TWO England legends joined fans in claiming Chelsea full-back Reece James was “eaten alive” by Real Madrid’s tactics.
Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo gave James a torrid night as Real saw off the ten-man Blues 2-0 in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Ex-Three Lions centre-back Rio Ferdinand insisted Vinicius showed the defender “no respect” and Glenn Hoddle blamed James for Real’s second goal at the Bernabeu.
Fans piled in too, saying the Chelsea wideman “got no mercy” as Real swarmed onto him, both when he had possession himself and when a winger took him on.
Bernabeu chief Carlo Ancelotti‘s ruthless approach was praised, with one observer posting: “High intensity football….these guys are top top quality.”
Another wrote: “Real Madrid players absolutely ate up Reece like a pride of lions to win back possession for the first goal.”
Karim Benzema‘s tap-in and sub Marco Asensio’s clinical finish sunk Chelsea, either side of Ben Chilwell’s straight red card for impeding goalbound Rodrygo.
And of Asensio’s decisive moment, ex-Chelsea manager Hoddle said:
“Look at Reece James, he turns his back.
“The ball is being played, you are down to 10 men. Someone has to switch them on and demanding they are on. They switched off. They were a man down.
“You have one man less. You have to readjust. Someone has to move out to the edge of the box.
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“You’ve got players turning their back, walking towards the post, turning his back on the play when the ball is played. You can’t have that.”
And former Manchester United hero Ferdinand said: “Vinicius Junior showed no respect to Reece James tonight.
“Whenever Vini had the ball, he went straight at James. He will do the same at the Stamford Bridge. He and Rodrygo play wide and high.”
Vinicius’ slippery skills were also given full credit.
One fan posted: “I love James but there’s absolutely no player Vini can’t skin 1v1 if given 90 minutes and isolated. “