After watching his side book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a sixth straight win in all competitions, Thomas Tuchel praised another focused performance from his players and a deserved win at Middlesbrough.
Amid continuing off-field speculation, the team continue to focus on the tasks in hand and have now progressed to the last four of this competition for the fifth time in six years after goals from Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech sealed a 2-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.
After the game, the Chelsea boss reflected on the display and praised the attitude, application and quality of his players.
‘I’m super happy because we were very focused,’ he said. ‘There was a lot of effort against the ball and we did not allow big chances.
‘We defended and attacked as a team. On the ball, we were calm and controlled the match. We managed to find ways through the gaps to escape their high pressing and find spaces behind the line and create fast attacks.
‘We scored in decisive moments and in the second half we created more chances. I’m very happy and very impressed because it was another very focused performance and a deserved win.’
The Blues have now won 12 of our past 13 games but the boss doesn’t think that has reignited our title ambitions just yet…
‘The problem is they [Man City and Liverpool] have also been on a run for a long time, almost three years on a run, so our 13 games is not enough. We will never admit anything before things are decided. We will always push ourselves but we should not get carried away. These teams took advantage of our problems so full credit to them.
‘In the last 12 matches, it was not always super impressive performances and we were sometimes lucky to escape. Just one example was the away game at Crystal Palace, which was not the very best game for us and could easily have been a draw but we scored in the very last minute.
‘We struggled in the period where the gap opened up between us and Liverpool and Man City unfortunately. We struggled with long-term injuries and coronavirus but the attitude was always on a very high level.’
Tuchel admitted the club would recommend Reece James does not link up with the England squad after missing the game…
‘Petr [Cech] will have this chat because of course the recommendation is that he does not go. He’s still in individual training otherwise we would have brought him to Lille and we would have brought him here.
‘He needs one more week of individual rehabilitation and I think we can provide this much better. It’s not the job of the national team to do this.'
There was an update on what he knows about the ownership latest…
‘I knew about the timescale [of offers being made] but I don’t know anything about the offers. I don’t know how many offers or who the offers are from and I’m also not so interested in the details of this process.
‘I’m informed about the guidelines of the process and that’s enough for me. The offers are in now and the board tries to find a decision with the government as soon as possible.’
Finally, Tuchel also provided an update on Kepa and Jorginho, who both missed the game…
‘Kepa is ill and we gave Jorgi the chance to have a pause. He played six in a row over 90 minutes and now he has two crucial games with Italy, not only physically but also mentally, so I decided he could that he can have a break and does not need to do the travel with us.’