Rio Ferdinand points to “lack of leadership” after Chelsea suffer Real Madrid defeat

Chelsea crashed to a 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Chelsea face the herculean task of overturning the deficit at Stamford Bridge in the return leg against Real Madrid, and Rio Ferdinand believes (h/t Daily Mirror) that the lack of leadership was the main reason why the Blues succumbed to the defeat.

Chelsea recently appointed Frank Lampard as the interim manager until the end of the season. And the Chelsea legend will be disappointed with the result against Real Madrid. It was his second game in charge of the Blues, who were comprehensively beaten.

Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio scored on the night for the home side, and Real Madrid will be hoping to get the job done at Stamford Bridge in the second leg. Reflecting on the defeat, former Premier League defender and Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has outlined the reasons why Chelsea came out second best against Real Madrid.

Ferdinand believes Chelsea were lacking in leadership qualities during the game, and they need someone who can direct the other players on the pitch and will organise the side with constant communication. He added that Chelsea have a player like that in Thiago Silva, but the Brazilian was not able to keep his side motivated and focused.

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“You need a voice. In that moment, who’s the voice? You need someone to say we’ve gone down to 10 men, that’s a trigger straight away,” the Manchester United legend said (h/t Mirror). “If we’re down to 10 men, who’s where? Who’s on the edge of the box? Where’s the person who got sent off in all of this, in set pieces now?”

“It’s [about] having somebody to be able to grasp that in the moment. We’ve seen players for Chelsea in the past do that, Thiago Silva you think would normally be the guy to do that, but today in that moment it didn’t happen and concentration, if it’s not there at all times, you lose games like this.”

Chelsea have put together a talented young squad over the last couple of windows. But there is a clear lack of experience and leadership in the side. There is no doubt that there is an abundance of talent at the London club. And it remains to be seen whether the Blues can turn things around in the second leg.

On the other hand, Real Madrid are a team filled with veterans who are experienced in dealing with adverse circumstances. And they know how to navigate their way past tough situations during games.

Also Read: Three potential Graham Potter replacements for Chelsea

While there is no doubt that Real Madrid have a world-class pedigree, their experience and winning mentality also made a big difference against Chelsea. The Spanish giants dispatched Liverpool in the last round of the tournament, and they will be hoping to book their place in the semifinals now.

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