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Thomas Tuchel ecstatic to lift Champions League trophy after last season's heartbreak

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was part of the 2020 Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain but had to settle for second place.

Thomas Tuchel celebrates Chelsea winning the Champions League. (Image: Twitter/@ChampionsLeague)
By Shayne Dias | May 30, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was part of the 2020 Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain but had to settle for second place. One year later, there would be no settling. The German manager saw his Chelsea side secure a hard-fought 1-0 win over Manchester City in the summit clash. It was a vindication of sorts for Tuchel, who was sacked by PSG in December. Nearly 6 months later, he is a European champion. Speaking after the game, Tuchel admitted the atmosphere around this side felt ‘different’ to last year.

“I was so grateful to arrive here (in the final) a second time. It felt different. I told everybody that before. Somehow we could feel it every day coming closer but we were comfortable,” Tuchel said after the match.

“We needed a top-level performance and we needed a strong bond just to have a chance to win this match. This is what we did and I am very happy to share this moment with this team and with all the staff. With all the guys who support on an everyday basis at Cobham. The team fights for them.

“The effort was huge. We overcome some difficult moments and some very dangerous moments with fantastic attitude to defending.”

Tuchel added that losing Thiago Silva to injury in the first half didn’t make things easier for them. The veteran Brazilian limped off with what seemed to be a groin issue. Incidentally, Silva was the captain of the PSG side that lost last year’s final to Bayern Munich.

“We had to make an early change with Andreas Christensen coming on for Thiago Silva which did not make the things easier but we were brave.

“Even in moments where it was hard to escape the pressure we kept the formation and we were constantly active.”

Thomas Tuchel hungry for more

Thomas Tuchel also admitted that Pep Guardiola surprised him with his team selection. Indeed, Guardiola surprised a lot of people by picking neither Rodri nor Fernandinho. Instead, he opted to pack the midfield with technical players.

“City chose a very offensive and very technical line-up. It was very hard to recover the balls,” said Tuchel.

“It was very important that we step out with Azpi and Toni constantly out of the back five to support our midfield. And it was important to stay in a block on the front five.

“We were absolutely sure that we needed to play with a strong bond and with a genuine belief, and this is what we did. Minute after minute we could grab some ball possession we could win more and more second balls and initiate some dangerous counter attacks which gave us confidence, and from then on it was a tough match until the end.”

Tuchel was especially pleased with the way Chelsea defended towards the end of the game.

“We have a strong group who can really defend and defending is a huge part of football. They have a huge energy together and they can deliver under pressure.

“So this sets the level for us and once the celebrations are over and we have all digested this experience, it’s the moment to grow, to evolve, and to use it to become better.

“A lot of young players had this huge success and now it’s a big challenge to stay hungry and to go for the next one.”



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