Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has written off any chance of his side progressing to the semi-finals of the Champions League in their bid to defend the European trophy following a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge.
In a game of few chances, Karim Benzema continued to prove the difference for Los Blancos, scoring a hat-trick including two brilliant headers in quick succession in the first half. It could have been a very different scoreline had Chelsea shown a similar ruthlessness in front of goal, with the Blues hitting the bar and Romelu Lukaku heading wide twice when it looked harder to miss than to score.
At the midway point of the tie, however, Chelsea know that they will need a memorable night at the Santiago Bernabeu to progress, and Tuchel believes it may be beyond his squad.
Asked after the defeat whether the clash remains alive, the Blues boss simply replied with 'no', a damning indictment of just how serious the damage inflicted by Benzema in front of a stunned Stamford Bridge crowd could prove to be.
What next for Chelsea?
With two defeats on the bounce, and 7 goals conceded across 180 minutes, Chelsea need to snap out of whatever slumber they have slipped into after the international break.
While the Premier League is a two-horse race that they are not a part of, the FA Cup remains on the table for a side who were beaten in last season's final by Leicester City, in Thomas Tuchel's first final with the club.
They will be itching to put that right, but face a rejuvenated Crystal Palace side who dismantled Arsenal 3-0 on Monday night, and could do the same to Tuchel and co. if they are not at the required level.
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