Tuchel disappointed and proud after courageous European exit

Thomas Tuchel acknowledged his players put in a mighty effort in Madrid to try to keep our dream of retaining the Champions League alive, even if he had some regrets over the fine margins that ultimately cost us a place in the semi-final.

The Blues made light work of the 3-1 first-leg deficit we headed to Spain seeking to overturn, stunning the Bernabeu by deservedly going 3-0 up with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.

Unfortunately, Real Madrid kept the tie alive through Rodrygo and then won it in extra-time, leaving Tuchel to reflect on the mixed emotions he was left with.

‘We are very disappointed and very proud at the same time,’ said the boss.

‘We played a fantastic match. We deserved what we had. We scored four goals, we had big chances to score more. We were unlucky. We got beaten by pure individual quality and offensive conversion.

‘We had two mistakes after ball wins, the most crucial moments in games against Real Madrid. We deserved to go through after this performance, but it was not meant to be. You need luck in games like this and it was not on our side.

‘They did not create a lot at Stamford Bridge, but they took every half chance. You have to reduce your mistakes and we could not reduce it to an absolute minimum over the two legs. But there are no regrets. These are the kind of defeats you can take with pride and accept as a sportsman.’

Tuchel’s tactics set Chelsea up perfectly to pin Real back from the off

‘The players lived up to the plan in a very different way than we did against Brentford and in the first leg. We were never shy of making the point that the most important thing is how we live up to a tactic, and how lively we play in a structure. It was to the full limit tonight. The credit goes to the players.

‘We were very disciplined on the ball, and very active off the ball. We showed a lot of courage, and from there we showed the quality. It was the right way to do it.

‘I am very happy. This is the way to go forward. If we have this kind of effort we are a special team, and if not we can lose against anybody. They showed a lot of character. We can be very proud.’

Tuchel was asked for his thoughts on Marcos Alonso’s disallowed goal

‘I did not see the goal but I told the referee I was super disappointed he did not check it on his own. In a match like this where you have a certain line to whistle, you should stay the boss, and not give any decisions like this to somebody in a chair who is isolated from the atmosphere and the referee’s certain style. He should stay in charge and check on his own, then he could explain it better. It’s just my opinion.’
 

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