stages of the first leg of the Champions League semi-final tie in Madrid on Tuesday night, the £53million signing squandered a glorious chance to put Chelsea 1-0 ahead after he fired straight at Courtois from inside the six-yard box with most of the goal to aim at.

It was the latest in a string of bad misses this season for Werner, and Courtois was caught making light of the opportunity with former Chelsea team-mate Olivier Giroud at half-time.

RMC Sport cameras snapped Giroud, an unused substitute on the night for Thomas Tuchel’s side, discussing the glorious opportunity with former Blues goalkeeper Courtois in the tunnel.

‘The save on Timo! Pffff,’ Giroud was seen telling Courtois in audio captured in the tunnel at hall-time.

The Madrid goalkeeper, while moving his foot to the right, then simply responded: ‘All I did was put my foot like this.’

Giroud bluntly replied ‘incredible’ before the pair put their game faces on again in Madrid on Tuesday night.

Just moments after Werner’s miss, Christian Pulisic had given Chelsea a thoroughly deserved lead thanks to a composed solo effort before Karim Benzema equalised with an emphatic acrobatic strike.

Courtois later said: “The 2nd leg is going to be like a final. Their aggressiveness and intensity, which has been greater than ours, has hurt us. We wanted to start as they’ve done and push up. They’ve given everything and in the first 20-25 minutes it cost us more.”

Photo Credit: GFFN/Twitter

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