Tuchel claims Chelsea’s win at Man City shows ‘we are capable’ of winning UCL
Thomas Tuchel claims Chelsea’s win over Manchester City will boost confidence ahead of this month’s Champions League final – but insists the victory will not impact the European encounter.
The Blues picked up a smash-and-grab comeback win at the Etihad Stadium thanks to Marcos Alonso’s stoppage-time winner after Hakim Ziyech had cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener earlier on in the match.
The two sides will meet on May 29 for an all-English Champions League final with Chelsea having won the last two encounters between the teams – the other being last month’s FA Cup semi-final triumph at Wembley.
But Tuchel claims both his and Chelsea’s recent form over Pep Guardiola side will have no bearing over the match in three weeks’ time.
Speaking about the importance of Saturday’s result, Tuchel told Sky Sports: ‘It gives us confidence because it’s all about the performance.
‘This result won’t change much as the (Champions League) final is a very unique game, you can’t predict what will happen and we need to be prepared. We both will have chances.
‘We arrive with the knowledge that we are capable of beating them, that’s what we have now and this won’t change much to Istanbul.’
Towards the end of a cagey first-half, City sprung into life when Sterling profited from an Andreas Christensen error to put the home side, who needed one more win to seal the Premier League title, in front on 44 minutes.
Guardiola’s men then wasted a golden chance to double the lead before the interval when Sergio Aguero scooped a horrible Panenka penalty into the arms of grateful Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Tuchel’s Blues then came out of the second-half firing on all cylinders and deservedly equalised when Ziyech slammed home past Ederson from inside the box.
And amid end-to-end action at the Etihad, Alonso won the match at the death when his unorthodox shot flew into the net in the final minute of stoppage time.
German boss Tuchel admitted that his side were fortunate in some aspects on Saturday, including Aguero’s shock-horror spot-kick, but insists Chelsea deserved the three points.
Tuchel added: ‘What a performance in second half. If they score the penalty maybe it’s over before it really starts and then you go to half time 2-0 with no chances to come back. I was impressed with the reaction in the second half and think we deserved to win in the second half.
‘When you’re 1-0 down at the Etihad you need a bit of luck, some decisions, but it goes like this we had many half chances and chances. A big congratulations to the team for the second half.
‘We had more control, confidence, the first goal helped us. We could play more physical and recover the balls higher. It was a physical battle and we increased our motivation.’
The result lifts Chelsea into third in the Premier League table, six points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham in the race for the top-four. David Moyes’ Hammers have just four games to make up the five-point gap to Leicester in fourth.