Manager delighted with last-16 victory over Atlético Madrid
‘Results like this give you an edge to achieve special things’
Thomas Tuchel said that nobody will want to draw Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating Atlético Madrid 3-0 on aggregate in the last 16.
Chelsea secured their place in the last eight for the first time since 2014 after their comprehensive win over Atlético, winning Wednesday night’s second leg at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri. The performance against the La Liga’s leaders delighted Tuchel, who has made a huge impact since replacing Frank Lampard in January, and the manager believes that opponents will want to avoid his side in Friday’s quarter-final draw.
“The most important is that we feel we deserve this,” Tuchel said. “The most important is that we give the feedback for the guys what they did in terms of quality and intensity. It’s most important you feel it and that no one has to convince you. They play with a special bond and results like this give you a certain edge and glue to achieve special things. You can only achieve this through results and experiences. I’m pretty sure no one wants to play against us. It’s a super difficult challenge ahead because we are already in the last eight. It’s a big step – but no need to be afraid.”
Chelsea were fortunate not to concede an early penalty when César Azpilicueta appeared to foul Yannick Carrasco and Atlético suffered another blow when Stefan Savic was sent off for elbowing Antonio Rüdiger. “I did not see it as a penalty,” Tuchel said. “Azpi got a bit frightened. I was a bit frightened on the sideline.”
Those decisions did not detract from a commanding Chelsea display. Ziyech scored his first goal under Tuchel and there was a special moment for Emerson. The left-back has started only one game since Lampard’s departure, but he was mobbed by his teammates after coming off the bench to score in added time.
“I’m so happy for him,” Tuchel said. “He is one of the nicest guys you can imagine. It was absolutely necessary to give him some minutes as a thank you for his attitude. Everybody is celebrating with him.”
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