The Brentford midfielder’s doubled surprised Chelsea in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat – and right here it used to be Benzema, whose hat-trick left the European Champions’ hopes of keeping their trophy putting by means of a thread.
The France global – who used to be singled out by means of Thomas Tuchel previously because the Real Madrid participant he would maximum like so as to add to his staff – supplied a masterclass within the artwork of centre ahead play.
His two first-half headers have been completed with such precision that he may as neatly have picked the ball up and positioned it along with his palms.
His 3rd, immediately after half-time, used to be a gimme following a mix-up between Edouard Mendy and Antonio Rudiger, however it’s inconceivable to forget about the sense of panic his very presence provokes.
Perhaps the best wonder used to be that he didn’t put the results of this tie past any doubt when firing vast with handiest the goalkeeper to overcome on the finish of a white-knuckle trip of a first-half.
Chelsea can have conflicted perspectives of this chastening evening at Stamford Bridge when, from time to time, it appeared as though that they had by no means performed in rainy stipulations.
On the only hand there shall be a way of fortune that there’s nonetheless one thing within the tie – even supposing it’ll take a well-known comeback to triumph over Real’s 3-1 merit.
On the opposite, they’ll rue their failure so as to add to Kai Havertz’s first-half header on an evening when anything else appeared conceivable. As flimsy as Real made Chelsea’s defence glance, such an open stumble upon used to be ripe for extra objectives.
Thibaut Courtois’ acrobatics denied Cesar Azpilicueta a memorable purpose – and change Romelu Lukaku did not hit the objective when heading in opposition to an open purpose from six yards out.
In that second the distinction between the £97.5million striker and Benzema may now not were starker. And that opportunity may turn out to be pivotal in Chelsea’s defence in their crown may hinge.
Of direction, the precarious place Tuchel’s staff to find themselves in can’t be laid at Lukaku’s door.
This used to be an evening when Chelsea’s well-known blue wall crumbled. What used to be weakened by means of Brentford on the weekend, used to be bulldozed by means of Real 4 days later.
Vinicius Jr made such gentle paintings of Andreas Christensen within the first-half that the Dane didn’t emerge for the second one. Real’s ease at charging via midfield, in the meantime, used to be such that Tuchel took the near-unthinkable determination to exchange N’Golo Kante on the halfway level as neatly.
On a slick pitch, too many Chelsea gamers struggled to stay their toes. Passes have been underneath and over hit – their judgement of the tempo of play typically misjudged. Thiago Silva used to be uncovered. Azpilicueta, enjoying at the left, used to be uncomfortable underneath assault.
Vinicius Jr hit the bar after simply 10 mins, during which Real had appeared at risk of being overrun till a burst from Benzema opened Chelsea up. It used to be a caution Chelsea didn’t heed as they persevered to press top with abandon.
After 21 mins Benzema punished them – stooping to move Vinicius Jr’s pass into the roof of the web. Three mins later he repeated the trick – this time heading Luka Modric’s pass from the other aspect past the succeed in of Mendy and into the nook.
Stamford Bridge used to be surprised – however it didn’t really feel like recreation over. Especially when Jorginho’s pass used to be headed in by means of Havertz 5 mins prior to half of time. Tuchel’s aspect were given a foothold and a comeback felt on.
Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech emerged for the second-half – however inside of seconds Chelsea had talented Madrid every other purpose and doubtlessly the tie.
Mendy – 20 yards out of his house – underneath hit his move to Rudiger. Rudiger nonetheless can have cleared, however attempted to get it underneath regulate as an alternative.
Benzema pounced and rolled house for his hat-trick and, doubtlessly, stay Real rolling into the semi-final.