Antonio Rudiger doesn’t believe many teams could have put in the performance Chelsea did in coming agonisingly close to a historic turnaround at Real Madrid, but says you have to accept mistakes will be punished at this level in the Champions League.

The Blues couldn’t have come much closer, as Mason Mount, Rudiger and Timo Werner found the net, in addition to a Marcos Alonso goal ruled out by VAR for the faintest of handballs, to put us 3-0 up on the night in the second half and heading for the semi-finals.

That would have matched the best-ever comeback in the history of the Champions League, but unfortunately we weren’t able to hold on to our lead. Eventually we were eliminated 5-4 on aggregate after extra time in Madrid.

Rudiger still believes the Blues can be proud of the way we performed at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, even if we ultimately have to accept that you can’t afford the kind of mistakes we made at this level.

‘The positive is we didn’t give up,’ said the defender. ‘Not many teams can come here and dominate them as we did. But the big “but” is, over the two legs we made these type of mistakes. Against Real Madrid you get punished.

‘We were close. I think we dominated them and we outplayed them, we outran them, but at the end of the day it’s little details that we missed.

‘We scored three goals, I think not many can come here and do that. For me we outplayed them, we outran them and we did a fantastic match, but if you look at both games we need to win these.’

The German particularly enjoyed the way we played going forwards and the problems we gave Real Madrid at the back, targeting the space around holding midfielder Casemiro with Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek supporting Werner and Kai Havertz in an attack-minded line-up.

‘That was the game plan, to find our No10s Ruben and Mason, behind Casemiro always to find the space. Mason found it, he got the goal and we controlled it. We didn’t panic or anything like this, I think we did it quite well and in the second half we scored goals and did everything we could.

‘I think we found space between the defence and Casemiro. That was the plan and we got in those positions and Timo Werner, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz were very dangerous.’

At the end of the day, though, Rudiger was left to ponder what might have been if we had been able to cut out the errors which were so ruthlessly punished by Real Madrid, or had performed in the first-leg defeat at Stamford Bridge the same way we had in the Spanish capital.

‘The Champions League is difficult because you play against the best in Europe and if you make little mistakes they punish you,’ he explained. 'Over the two legs we did too many mistakes, too many individual errors, that made them go through, and of course their quality with Modric and Benzema.

‘There are regrets, especially the first game, because we didn’t have the energy like in Madrid. Obviously over the two legs we made too many mistakes and at this high level of football you get punished.

‘It was do or die for us in the second match. I think before the game nobody thought we would get it to 3-0, but then their individual class comes to light with Modric and Benzema. They have a fantastic squad and they are clinical. As I said, over the two legs, if you do these kind of mistakes you get punished.’