‘We arrive in the Champions League final knowing we are capable of beating them’: Thomas Tuchel bullish over Istanbul showdown after snatching victory over Manchester City but admits European final will be ‘unique’ game
- Chelsea came from behind to earn a 2-1 win at league leaders Manchester City
- Marcos Alonso’s late winner denied City the chance to win the title on Saturday
- The two side will meet again in three weeks for the Champions League final
- Thomas Tuchel claims the win will not affect the result but will boost confidence
- The Blues boss insists his side were lucky that Sergio Aguero missed a penalty
Thomas Tuchel claims Chelsea’s win over Manchester City will boost confidence ahead of this month’s Champions League final – but insists the victory will not impact the European encounter.
The Blues picked up a smash-and-grab comeback win at the Etihad Stadium thanks to Marcos Alonso’s stoppage-time winner after Hakim Ziyech had cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener earlier on in the match.
The two sides will meet on May 29 for an all-English Champions League final with Chelsea having won the last two encounters between the teams – the other being last month’s FA Cup semi-final triumph at Wembley.
Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea’s win at Man City will boost their Champions League final hopes
Marcos Alonso (left) scored a last-gasp winner to seal a 2-1 Premier League win on Saturday
But Tuchel claims both his and Chelsea’s recent form over Pep Guardiola side will have no bearing over the match in three weeks’ time.
Speaking about the importance of Saturday’s result, Tuchel told Sky Sports: ‘It gives us confidence because it’s all about the performance.
‘This result won’t change much as the (Champions League) final is a very unique game, you can’t predict what will happen and we need to be prepared. We both will have chances.
‘We arrive with the knowledge that we are capable of beating them, that’s what we have now and this won’t change much to Istanbul.’
City and Chelsea will face each other in the Champions League final in just three week’s time
Towards the end of a cagey first-half, City sprung into life when Sterling profited from an Andreas Christensen error to put the home side, who needed one more win to seal the Premier League title, in front on 44 minutes.
Guardiola’s men then wasted a golden chance to double the lead before the interval when Sergio Aguero scooped a horrible Panenka penalty into the arms of grateful Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Tuchel’s Blues then came out of the second-half firing on all cylinders and deservedly equalised when Ziyech slammed home past Ederson from inside the box.
City took the lead when Raheem Sterling (right) swept home just minutes before half-time
But Hakim Ziyech (middle) frustrated City’s title party by netting an equaliser after the break
And amid end-to-end action at the Etihad, Alonso won the match at the death when his unorthodox shot flew into the net in the final minute of stoppage time.
German boss Tuchel admitted that his side were fortunate in some aspects on Saturday, including Aguero’s shock-horror spot-kick, but insists Chelsea deserved the three points.
Tuchel added: ‘What a performance in second half. If they score the penalty maybe it’s over before it really starts and then you go to half time 2-0 with no chances to come back. I was impressed with the reaction in the second half and think we deserved to win in the second half.
City were fortunate when Sergio Aguero missed a Panenka penalty with the score at 1-0 to City
Tuchel (left) admits his side were lucky against Pep Guardiola’s champions-elect this weekend
‘When you’re 1-0 down at the Etihad you need a bit of luck, some decisions, but it goes like this we had many half chances and chances. A big congratulations to the team for the second half.
‘We had more control, confidence, the first goal helped us. We could play more physical and recover the balls higher. It was a physical battle and we increased our motivation.’
The result lifts Chelsea into third in the Premier League table, six points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham in the race for the top-four. David Moyes’ Hammers have just four games to make up the five-point gap to Leicester in fourth.
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