EXCLUSIVE - Robert JARNI: "Chelsea caught Real unaware, but..."
Chelsea and Real Madrid didn't face each other many times in European competitions. One of those few times, however, Robert Jarni was there. The 1998 European Super Cup, wherein Gus Poyet scored the goal allowing Blues to win, still stands as one of the few blemishes on Real Madrid’s glorious European legacy.
This time, after the first leg result, Zidane’s squad will be forced to either win or score at least twice if they want to advance to the final. On this matter TransferMarketWeb interviewed Jarni himself, Real Madrid left-back in 1998/99, playing for Juventus and Croatian NT as well, to talk about the upcoming fixture.
Will Real Madrid be able to pick up the pieces, strike back against Chelsea, and accomplish Istanbul final-match slot?
“You never know, with such a team. Real can always surprise you. The squad’s performance in the first leg wasn’t brilliant, but this doesn’t mean they can’t make it to the final. I’m expecting to see a hard-fought and interesting match, we’ll see which one make it to the end”.
Surely Benzema is Real’s danger-zone key player. Is he the number one threat for Blues?
“Benzema is Real’s top player, you always expect more from him. His teammates, as we have often seen, are always looking for him, because they know that he is capable of wonderful things when keeping ball possession”.
You mentioned Real providing a not so brilliant performance in the first leg. What kind of game are you expecting from them?
“Chelsea’s demeanour during the first leg surprised me. Tuchel’s squad managed to bite the game from the get-go, and to deal the cards. Real was caught unaware by this, but in the second half they were able to play much better. I expect Zidane’s men to take inspiration from their second-half performance; it’s the only way I see for them to go through to the final.”
If Real must emulate the ending to the first game, then surely Chelsea will have to do the same with their first-half performance.
“I agree. I don’t expect Chelsea to play a defensive match, I think they’ll attack Real and try to score as soon as possible. One thing to look for is both team’s match fitness: Chelsea is in better condition than their counterparts. Real’s squad is not as deep, and the substitutes are not in good physical condition. But I’ll support Real nonetheless.”
What are Real’s chances to win the Champions League, if they make it to the final game?
“Anytime Real achieve a slot for the final match, any competition they are playing, they are always the odds-on favourite ones. I’m sure the players will give it all to make it, and play the final against Man City or PSG.”