Top Winners and Losers After Wednesday's Champions League Quarterfinals Leg 1 Results

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Karim Benzema,, player of Real Madrid, is celebrating the goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between Chelsea FC and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on April 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images

The Champions League quarterfinals continued on Wednesday, with Real Madrid smacking the defending champions Chelsea 3-1 and Villarreal stunning Bayern Munich, 1-0. 

It was another fantastic day of football, and below we'll break down the biggest winners and losers from the first-leg action. 

Winner: Karim Benzema

Any time one of these articles is written and Real Madrid played, it's basically a given that Karim Benzema will be among the winners. 

So it won't come as a surprise that the Real Madrid striker notched a hat trick on Wednesday, his latest flash of brilliance in what has been a superb run during the Champions League. 

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

IT’S THOSE TWO AGAIN! VINI JR FINDS KARIM BENZEMA WHO SCORES IN HIS SEVENTH STRAIGHT GAMES. 🎯 <a href="https://t.co/6vKqmu6JDs">pic.twitter.com/6vKqmu6JDs</a>

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

TWO GOALS IN THREE MINUTES FOR KARIM BENZEMA. 💥<br><br>The ball from Luka Modric though. 😍 <a href="https://t.co/uKKoP2SU0S">pic.twitter.com/uKKoP2SU0S</a>

Gary Lineker 💙💛 @GaryLineker

What a season <a href="https://twitter.com/Benzema?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Benzema</a> is have. Actually, what a career he’s having. A master of his craft.

Graeme Bailey @GraemeBailey

Another amazing performance from Karim Benzema...surely nobody better in the world at the moment!

There are no shortage of stats and graphics to put into context just how special he's been this season:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Karim Benzema's last four games:<br><br>⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs PSG<br>⚽️⚽️ vs Mallorca<br>⚽️⚽️ vs Celta Vigo<br>⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs Chelsea<br><br>Ten goals... TEN 😳<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> <a href="https://t.co/UjB2xA2bqr">pic.twitter.com/UjB2xA2bqr</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Karim Benzema's night...<br><br>✅ 1st French player to score 11 goals in a European Cup season <br>✅ 1st player to score a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> hat trick vs Chelsea<br>✅ 1st Real Madrid player since Ronaldo Názario (2003 vs Man United) to score a road <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> hat trick on English soil <a href="https://t.co/fjFI5G7YqA">pic.twitter.com/fjFI5G7YqA</a>

OptaJose @OptaJose

50 - <a href="https://twitter.com/Benzema?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Benzema</a> has been involved in 50+ goals (37 goals, 13 assists) in all competitions a single season for the first time in his club career. At <a href="https://twitter.com/realmadriden?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realmadriden</a>, only <a href="https://twitter.com/Cristiano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cristiano</a> (eight times) did it in 21st Century. <br><br>Inspired. 🪄 <a href="https://t.co/FQ2gdntVTM">pic.twitter.com/FQ2gdntVTM</a>

Chelsea may be the UCL holders, but trying to get through a Benzema-led Real Madrid is an enormous task. 

Loser: Edouard Mendy

Chelsea found themselves in a hole early, as Benzema beat Edouard Mendy twice with headers within the first 24 minutes of the game. 

But in the 40th minute Chelsea got one back, heading into the second half down only a goal:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

JORGINHO PUTS IT ON A PLATE FOR KAI HAVERTZ. 🍽 <a href="https://t.co/gu63gP367H">pic.twitter.com/gu63gP367H</a>

And then this happened:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

BACK TO BACK <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> HAT-TRICKS FOR KARIM BENZEMA, HE GETS A GIFT. 🎁 <a href="https://t.co/2a0g1b0we7">pic.twitter.com/2a0g1b0we7</a>

Maximiliano Bretos @MaxBretosSports

Your GK comes out 40 yards and tries to play around Benzema? That seems like a bad idea.

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

What is it with Benzema and keeper mistakes - Mendy joining Donnarumma and Karius...

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

What a mess by Mendy and Rudiger.

Jeff Borzello @jeffborzello

Gracious. What a mistake by Mendy (and Rudiger). And there goes any chance of going into the second leg level. Such a simple pass. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CFC</a>


That's a decision that Mendy would love to have back, especially with Benzema looming. And it made Chelsea's hurdle against Real Madrid all the taller heading into the second leg. 

Winner: Arnaut Danjuma

It isn't easy to slay a giant. But Arnaut Danjuma kicked down Bayern's beanstalk on Wednesday. 

The Villarreal winger finished off a brilliant team goal in the first half, giving the Spanish side an advantage it wouldn't squander:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Bayern haven't lost away in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> since 2017. 👀<br><br>Seven minutes in: Arnaut Danjuma gives Villarreal the lead! 🐍 <a href="https://t.co/nn0Ubuz9Yp">pic.twitter.com/nn0Ubuz9Yp</a>

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Arnaut Danjuma’s game by numbers vs Bayern Munich: <br><br>81% pass accuracy <br>33 total touches <br>3 ball recoveries <br>2 chances created <br>2 dribbles <br>2 shots <br>1 goal <br><br>Caused Bayern problems on the break. 👏 <a href="https://t.co/FIYqBELlCh">pic.twitter.com/FIYqBELlCh</a>

Danjuma had a few chances to widen that gap, hitting the post on one attempt and completely whiffing on another. But Villarreal will be pleased to take a one-goal advantage to Munich, with Unai Emery's charges proving to be a tough side to break down while posing a real threat on the counter. 

Winner: Unai Emery

It might be easy to pick a loser for Bayern here, from a group of attackers who failed to produce a goal to a defense that was alarmingly carved up by Villarreal's counter. Fair enough.

But Unai Emery deserves a lot of credit for a fantastic game plan against the Bavarian giants. His team defended fiercely and was vibrant going forward when given the chance. This was an Emery gem. 

Squawka @Squawka

Villarreal have ended Bayern's record-breaking away run in the Champions League:<br><br>WWWWDWWDDWWWWWWWWWDWWWWWDL<br><br>Unai Emery masterclass. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> <a href="https://t.co/np01N0Kfgp">pic.twitter.com/np01N0Kfgp</a>

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

FT Villarreal 1-0 Bayern. Danjuma goal scant reward for superb performance by Emery's side. Only issue was they should have scored a couple more.

Stefan Bienkowski @SBienkowski

Unai Emery doing a tremendous job of pointing out that dynamic, modern tactics can be mitigated with… a simple 4-4-2

Replicating the feat in the second leg will be a major challenge. But Villarreal certainly looked up for it in the first one.