Chelsea must play with pace, intensity to cause Real problems: Benitez

FILE PHOTO: Britain Soccer Football - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Sky Bet Championship - Molineux - 11/2/17 Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Ed Sykes Livepic

(Reuters) - Chelsea must play a high-tempo game against Real Madrid and stretch the Spanish champions with quick passing in their Champions League semi-final first leg later on Tuesday, Rafa Benitez said.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea are underdogs against Real, who have won the competition four times in the last seven seasons, and Benitez said the English side had to keep pace in the game if they are to trouble the Spaniards.

"I talk about Chelsea needing to play with intensity but this does not just mean running hard," Benitez, who has coached both sides, wrote in his column for the Times.

"Intensity can also come from passing.

"When you keep the ball it has to be quick. The pace on the passes has to be high. If Chelsea move the ball quickly — and they have good players who are able to do this — then they can cause problems."

Benitez said Chelsea can also learn from the mistakes Liverpool made in their quarter-final against Real.

"It helps Chelsea that another English team played Real in the last round," the former Liverpool boss added. "The quarter-final games will offer some clues to Tuchel on what Liverpool did wrong and how to improve."

Two goalless draws in their last three league games have dented Real's La Liga title bid and Benitez said Zinedine Zidane's side were under added pressure to deliver European glory.

"The fact Real are in a worse position in La Liga ... will put more pressure on them to win the Champions League," he said. "Some of the young players will feel this pressure."

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Soccer-England get the job done with 1-0 win over Czechs
Soccer-Magic Modric leads Croatia into last 16 as Scotland fail again
Soccer-Belgium get down to work on mystery opponents
Soccer-France to use Portugal match to boost confidence ahead of last 16, says Lloris
Soccer-Barcelona's Dembele faces surgery again following knee injury
Soccer-Denmark captain Kjaer considered not playing in Belgium game
Soccer-Pohang make winning start to Asian Champions League campaign
Soccer-Portugal must recover combative streak, says Pepe
Soccer-Twelve hours in Amsterdam: Danish fans eye travel loophole for Wales match
Soccer-Wembley to have crowd of 60,000 for Euro semis and final - UK govt

Stories You'll Enjoy