The Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel’s side set up a Champions League showdown with City on May 29 in Istanbul with a 2-0 win over Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, going through 3-1 on aggregate.
This seems to be the second all-English Champions League final in three years, and while Tuchel says April’s FA Cup semi-final win over Pep Guardiola’s side doesn’t give them an upper hand, it does make them confident of a repeat performance.
“No [it doesn’t give us] the upper hand, but it gives us a good feeling, it gives us confidence. We played the semi on the edge. They are the benchmark and we wanted to close the gap to Man City. We will need the same level of performance again. It gave us belief, because it is the highest level you can face.
“We will arrive with self confidence and the positive energy in Istanbul, and we will arrive in Istanbul to win, not to be one of the participants. We arrive with a clear focus to win.”
However, Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for the way his side stayed positive during Wednesday’s clash, having missed nearly half-a-dozen find chances to double their lead after Timo Werner’s opener. The second goal eventually came late on through Mason Mount.
Speaking about his impressive four months at the club so far, which has included 18 clean sheets in 24 games, Tuchel said: “It’s worth it every single day so far, I work for an amazing club from the first day, I felt huge support from day one, and I am grateful to be on the sideline of this team.
“This was another energetic performance full of positive attitude and hunger, the spirit to go. Their heads were never down. Even after these big chances, they were positive. We are not done yet. we are in two finals now, and the sacrifice, I personally gave was worth it from day one.
“I’m pretty happy with what I see. [When I arrived] I thought individually and as a group they were strong and had great behavior, and that never stopped. It’s a pleasure to be in the dressing room.
“We hang in and fight our way through, we use our bodies and work rate, and if we cannot out play them we out work them. They didn’t step back, they never got frustrated, I never saw a change in mentality or body language, it was very positive and very brave. We didn’t regress. We really wanted it, wanted it badly.
“Pure individual quality, to hang in there, to continue with positive body language, to hang in physically, and the mental attitude like today, to stay aggressive and active, to never stop trying, play for the second ball, never allowing Real to push us deep, this is really huge. I am absolutely delighted with this spirit, and big credit, big congratulations to the team.”