Tuchel hails ‘fantastic’ Chelsea achievement to reach CL final

“We were dangerous with counter-attacks and … The post Tuchel hails ‘fantastic’ Chelsea achievement to reach CL final appeared first on Football365.

Tuchel hails ‘fantastic’ Chelsea achievement to reach CL final

Thomas Tuchel was delighted after his Chelsea side put in a “huge performance” to book their place in the Champions League final.

After a tentative start to the game,  had a goal chalked off in the 18th minute. Ben Chilwell put it on a plate for Timo Werner who found the net. But he was a little too eager as he had just strayed offside.

Karim Benzema forced Edouard Mendy into a great diving save before the hosts took the lead just before the half-hour mark.


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Kai Havertz chipped the ball over former Blues ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois. His effort bounced back off the crossbar but Werner was on hand to head it into an empty net from close range.

Havertz hit the bar again shortly after the restart. His header looked to be top corner bound but it struck the woodwork.

Chance after chance went begging for Chelsea in the second half until they eventually got their second goal of the night in the 84th minute.

Christian Pulisic was calm in possession before he set up Mason Mount. The Englishman made no mistake as he found the net from inside the area.

‘s side won 3-1 on aggregate and they will face Man City in the Champions League final.

As cited by , Tuchel said post-match that his side “never lost their desire to defend” against a Madrid side that are always dangerous:

“They deserve to win. First off it’s difficult because Real had a lot of possession and they made us suffer, but then we were dangerous with counter-attacks and never lost the hunger, never lost their desire to defend.

“Second half was even better, the structure to defend and in the second half, we could’ve scored much earlier – I could’ve scored more. It’s a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.

“Real Madrid, of course, are always dangerous. they can turn nothing into goals. So, to hang in there, even when you have chances and miss them, they never lost concentration, focus, and a positive energy on the pitch. This was a huge performance.”

On Mendy: “Even against Fulham, it was the same. He was solid and so, so strong, strong hands, intelligence and he kept a clean sheet again.”

On reaching another Champions League final: “I’m very happy that we’ve achieved this. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to live my life in football and this passion as a profession. So grateful to do it on this level and to get to another final, I’m very grateful for that.”

On how the final will go: “Ask me four days before the final! It’s too early. There can be injured players, there can be players out a form. We need to wait and hopefully, we arrive with the whole squad, because it’s not done yet. We want to go all the way and we arrived in this competition to win.”

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Chelsea fitter, faster, stronger and just far better than weary Madrid

Chelsea were wonderfully good in setting … The post Chelsea fitter, faster, stronger and just far better than weary Madrid appeared first on Football365.

Chelsea fitter, faster, stronger and just far better than weary Madrid

In the end, the only difficulty Chelsea had to overcome to set up a second all-English Champions League final in three years was self-inflicted.

So strikingly absolute was their dominance, so woefully slow and disorganised were Real Madrid, that was Chelsea’s own failure to take more than one of the many, many clear-cut chances they created and Madrid allowed.

It really was a staggering game to watch. Madrid looked a dishevelled, mismatched mess and not just because of those incongruous black socks. They looked like the England rugby union team, and played about as well. Barring two Karim Benzema attempts in the first half, both smartly dealt with by Edouard Mendy, the most decorated team in this tournament’s history offered precisely nothing in a second leg that nevertheless remained, in theory at least, on a knife-edge until the 85th minute.

Except it never really was. The commentators tried to talk it up, and no doubt Chelsea fans watching had convinced themselves they were about to be Iniesta-ed because being a football fan is to a large degree about putting yourself through needless agonies and always, whatever the situation, expecting and fearing the worst. But really the only possible argument for a Real Madrid goal happening was to evoke sod’s law: so thoroughly one-sided had the game been, and so notably anonymous (if that’s not an oxymoron, which I’m pretty sure it is) Eden Hazard’s trumpeted Stamford Bridge return that it just seemed like one bouncing in off his big Belgian arse was precisely the sort of thing that might happen, because football.

But Chelsea are, except understandably when faced with the unstoppable footballing juggernaut that is Sam Allardyce’s West Brom machine, far too sensible to allow for any of that kind of silliness thank you very much.

While it was not hard to look like a solid defensive unit when such an obvious contrast was being provided by Madrid’s shambolic efforts, marshalled by Sergio Ramos playing from amnesia, solid is what Chelsea were. In every department apart from finishing it really is hard to find fault with this performance, and that excellence is nothing new.

This was an 18th clean sheet in Tuchel’s 25th game in charge at Chelsea, a side utterly transformed since ditching a far-fetched fairytale appointment for the pragmatism of giving a prodigiously talented squad a proper manager to mould them into a properly effective football team.

Chelsea’s excellence was best personified in N’Golo Kante, who was prominently involved in both goals but more than that exemplified the gulf that existed on the night between the two sides in terms of class, composure and endeavour. Kante and Chelsea were quicker in thought and deed than Madrid.

put the early setback of being needlessly offside when scoring what he thought was a crucial opening goal to actually score the crucial opening goal just minutes later, the world jumping with him as he leapt to nod home an audacious Kai Havertz dink that had bounced up invitingly yet time-bending slowly off the crossbar.

Havertz hit the bar again in the second half with a towering header while Mount missed a glorious chance after being played in by Werner’s crafty flick at the end of a gorgeous Chelsea move.

Chelsea’s dominance was already total, yet somehow the introduction of Christian Pulisic made the game more one-sided still as he dazzled and shimmied on the right. He would eventually create the narrative-busting tie-sealing second goal for Mount after more fine work from Kante, but Real were a soundly beaten side by then. Chelsea made them look awfully old and desperately weary.

The sight of Eden Hazard smiling and laughing with his former Chelsea team-mates after his and his new team’s near total non-performance is sure to get a calm and reasonable reaction in Madrid, where this overall effort – – will go down like a cup of cold sick.

But the night belonged to Chelsea and to Tuchel, who returns to the Champions League final for a second straight year and provides yet further evidence that Chelsea really should change their manager in the middle of every season. It’ll be fascinating to see what he does to make such a change necessary next season.

Right now, that looks as unlikely as UEFA taking the sensible and obviously correct decision of moving an all-English Covid-era final from Istanbul to Wembley, or even to Villa Park for that proper retro FA Cup semi-final feel.

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