Benzema hat-trick leave Chelsea dumbfounded

Benzema hat-trick leave Chelsea dumbfounded
Karim Benzema became the fourth player to score back-to-back Champions League hat-tricks after Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano

Karim Benzema produced a masterclass at Stamford Bridge as the France striker netted twice in the first half with two perfectly-taken headers as Real Madrid win 3-1 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Kai Havertz reduced the deficit before the interval, but Benzema punished a woeful mistake from Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy in the second half to complete his treble.

It was the sublime Benzema’s second successive Champions League hat-trick after he single-handedly inspired their epic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 second leg.

Ancelotti’s side are in pole position to advance to the semifinals as they return to Madrid for the second leg on 12 April.

Chelsea battled to the end of this first leg but were always fighting an uphill task after they were hit by Benzema’s brilliant one-two and then saw their hopes of mounting a comeback wrecked by a self-inflicted wound.

Real had already delivered a warning about the danger they posed when Vinicius Junior hit the bar but that went unheeded as he provided the cross for Benzema’s flying headed opener.

And once Benzema had confirmed his aerial threat with a second, Chelsea were always vulnerable against a side who are the masters of these Champions League situations.

Real Madrid may be runaway leaders in La Liga but Carlo Ancelotti’s side were regarded as rank outsiders as they chase a 14th triumph in this competition in its guises as the European Cup and Champions League.