Pat Nevin said Real Madrid star Luka Modric was outplayed by Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount in the 1-1 Champions League semi-final first-leg draw.
On paper, Chelsea could have been outnumbered in midfield, if midfield duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante had to compete with Real Madrid trio; Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro.
But Thomas Tuchel cleverly gave Mount the instructions to play deeper than usual, often forming a midfield three with Jorginho at the base and Kante playing as right-sided No.8.
Obviously, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic consequently had to play in a front two, but the decision arguably helped Chelsea also won the midfield battle.
Modric, in particular, could not really make the impact that he was expected to do — and Nevin believes the Croatia international might have scary thoughts about tireless Mount after the game.
“Luka Modric, he’s a fabulous, fabulous player,” Nevin told Chelsea’s Matchday Live after the game.
“But he’ll wake up in the morning and think Mason Mount followed him to bed last night.
“Mason Mount just ran all night long and closed them down.
“I told you, sometimes you look at [opposition] players in the eye and you go, ‘Got you. I’ve got you.”
“And Mason had them.
“That’s a bit of worry if you’re [Zinedine] Zidane, going away from home at Chelsea [in the second leg].
“[He’d be] thinking, ‘I planning against a team, away from home, and they’ve given more energy than us.'”
“That’s a worry.”
Modric clearly had a hard time on the pitch, making just 72 touches throughout the game. That’s significantly fewer than his midfield partner Kroos who had 113.
The 35-year-old also won just one of his seven ground duels and failed to make any dribble in the game.
It is remarkable how a couple of years ago, Mount spoke about how he used to watch videos of Modric on YouTube, and last night he competed against his role model and arguably outplayed him in a Champions League semi-final match.