Chelsea's much-maligned summer recruits come up trumps against Real Madrid

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz combined to open the scoring
Timo Werner and Kai Havertz combined to open the scoring / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Be honest, how many of Chelsea's summer recruits could you confidently point to and say 'yeah they've really improved the side'?

Frank Lampard splashed £222m on a plethora of players at Stamford Bridge last summer, yet the majority of the discourse around the club over the past few months has surrounded how well Thomas Tuchel has done since arriving - nothing to do with Lampard's glut of summer recruits.

Timo Werner opens the scoring for Chelsea
Timo Werner opens the scoring for Chelsea / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

What a time for the majority of them to turn up when the club needed them most.

The Blues headed into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid as slight favourites given the away goal afforded to them by Christian Pulisic at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium last week.

However, Tuchel more than anyone would have known the importance of his side maintaining their composure against a Real side who've proven themselves to be up to the task on the big occasions in Europe's premier competition multiple times before.

To say they maintained their concentration would be an understatement.

Every single player in Blue was absolutely superb at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, though
Edouard Mendy, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz deserve more plaudits than most.

Starting with the former, while we originally asked how many of Chelsea's summer recruits had actually improved their side, we're not naive enough to be unable to recognise that Mendy has been a severe upgrade on the error-prone Kepa Arrizabalaga. That being said, many questions have been asked as to whether he's actually good enough to be their number one moving forward.

His display against Los Blancos proved he's more than up to the task, producing two sublime saves from Karim Benzema in the first half to retain his side's lead.

Next up is Chelsea's misfiring German duo.

Eyebrows were raised when Pulisic was dropped to the substitute's bench following his stellar performance in Madrid last week, with Havertz given the nod in the false nine position and Werner pushed out to the left.

Kai Havertz powers a header against the bar
Kai Havertz powers a header against the bar / Clive Rose/Getty Images

The opening 20 minutes of the clash were basically a microcosm of the pair's time in west London. There was certainly no lack of effort or endeavour, though pieces of pure quality were few and far between and the one time Werner did find the back of the net he was caught offside when he really shouldn't have been.

But finally the misshapen pieces of the jigsaw came together.

Following some brilliant work from N'Golo Kante, Werner linked up nicely with Havertz and the former Bayern Leverkusen man chipped a sumptuous effort against the crossbar before Werner followed in to head home.

From then it was a completely different performance from the pair, with Havertz looking far more dominant leading the line and yet again finding himself desperately unlucky to be denied by the crossbar following a towering header.

We've picked out three of Chelsea's summer signings but in truth there were others who shone on the big stage, with Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva both impressing on the night.

There wasn't a bad performance from a player in Blue and Real simply had no answers for the questions Chelsea posed them.

Lampard may not have been able to get the best out of his influx of new arrivals in the summer, but Tuchel absolutely has and the Champions League final against Manchester City on May 29 is far from a procession for Pep Guardiola's men on this performance from the Blues.