Thomas Tuchel was pleased that his Chelsea side were able to reward the travelling Blues fans in Lille with a victory and highlighted Cesar Azpilicueta as an example of what it takes to keep performing at the highest level of the sport regardless of the situation around you.
Chelsea went behind from the penalty spot in France in the second leg of our last-16 tie against Lille, but Christian Pulisic calmly levelled on the stroke of half-time and Azpilicueta turned in a Mason Mount cross to make it 2-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate, sealing our place in the quarter-finals of this season's Champions League.
Under difficult circumstances given recent developments off the pitch and in a hostile atmosphere away at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, our head coach was rightly proud of the way his team stayed strong to book our place among the final eight teams in the competition, and was also quick to express his gratitude for the support of the travelling Chelsea fans who made the trip to France.
‘I’m happy that we are in the last eight again and there were a lot of things to overcome,’ said Tuchel. ‘I’m so happy and so proud, it’s a brilliant result.
‘We are into the quarter-finals and this is a big step. We showed resilience, a strong mentality and overcame a lot of difficulties and we did what was necessary.
‘We dug in and got a deserved win. It’s a difficult place to come to but we did what was needed and full credit to the team.
‘I’m so happy that we had so many fans here, they travelled over and supported the team so well. All the fans who were here with us were brilliant.'
After another fine performance, and the winning goal, from Cesar Azpilicueta, Tuchel pointed to our skipper as the perfect example of what it takes to keep performing and winning during these uncertain times...
'He is maybe the perfect example to describe as a person and as a leader what we are doing. He is just doing what he is doing and he’s doing it in good times and in bad times, when he’s a regular player and when he’s a regular starter.
'He’s doing the same thing over and over again when he has personally maybe a period where he suffers a bit, maybe he’s not playing regularly.
'He needs to play all the time wing-back, which is maybe not his very best position, but he’s there and he just lives on a daily basis what it takes to be Chelsea captain. He’s a legend already in the club and this is what we need. I don’t think we need extra, extra, extra at the moment.
'We just need a reliable attitude, reliable teamwork, reliable spirit and this is what we have and what we rely on and Azpi is a huge part of that.'
Tuchel hopes Chelsea are becoming the team nobody will want to be drawn against in the next round...
'I want us to be the team that nobody wants to play. That is the role we see ourselves in this round of the last eight.
'It’s a big step to do it again and again and again and that’s why we fight for the top four places in the toughest league maybe in the world right now and we fight now in the last eight teams of the Champions League again.
'So this brings out the very best in us and we want to be the team that nobody wants to play against. Let’s see what happens.'