What an emotional Thiago Silva did post-match as Ashley Cole loses it in Chelsea vs Real Madrid
“I’m not looking forward to this.”
The words of one Chelsea supporter stood next to me on a hectic London Underground train between Earl’s Court and West Brompton. Who could blame him, or the others that were either saying it or thinking it? The Blues came into the match off the back of three straight defeats and without a win – in any competition – since the 3-1 victory over Leicester City on March 11.
Real Madrid, the reigning European champions, awaited them. Los Blancos went into the match with a healthy 2-0 lead after what was a dominant performance from the hosts at the Santiago Bernabeu last week. The prospect of facing Madrid again hardly filled Chelsea supporters with confidence or excitement.
READ MORE: Every word Frank Lampard said on Chelsea loss, Militao decision and Champions League prospects
However, as the supporters started making their way into Stamford Bridge as kick-off approached, there was a fresh sense of optimism. Frank Lampard called on the fans to make the ground a cauldron of noise. Similar to something he experienced when he was wearing the famous blue shirt all those years ago.
It was as noisy as Stamford Bridge has been in what has been a turbulent season for Chelsea on and off the pitch. The difference in atmosphere between Tuesday night and Saturday afternoon when the Blues were beaten by Brighton in the Premier League were worlds apart. To be fair, that was expected considering it was literally a season-defining night for Chelsea.
The line-up surprised everyone. Four central midfielders started for Chelsea with Lampard looking to press Real Madrid into oblivion. N’Golo Kante and Conor Gallagher were playing just off Kai Havertz in what was a very unorthodox Chelsea setup. But it worked. Kind of.
In the first-half, Chelsea did cause Real Madrid some serious issues and Carlo Ancelotti, who is genuinely the coolest man on the planet, would have been ever so slightly concerned. What Madrid didn’t do, though, is panic. They are so cool, like their manager, on the pitch when adversity comes their way. They play themselves into the game. It’s what they did at Anfield earlier in the year, and it’s what they did at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Some sloppy defending from Trevoh Chalobah allowed Rodrygo in on the right-hand side. The Brazilian skipped into the box with his blistering speed, and found his compatriot and teammate Vinicius Junior, who played a one-two with Rodrygo, who ended up putting the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
If there was ever any slight doubt, that quickly vanished as Madrid made it 3-0 on aggregate. Los Blancos then went onto add another and it was Rodrygo again. Perhaps the easiest goal he’ll ever score. Federico Valverde bursted into the Chelsea box and capitalised on some really lapse defending and squared it to Rodrygo who had an open goal.
Madrid were by far the superior side over the two legs but there are definitely some positives to take from the second-leg for Lampardas he said post-match. With that said, football.london takes a look at some moments you may have missed from that dramatic night at Stamford Bridge.
Thiago Silva wears his heart on his sleeve. On the pitch, you can see how the Brazilian defender uses his emotion to his and Chelsea’s benefit with the way he instructs his teammates.
It was a solid performance from Silva overall who dealt with the extreme threat of Karim Benzema very well. The Frenchman, unlike the first-leg, didn’t have a sniff at Stamford Bridge and that’s testament to how well Silva did out there.
Emotions got the better of the 38-year-old at full-time, though, and that – in a way (not a mean way) – is good to see. Silva was distraught and was then consoled by Lampard who gave the defender a big hug and whispered something in his ear.
There were a lot of devastated Chelsea players on the pitch at full-time. They know that it means – in terms of playing for anything meaningful – their season is essentially over. It probably explains why none of them were keen to hang around and face a busy mixed zone post-match.
Cole loses it in furious rage
A clip of Ashley Cole passionately explaining to a group of Chelsea defenders what was required of them did the rounds on social media before the game. The former Blues defender, who is now part of Lampard’s backroom staff, was in the spotlight again during the match when he lost his temper with the fourth official after a couple of decisions didn’t go his team’s way on the pitch.
Eder Militao was booked very early on in the game for a foul on Havertz. It was 100 per cent a yellow card – and incidentally it means he will miss the first-leg of Los Blancos’ semi-final. And in the second-half, the Brazil defender was at it again, this time for a foul on Chalobah who was bursting forward.
The foul was really cynical and it falls into the category of: if he wasn’t already booked, then he definitely would have been cautioned. That shouldn’t even be a thing because a tackle worthy of a yellow card is just that. It shouldn’t matter what the circumstances are.
Lampard was absolutely furious and likewise his former teammate Cole. The former England and Chelsea left-back was right in the face of the fourth official and ended up being dragged back to his seat by some of his colleagues on the Blues bench.
James’ signals to Lampard
Reece James didn’t look comfortable out there at times on Tuesday night. The England international, whose past couple of seasons have been riddled with consistent muscular injuries, was walking very gingerly in the first-half.
At one point, he asked Kante to stay out wide on the right as he looked to almost recover from a slight issue. Chelsea then won a corner in front of the Matthew Harding Stand and Lampard shouted in James‘ direction to ask if the right-back was okay to continue. It was a brief thumbs up from James back at the interim head coach and that was that.
Although a couple of moments later, James signalled what appeared to be ‘no’ at the Chelsea bench. So that must have been the backroom staff asking if he needed to come off. It shows the type of character the Blues have in the defender who was desperate to fight through the pain to try and force a way back into the tie for his side. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
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