'Let's be honest': Paul Merson says Chelsea player was 'taught a major lesson' vs Real Madrid

Paul Merson claims that Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku was “taught a major lesson” by Real Madrid frontman Karim Benzema on Wednesday night.

It was a very contrasting game for the two centre-forwards when Chelsea hosted Madrid earlier in the week in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Benzema, 34, scored a brilliant hat-trick at Stamford Bridge to put the Spanish club firmly in control of the European tie. A goal from in-form Blues attacker Kai Havertz meant the game ended 3-1 to Madrid, though.

Meanwhile, Lukaku didn’t start the match for Chelsea and came off the bench to try provide his side a lifeline.

Unfortunately, the 28-year-old missed a couple of decent chances to score, including a header from a close distance that you’d expect a £97.5million player to do much better with.

Merson has discussed the latest performance from Lukaku, who’s mainly restricted to substitute appearances lately. He insists the Belgium international must start showing up at the back end of the season and do more when he’s on the pitch.

“Romelu Lukaku was taught a major lesson by Karim Benzema the other night and Chelsea need him to start showing up. If Chelsea score first in Madrid in the second leg it’s game on in their Champions League quarter final, even though they are 3-1 down,” Merson wrote.

“But Lukaku’s miss at the end of the game at Stamford Bridge was a bad one – and if that had been Benzema he would have scored. It’s as simple as that. Let’s be honest, Lukaku hasn’t performed. He was brought in for a big fee to decide big nights like those and he’s missed a sitter.

“It was as easy as you like, that chance. They are going to need him this season but he’s not showing up. He’s not getting involved. He’s not getting across the pitch to get involved in the play. It needs to change.”

Photo by Vincent Mignott/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Chelsea fans at breaking point

It’s got to a stage where plenty of the fanbase have given up on Lukaku, which is a huge shame because he’ll always score goals despite his overall weaknesses.

The left-footed striker is the joint-top Chelsea scorer this season (12) alongside Havertz, too.

There needs to be a defining moment in a game if Lukaku’s to turn around his fortunes at Stamford Bridge.

Blues manager Thomas Tuchel explained the forward is a doubt for today’s Premier League game with Southampton because of a “little problem” and it would be a real missed opportunity if he’s ruled out.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.