Thomas Tuchel has used the UEFA Champions League match between Chelsea and Porto to prove that the embarrassing 2-5 defeat the London club suffered at the hands of West Brom in the Premier League on April 3 was a fluke.
The German tactician led Chelsea to play away against Porto in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final round and the Premier League club defeated in-form Porto 0-2 to take control of the knock-out round of the competition.
In the Champions League game, Chelsea took the lead in the 32nd minute, thanks to Mason Mount’s strike. After the goal, the two sides failed to score in the remaining minutes of the first half.
When the second half resumed, Porto tried to stage a comeback, but Chelsea’s defense led by the club’s goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy was solid enough to ensure that the host had no goal.
In the 85th minute, Chelsea doubled their lead through the boots of another England international Ben Chilwell. The two goals from the English players were enough to give Chelsea a resounding away victory.
2 – For the first time since March 2012 against Napoli (John Terry & Frank Lampard), Chelsea have had two different English players score for them in the same UEFA Champions League match (Mason Mount & Ben Chilwell). Lions. pic.twitter.com/0VtT3in7ar— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2021
As it stands, Chelsea are as good as through to the semi-final stage of the Champions League this season except Porto can pull off a miracle in the return leg on Tuesday, April 13. For that to happen, the Portuguese club must win Thomas Tuchel and his boys 3-0 or 3-1 which could be a difficult task to accomplish.
Based on how they qualify for the quarter-final stage of the competition by knocking out Italian Serie A giants, Juventus, the expectation was high that Porto might go all the way in this season’s Champions League campaign. However, the return leg of the tie on Tuesday will determine how far the Portuguese side can go in the competition.
After the first leg of the quarter-final round played at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, the neutral venue for both legs of the quarter-final round, the manager of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel described the victory as a response to West Brom win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“I saw the response immediately after the game in the dressing room and the next day, it was not a big concern”, Thomas Tuchel said.
“We had a big loss; it was our responsibility and we accepted it – I included. We were ready to respond, that is what we said, and this is it. There will always be setbacks in sport and the biggest challenge now was to bounce back.
“We have had a lot of wins together, a lot of excellent results. We had a loss and now we have a reaction after a loss together, and that brings us closer and increases the trust. It was important to have a clean sheet and a win straight after that defeat.”
Recall that before Chelsea’s Champions League game against Porto on Wednesday, West Brom ended the club’s 7 games unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge with a 5-2 defeat which reportedly caused panic at the club.
The panic was that the defeat forced Chelsea out of the top four, and the defeat came days to an away Champions League game against an in-form Porto.
“The result is excellent,” Tuchel noted after Chelsea’s victory over Porto on Wednesday. “It was a tough match against a strong Porto side who are very hard to play against and have good individual skills.
“They are a proud club, a proud team, an emotional team, and there were many moments where we suffered. We accepted it; the circumstances are different in a quarter-final.
“Some moments were good, some moments we suffered, but the spirit was good, and the result was excellent. I am very happy to come away with this result, it’s fantastic but it is only half-time [in the tie] and we have to keep going.”