Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel declared what Chelsea fans must accept after a reserved but professional performance, and expressed his view on a potential all-English semi-final.
Chelsea booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2014. The Blues defended stoicly on the night, and but for a late Mehdi Terami stunner, would’ve registered a pair of clean sheets over the two legs.
N’Golo Kante produced a typically energetic display to frustrate the Portuguese outfit.
Additionally, the return of Chelsea’s first choice back three helped to steer Tuchel’s side through.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Tuchel said: “We accepted what was needed was a tough, tough fight.
“Maybe on the television it was not so nice to watch but on the sidelines it was a very intense game, a very fast game. It was a tough fight and very hard to play against them to escape the pressure.
“They attack in a fluid and aggressive way. They change positions all the time. They come from behind, they overlap and you have to adapt to many movements. With every minute we did it better and better after a tough start.
“We defended well and deserved a clean sheet. We had the better chances – not a lot – but the better half chances.
“We could not finish it off with a goal so we had to hang in there and the guys did that. Overall we deserved to beat Porto. It was a tough 180 minutes.”
Tuchel declares what Chelsea fans must “accept”
Expanding frther on the contest, the German added: “We had to play defensively but also offensively.
“Normally Porto is a team who can make other teams underperform. It happened to Man City in the group stages and Juventus. You have to accept that things will be hard. Part of the performance is to not let the other team perform and we did this today.
“Until the lucky shot in the last minute we did not concede any chances. We missed some counter-attacks and some touches in the final third to create a little more but we are a young team.
“We had two guys who scored their first goals in the Champions League in the first leg. We have to accept the circumstances. It was a pleasure to watch the fight and be on the sideline with them to see them through.”
“You can always feel when the pressure is on but we are used to it. We have played Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Atletico Madrid in two weeks. All of these matches are every three days.
“We did not talk about the result in the first game. We talked about what we needed to do if you feel nervous and that is to use your body, work hard and make yourself sweat.
“This is what we did. We tried to give them confidence and show them what they should do as a team. It is nice for them I think as they know they can rely on each other which is the most important thing. We will become a strong side. The semi-finals is a big achievement.”
When asked about the possibility of facing another English team in the knockout stages, Tuchel added: “In general I like not to play against teams from your same league in the Champions League as it gives more of a feeling of a European competition but that is the only thing. The game is far from over but I will watch it for sure.
“It is a pleasure to watch it as a semi-finalist which is a great achievement. We will watch these games and everything is possible. Liverpool are very strong at home so we take what we get. It is a good situation for us.”
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