Chelsea fans react as club withdraws from Super League

Chelsea must play with pace to beat Real Madrid in Champions League semi-final, Rafa Benitez says

The Spaniard, who has managed both Chelsea and Real Madrid, gave his thoughts ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final first leg

Arvind Sriram
Tuesday 27 April 2021 09:11
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Chelsea FC must play a high-tempo game against Real Madrid and stretch the Spanish champions with quick passing in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, Rafael Benitez has said.

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are underdogs against Real, who have won the competition four times in the last seven seasons, and Benitez said the English side have to keep pace in the game if they are to trouble the Spaniards.

“I talk about Chelsea needing to play with intensity but this does not just mean running hard,” Benitez, who has coached both sides, wrote in his column for the Times.

“Intensity can also come from passing.

“When you keep the ball it has to be quick. The pace on the passes has to be high. If Chelsea move the ball quickly — and they have good players who are able to do this — then they can cause problems.”

Benitez said Chelsea can also learn from the mistakes Liverpool made in their quarter-final against Real.

“It helps Chelsea that another English team played Real in the last round,” the former Liverpool boss added. “The quarter-final games will offer some clues to Tuchel on what Liverpool did wrong and how to improve.”

Two goalless draws in their last three league games have dented Real’s La Liga title bid and Benitez said Zinedine Zidane’s side were under added pressure to deliver European glory.

“The fact Real are in a worse position in La Liga after draws with Getafe and Real Betis will put more pressure on them to win the Champions League,” he said. “Some of the young players will feel this pressure.”

Reuters

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