Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says his players are free to “dream” as they attempt to erase a two-goal lead in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
The Blues were defeated 3-1 by the Spanish team in the first leg of their quarter-final, and the return match is scheduled for Tuesday at the Bernabeu.
Last season, Chelsea won the competition under Thomas Tuchel.
“Performing away from the Bernabeu is one of the most difficult difficulties,” the German stated.
“It’s even tougher if you have to earn a specific result if you have to win by two goals or more, or even if you have to win by three goals.” That makes it nearly impossible and extremely difficult, but it’s still worth a go.
“All we need is a terrific script if we’re going to be able to overcome this.”
Last season, Chelsea knocked Real out of the Champions League in the semi-finals after a 1-1 draw in Spain (at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium), followed by a magnificent 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge.
Real has won the Champions League a record 13 times, and no English team has ever won a game by more than a single goal at the Bernabeu.
“Given the conditions of the first leg, where we play, against whom we play, and at what moment we play this kind of encounter,” Thomas Tuchel noted, “the task is really high and the challenge is incredibly high.”
“It’s necessary to envision and dream about things now and then, but it won’t take away from the fact that we have to deliver and be ready.”
“When we get there, we’ll do everything because it’s worth a shot.” From then, we observe and, hopefully, we have a match where belief increases within the match as a result of our actions, and we can achieve our goal, live up to our goal.”
“But, realistically, we need to put in a lot of effort and be at the top of our game.”
Carlo Ancelotti, the manager of Real Madrid, is attempting to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the eighth time in his career, which would tie him with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho for the most by a coach in the competition.
“I have no doubt that Chelsea will come here to save the tie,” Ancelotti stated.
“He [Thomas Tuchel] may say anything he wants, but I’m confident Chelsea will come here to win – that’s the spirit of football, the spirit of huge clubs and great players, never giving up.”
“I’m fortunate to have a bunch of guys who are very familiar with these types of games and understand that anything can happen.” They are in excellent spirits and are overjoyed with the prospect of reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
“However, Chelsea is a formidable opponent. We need a great deal of respect, and we’re going to get it.”
Real Madrid v Chelsea
Chelsea travels to the Bernabeu for the second leg of their European quarter-final on Tuesday night, looking to complete a remarkable turnaround against this season’s Champions League comeback kings.
The reigning champions were thrashed 3-1 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, with one legendary Frenchman doing the damage on the night, and either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid await them in the semi-finals.
There aren’t enough superlatives in the lexicon to describe Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid number nine who for so long was second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu but is suddenly stealing the show as Los Blancos chase domestic and European glory.
As if a hat-trick to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain wasn’t enough, Benzema made it back-to-back European trebles with an outstanding performance at Stamford Bridge, scoring two early headers with the aplomb of a seasoned center-forward before taking home the match ball after Edouard Mendy’s uncharacteristic error.
With a 2-0 victory over Getafe, Carlo Ancelotti’s team secured a place in the semi-finals of this year’s championship and maintained their double-figure lead over the pursuing group in La Liga. It was their eighth win in nine games in all competitions.
Despite going off at Stamford Bridge, Real Madrid center-back Eder Militao was fine to play the full 90 minutes at the weekend, but the Brazilian will be on the naughty step this week as he serves a ban for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Eden Hazard, a former Chelsea player, is still in the medical room with Isco, but backup striker Luka Jovic has recovered from an ankle injury, while center-back Jesus Vallejo is out with COVID-19.
Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are both refreshed after watching the win against Getafe from the substitutes’ bench. Ferland Mendy rested at the weekend and should be fine to take Marcelo’s place at left-back, while Nacho Fernandez should fill in for the suspended Militao, and Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are both refreshed after watching the win against Getafe from the substitutes’ bench.
Chelsea has a similar number of fitness issues heading into the second leg, with long-term absentee Ben Chilwell certain to miss the match, as well as Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has had a setback in his recovery from an Achilles problem.
Romelu Lukaku missed the win against Southampton due to Achilles soreness and will miss the trip to Bernabeu, while Cesar Azpilicueta has tested negative for COVID-19 and is expected to travel. Ross Barkley, on the other hand, is now ill and unavailable.
At St Mary’s, Thomas Tuchel was able to get Havertz, Mount, and Thiago Silva off early, but Werner’s brace may not be enough to keep him ahead of Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea starts at 3 pm ET on Wednesday.