Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea showed against Real Madrid that they deserve to be playing in Champions League semi-final
German manager says team must show 'belief and self confidence' in second leg on Wesdnesday 'otherwise we have no chance'
Thomas Tuchel believes that Chelsea's impressive performance in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid proved that his team deserve to be playing at the highest level of European football.
Christian Pulisic scored for Chelsea and secured a crucial away goal in their 1-1 draw against the 13-times European champions in Spain, to give Tuchel's side a narrow advantage ahead of Wednesday's second leg in London.
"The main lesson is that we can trust ourselves and we have the right to be in the semi-final," Tuchel told a news conference on Tuesday. "We deserve to be there.
"It's the second leg, the decisive one, so to arrive with a certain level of belief and self-confidence is absolutely necessary. Otherwise we have no chance against a team like Real Madrid."
The German, who replaced Frank Lampard in January, added that the biggest challenge his team faced was to forget the first-leg scoreline.
"The challenge is always over two games, you play the first game and then you start at 0-0 again," he said.
"I don't know any other way to prepare a match than to encourage my team to go out and try to win.
"If we are at our best then it's a no-brainer that we go for the win. We want to win games, this club is about winning.
"The first result is not as important as everybody thinks. There is zero importance for me in the preparation of this match.
"It's not changed anything about how we've prepared, zero influence. We will encourage them, we will demand from them and we will be strong tomorrow as a group."
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic will miss the game with a hamstring injury, while defender Antonio Rudiger will have to wear a protective face mask if he is in the squad.
Real have injury issues of their own, with Raphael Varane out for 10 days and Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal both out for the season.
Their skipper Sergio Ramos, also missed the first leg, but Tuchel fully expects the centre back to feature at Stamford Bridge.
"I think that he will start, we will prepare for that," Tuchel said. "Does it change a lot for Real Madrid? Yes, he's their captain.
"So it changes a lot but we cannot lose our heads about this decision. We should be self-confident and have no fear to face this challenge.
Gallery: Chelsea 2 Fulham 0
Published: May 4, 2021 09:13 PM