Chelsea’s chances of defending the Champions League were dealt a major blow when Edouard Mendy and Antonio Rudiger made errors that led to Real Madrid’s third goal, which was scored by Karim Benzema.
After Karim Benzema netted a devastating hat-trick to put Carlo Ancelotti’s team in control of the match, Thomas Tuchel’s side was vanquished by a masterclass from the French striker. But Benzema’s ruthless penetration of Edouard Mendy’s under-hit pass to Rudiger in the opening minute of the second half was the game’s turning moment.
Mendy fumbled his original pass to Rudiger, but despite getting the ball past him, the ex-Roma defender was unable to clear his lines.
Rudiger, on the other hand, has been condemned by Agbonlahor of not completely committing to the challenge. Rudiger’s deal at Stamford Bridge ends at the end of the season.
While talking to Talksport, Agbonlahor said “I know it was a bad pass on Mendy, but Rudiger’s tackle was someone who didn’t want to get injured, like he’s got a move ready, and he didn’t want to hurt himself.”
Rudiger has been speculated about a free move to Real Madrid, Barcelona, or Bayern Munich at the end of the season. Since Tuchel superseded Frank Lampard as PSG and Borussia Dortmund manager, he has been acknowledged as one of Tuchel’s greatest players.
However, even former Chelsea ace Mario Melchiot admitted he was puzzled by the fact Rudiger did not win the challenge. “I can’t really say that, because he’s normally so tough, he does not care about that,” Melchiot responded to Agbonlahor.
Melchiot also reckons Rudiger wasn’t completely devoted to the Benzema challenge
“But the way he went in it, I agree with you, he could have gone tougher. And he went with his left foot instead of his right and normally if you make the tackle with your right, and you go all the way [you would win the ball]. Everything was half, half ball, half challenge, and that’s why Benzema [scored].” Chelsea will have to overturn a two-goal deficit if they are to progress into the semi-finals of the contest.”