Chelsea outplayed Real Madrid and deservedly grabbed a 2-0 victory to qualify for the Champions League final in Istanbul, where they will face Manchester City.
Zinedine Zidane bet on a 3-5-2 formation with Vinicius as a right wing-back, Eden Hazard upfront alongside Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos in defence.
But Hazard didn’t pay back Zidane‘s confidence, Ramos demonstrated that he was not ready for such a demanding game and Vinicius struggled from the start in a position that is not his natural one.
Beating Liverpool without their starting defensive duo of Ramos and Raphael Varane was mainly due to Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez stepping up.
Players such as Fede Valverde, Alvaro Odriozola, Vinicius, Marco Asensio and even Marcelo gave everything to lead Real Madrid to the semi-finals.
However, Zidane decided to play both Hazard and Ramos, neither of whom contributed to this qualification due to injuries.
Paris Saint-Germain dismissed Thomas Tuchel on December 24 and, five months later, the French side were eliminated at the hands of Manchester City, whom the German will face in the final.
Tuchel has built a compact side that were superior to Real Madrid in both legs and reaches his second consecutive Champions League final with two different teams.
Hazard is still light years away from the player he was at Stamford Bridge.
Injuries have taken their toll on him, undoubtedly, but he demonstrated against Chelsea that he is not ready for such demanding games.
In his second campaign at Los Blancos he has contributed close to nothing. Real Madrid are willing to wait for him to rediscover his form. The Belgian forward owes them at least one good season.
It is easy to ask this question after the match, but the Real Madrid captain had played just one game since January 9 before starting at Stamford Bridge.
Ramos struggled throughout the match and his presence forced Zidane to use Vinicius as a wing-back and ask Militao to attack from the right-hand side.
A 4-3-3 with Nacho and Militao as centre-backs and Alvaro Odriozola with Ferland Mendy on the flanks could have worked better.
Edouard Mendy made two key saves to deny Karim Benzema. The first was after a brilliant strike from inside the box and the second following a Benzema header.
Thibaut Courtois saved his team in the first leg and made some good saves in the second half here too, but it was Mendy who pulled off two great saves to keep a clean sheet.
After what he has done this season, it is not the day to question Zidane‘s decisions at Stamford Bridge.
The French coach didn’t have one of his best days at the office. He didn’t get either the formation or the changes right as he kept a struggling Ramos in the game and started Vinicius at wing-back until he replaced him.