Thomas Tuchel sends message to Real Madrid after knocking out Chelsea FC
Thomas Tuchel insists that Chelsea FC "deserved" to reach the Champions League semi-finals ahead of Real Madrid
Thomas Tuchel insisted that his Chelsea FC team “deserved” to reach the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Real Madrid after the Blues were knocked out in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.
The south west London side produced a stellar performance in the return leg of their quarter-final tie at the Bernabeu, scoring three goals to take the lead in the tie following their 3-1 defeat in the first leg at Stamford Bridge last week.
Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner were all on target for the Blues as they raced into a 3-0 lead in Spain.
However, the Blues were pegged back by Rodrygo’s 80th minute goal, and Karim Benzema secured the winner for the home side in the 96th minute to send Real Madrid through to the last four.
Tuchel insisted that he was hugely proud of his players’ performance and felt that his team were worthy of reaching the semi-finals despite the result.
Speaking at his post-match news conference, Tuchel said: “We are very disappointed and very proud at the same time.
“We played a fantastic match. We deserved what we had. We scored four goals, we had big chances to score more. We were unlucky. We got beaten by pure individual quality and offensive conversion.
“We had two mistakes after ball wins, the most crucial moments in games against Real Madrid. We deserved to go through after this performance, but it was not meant to be. You need luck in games like this and it was not on our side.
“They did not create a lot at Stamford Bridge, but they took every half chance. You have to reduce your mistakes and we could not reduce it to an absolute minimum over the two legs. But there are no regrets. These are the kind of defeats you can take with pride and accept as a sportsman.”
Meanwhile, former Chelsea FC star Joe Cole insisted that there were plenty of positives to take from the game despite the defeat.
“This Chelsea team is set up to win trophies and he [Thomas Tuchel] has to galvanise this group as there is a lot to take out of that performance,” Cole said on BT Sport after the game.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted that he had never thought the tie was over despite Chelsea FC’s advantage.
“At no stage did I think that it was over, particularly because we were playing here at the Bernabeu,” said Ancelotti at his post-match news conference.
“It’s difficult to put it into words, but this magic spurs you on. It helped to give the whole team that energy boost to get through to the semi-finals and Carvajal played very well at centre-back.
“I’m really pleased to have got through to the semi-finals with this club. We really had to dig in, but I’m happy.”