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Real Madrid says thanks again to Benzema!

We had left Real Madrid and Chelsea with the picture of a man walking on the water. In London, in the pouring rain, Karim Benzema had approached perfection to put his team in a comfortable position at the break of this double showdown (3-1). Relative comfort, always. Dangerous even, when you consider that on this path to the stars, the slightest progress can melt like snow in the sun. The tide has long turned. And he blew very hard against this Merengue, giving the impression of rowing against the current for almost the entire game. But Karim Benzema was still there to have the last word and get his team out of this trap. This edition of the Champions League will be his.

Tuchel’s perfect plan

A man’s virtuosity was opposed by the strength and organization of a team. A yellow puzzle, articulated like a mosaic, reigned like music paper, with each piece serving its purpose. When Tuchel’s touch is so noticeable, the German becomes the master of the game. His Blues played with fantastic collective courage and strength to rock the Madrid ship for much of the game. The first minutes, the first contacts, the first sequences immediately announced the color: Chelsea were determined to grab Real by the throat. Without calculation.

This was manifested by great territorial domination, first, before the first incursion is the right one. One player stood out: Mason Mount, the free man of the experimental 4-3-3 that Madrid never managed to hold on to. In a good relay with Timo Werner, the English attacking midfielder flooded the Bernabeu with a clinical hit in the side net (0-1, 15th). In order to recover, Real had to find its circuits. It didn’t happen. As proof, Karim Benzema did not touch a single ball in the Blues area during this first one-sided play. Always clairvoyant in his ability to read a meeting, the Frenchman made no mistake as his lone attempt was triggered at twenty-five meters and narrowly deflected by Thiago Silva (23rd). In short, by halftime Chelsea had gone much of the way. Mathematically, of course, and especially psychologically.

In the spans of the Bernabeu, the Madrid sociologists, all dressed in white, waited surely for an irrational moment when Real took everything in its path. Still, it was the Blues who came back with the knife between their teeth. And almost naturally, the London club overtook a powerful helmet shot from the rugged Rüdiger (0-2, 51st). With one knee on the ground, Ancelotti’s men dropped their heads again as Marcos Alonso cleaned Thibaut Courtois’ bezel before seeing his goal disallowed for a discreet handball (62nd). Not enough to raise eyebrows, these Blues who are sure of their strength. Ten minutes later it was the relegated Timo Werner who fooled Camesiro and David Alaba before finding the net by adjusting Courtois (0-3, 75th).

Huge Benzema!

It would therefore have been necessary to wait for the inhabitants of Madrid to put on the conqueror’s costume to let the wind blow behind them again. It did not take long. Enough, however, to score the small goal it took to stay alive. Already the author of a beautiful pass at Stamford Bridge, Luka Modric pushed the artistic note even further by distilling an outside opening with his foot out of nowhere in front of Rodrigo, launched like a bomb to slide the ball out in the background (1- 3 , 80th ). Behind it, Chelsea resumed their dominance. Despite a match point from Pulisic (90th + 2) it was written that this clash of titans would be decided at the end of the evening.

Above all, it was written that Karim Benzema would be the hero. The detonator. The savior. The face that will be on the front pages of the world on Wednesday morning. Against all odds, the France international used a small bell-shaped cross from Vinicius Jr to catapult the ball with a perfect header and send the Bernabeu into ecstasy. Chelsea did not recover. So hard that the Blues didn’t give up, but Real closed the floodgates. It takes two to make a great football game. Chelsea deserves all the credit. Karim Benzema can keep looking at the sky. For this player at the top of his game, the silver cup with the big ears may give way to another trophy. We can imagine no other ending: everything he touches turns to gold.

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