Rio Ferdinand sends message to Chelsea player who struggled against Real Madrid

Reece James lost seven of ten ground duels, was dribbled past three times, was dispossessed twice, and failed to generate any chances.

Rio Ferdinand has urged Chelsea defender Reece James to learn from his blunders in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid in midweek.

The Manchester United veteran told James to scrutinise his performance and demonstrate his abilities in the return leg.

Madrid defeated ten-man Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio goals either side of halftime lifted the Whites to a comfortable victory.

In Madrid, James was one of Chelsea’s most disappointing players, being outpaced by Madrid’s jet-set winger Vinicius Junior.

Ferdinand told James to take the humiliation personally in order to improve his performance in the second leg next week.

Speaking to BT Sport, Ferdinand said, “The important thing is he has to take that personally. As a defender there’s pride, and you know everyone is watching. There’s millions watching, let alone in this stadium.”

“You go home, and you analyse your performance. You get in there with the analysts and say, ‘give me my clips I want to see exactly what happened, where did I see the points where I got it wrong today?’”

He continued, “What was my approach? Did I soften my knees on my approach? Was I going in too upright? Was I going in too quick and not putting the brakes on? Go through it with a fine tooth comb.”

“Then it’s about me vs you next week; gaffer make sure I’m one vs one with him and I’m going to prove to the world I can deal with people at this level because that’s what it’s about.”

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