An incredible hat-trick from Karim Benzema sent Real Madrid a step into the Champions League semi-finals with a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.
The Frenchman, who also scored three goals against Paris Saint-Germain in Madrid’s last European game, became only the fourth player to score 80 or more Champions League goals, joining Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski in the elite list.
Benzema’s first two came with his head, the first angled into the top right corner – which Tony Cascarino told talkSPORT was “as good as you’ll ever see” – and the second caressed the back left of the Chelsea net.
Kai Havertz, who has scored many important goals for Chelsea in this competition, also scored with a header after latching on to a smart ball from Jorginho, who just let the German nod at the ex -Blue Thibaut Courtois.
But Madrid restored their two-goal lead after an error from Edouard Mendy.
The Chelsea man came out of his goal and, trying to play a simple pass to team-mate Antonio Rudiger, gave the ball straight to Benzema – reminiscent of when Gianluigi Donnarumma did a similar thing when Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain in the last -16.
“Donnarumma. That’s all I can think of,” Cascarino told talkSPORT. “He did the exact same thing.
“I had a rant the other week on Sports Breakfast about goalkeepers trying to be smart with complex passes and Mendy had an absolute stink, he really does.
Chelsea v Real LIVE: Benzema scores a hat-trick as visitors stun hosts
“He tried to be smart – just take him out of the danger zone. Chelsea now have a mountain to climb.
After Madrid’s third goal, Chelsea had chances to reduce the deficit ahead of a trip to the Bernabeu on April 12, but failed to take them.
Cesar Azpilicueta had a long shot brilliantly saved by Courtois, while substitute Romelu Lukaku failed to frame his header from close range.
This means Thomas Tuchel’s side will have to travel to Spain and beat the La Liga leaders by at least two goals if they are to retain their Champions League crown.
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