An unstoppable Karim Benzema and an unrecognizable Bayern Munich. That sums up an intense Champions League evening, during which Real Madrid shone at Chelsea while Villarreal surprised Bayern Munich on Wednesday 6 April.
Masterful, extraordinary, extraterrestrial, galactic… The titles of the Spanish press will undoubtedly not lack superlatives to describe Karim Benzema, author of an XXL performance at Chelsea. At Stamford Bridge, the Frenchman rubbed shoulders with the stars and broke new records. By shaking the nets of Edouard Mendy three times, the former Lyonnais became the first French player to score more than ten goals in a season in C1 (11). A record that had stood since the 1958-1959 season and the ten achievements of Just Fontaine.
Additional proof, if needed, of the performance of the French striker on Wednesday evening: Chelsea had so far won all their Champions League games at home this season, without conceding a single goal. But against Real, the Blues were dominated, especially in the heart of the game, where N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho were overwhelmed by Madrid midfielders and in particular Casemiro, author of a superb performance. As Thomas Tuchel’s players struggled to reach the opposing box, Real Madrid made perfect use of the depth and spaces left by Chelsea to take the lead thanks to their captain.
And even if Kai Havertz reduced the gap to the score in the first period, Karim Benzema resumed his business of demolishing the London club on the return from the locker room, taking advantage of an error by Edouard Mendy, too feverish on a control. With fresh blood and a spirit of rebellion, the Blues still tried to come back to score, but without success. Chelsea lose for the first time in their history against the Meringueand will face them at the Bernabeu stadium two goals down in the second leg.
Perfect copy for Villarreal against Bayern Munich
In the other match of the evening, Villarreal created the feat by winning at home against Bayern Munich (1-0). Unai Emery’s men made the Bavarians doubt thanks to a goal from Arnaut Danjuma in the 8thand minute, before completely thwarting the six-time winners of the competition throughout the game. Unrecognizable, the players of Bayern have never found the solution in the face of a united and exemplary defense. The Yellow Submarine even managed to silence the competition’s top scorer, Robert Lewandowski (12).
The addition could have been more salty for a feverish Bavarian team, like its goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, guilty of a loss of ball in midfield, which could have been converted into a goal for Villarreal if Gerard’s lob Moreno had not missed the target. Untenable, wingers Francis Coquelin and Giovanni Lo Celso also had their chance to score, without succeeding. With this narrow defeat, Bayern Munich keep their chances of qualifying but can be happy to have only one goal to make up for in the return match.