Chelsea vs Real Madrid: Kai Havertz's time-wasting tactic was genius

For the second season in a row, Chelsea and Real Madrid lock horns in the Champions League knockout stage.

In 2020/21, the two sides came face-to-face in semi-finals and it was the Premier League outfit who emerged victorious by an aggregate scoreline of 3-1.

Chelsea won 2-0 in the second leg at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount.

Thomas Tuchel will be hoping for a repeat of that on Wednesday for Real Madrid’s latest trip to west London.

Chelsea were simply too good during the last meeting at Stamford Bridge, with N’Golo Kante dropping a midfield masterclass.

One of the Blues’ other top performers on the night was Kai Havertz, who was a constant thorn in Real Madrid’s side with his shrewd movement in attacking areas.

The Germany international’s display was of the very highest quality and the same can be said about the time-wasting tactic he used to get the better of Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos.

After Kante had given away a free-kick in the middle of the park, Havertz spotted an opportunity to kill a few precious seconds while the tie was still in the balance.

As Ramos and Kroos approached him to collect the ball, Havertz bent down as if he were about to pick it up, only to then kick it away with his right foot.

Video: Havertz’s ingenious time-wasting vs Real Madrid

Who knew Havertz was an elite-level wind-up merchant, eh? It’s a time-wasting tactic that any of football’s masters of the dark arts would be proud of.

Chelsea’s £72 million forward has been in fine form this season, so much so that Romelu Lukaku has had to make do with a place on the bench most weeks.

Havertz has scored 11 goals and assisted a further five across all competitions in 2021/22 thus far.

He’s finally starting to live up to his enormous price tag and the onus will be on him to deliver against Real Madrid again on Wednesday evening.

Especially after Chelsea’s 4-1 humiliation at home against Brentford last Saturday…

Chelsea quiz: One question on every player in Thomas Tuchel’s squad

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For which club did Alonso make his Prem debut?

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