Chelsea’s mission to save their disastrous season via an unlikely Champions League triumph was dealt a major blow last night when they were swept aside by an accomplished Real Madrid team.
Prior to the game, Blues co-owner Todd Boehly predicted an outlandish scoreline, firmly believing his new side could secure a 3-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, the reigning European Champions enjoyed an untroubled evening against a Chelsea side that currently resides in 11th position in the Premier League table.
Once again, the West London outfit failed to score, which means they haven’t found the net in 374 minutes and is Chelsea’s worst goal-scoring streak for 30 years. It is a damning reflection of a highly disjointed team with an attack that simply possesses no potency.
Caretaker manager Frank Lampard opted to start Raheem Sterling as one of the frontmen, but the 28-year-old produced a similar display to that of Molineux only four days ago – lacklustre, uninspiring, and ultimately ineffective.
How did Sterling perform against Real Madrid?
When the Blues secured the £47.5m signing of Sterling, it was showered with huge optimism. Then manager Thomas Tuchel described the former Manchester City star as the “number one priority” in the transfer market and a “perfect fit” for the squad, due to his experience, versatility, and mobility.
However, the winger has endured a frustrating debut campaign with the Blues and has scored seven times in 30 appearances in all competitions. This disappointing start to his Chelsea career was compounded by an abject performance in central Spain.
The £325k-per-week man only registered a 6.0 rating and was hauled off after 65 minutes due to Ben Chilwell’s unexpected dismissal. The forward only amassed 0.3 xG and 29 touches – nearly half of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, whilst he only managed one shot on target and one successful dribble, as per Sofascore.
The former Liverpool starlet was largely anonymous and failed to make any key passes, accurate crosses, or accurate long balls, and also missed a big chance.
Domestically, Sterling has regularly featured for a Chelsea attack that has only mustered 29 goals in 30 league games – the 13th highest in the division.
Pundit Chris Sutton was critical of the Englishman’s link-up with fellow forward Joao Felix, accusing the pair of being “too lightweight” and having “offered nothing” in the second half, via Radio 5 Live (9:16pm, 12 April).
The £80m-rated dud looks like a shadow of the player that was a mainstay in a Pep Guardiola side that secured four Premier League titles.
Lampard will need a quick turnaround from one of his prized assets if he is to stand any chance of reversing this damaging deficit in the second leg.