Thu, 17 Jun 2021

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has told his squad they must disregard their heroics from last week's first leg draw in Madrid if they want to have a chance of reaching the Champions League final.

The Premier League side go into Wednesday night's second leg at Stamford Bridge with the advantage of an away goal from the 1-1 result.

But Tuchel, who steered Paris Saint-Germain to the 2020 final, conceded his men could not rely on the bonus against a Madrid side packed with seasoned Champions League operators.

"You always have to start from 0-0 and we are preparing to win this match," said the German who took over from Frank Lampard in January.

"The result of the first leg has zero importance in the preparation and the way we train or in what I will say to my players."

Chelsea, skippered by Lampard, won the Champions League in 2012. It remains the west London outfit's sole success in European football's most prestigious club competition. Madrid claimed the trophy six times in its incarnation as the European Cup between 1956 and 1993.


Since the revamp to the Champions League, they have hoisted a further seven titles including an unprecedented hat trick between 2016 and 2018.

"We will have to put intensity into the match," added Tuchel. "There is pressure at this level. You have to believe in yourself, otherwise you don't stand a chance against a team like Real Madrid."

Tuchel's counterpart, Zinedine Zidane, is only one of seven men to have won the European Cup/Champions League trophy as a player and a coach.

The 48-year-old Frenchman was in the Real Madrid side that won the 2002 title at the expense of Bayer Leverkusen and was Carlo Ancelotti's assistant when Madrid won their 10th title in 2014. He was in overall charge for the run of three crowns.

In his latest hunt for the cup, he will be deprived of key defender Raphael Varane who hurt his right adductor muscle during the 2-0 win over Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday.

However, Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos will return from injury to lead the likes of Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos who have starred in the club's most recent Champions League triumphs.

"We're alive and we're going to the second leg with the idea of winning," said Zidane.

Originally published on RFI

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