Tuchel not hiding from Chelsea's Champions League and FA Cup double pursuit

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

Thomas Tuchel insists he will not hide from the challenge of winning trophies at Chelsea as they prepare for a significant Champions League and FA Cup double bill.

The Blues face Porto on Tuesday in the home leg of their quarter-final tie in a commanding position, having won 2-0 in the first fixture.

On Saturday, they will meet quadruple-chasing Manchester City in an FA Cup semi-final, with the prospect of meeting either Leicester City or Southampton in the final.

Chelsea remain in a battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League but head coach Tuchel has his sights set on delivering silverware, despite only taking over from Frank Lampard in January.

Asked if the Champions League is Chelsea's best chance of a trophy in 2020-21, Tuchel replied: "Maybe when you are in the final.

"We are in the second leg of the quarter-final of the Champions League. You will not find any team who do not have the goal to reach the semi-final.

"We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup and have the chance to arrive in the final. If we arrive in the final then we have the chance to win.

"There is nothing to hide. This is a club that has a culture, a structure to win titles and win games consecutively. Chelsea is the club that has the culture and the history and mentality to do so.

"I am here to win titles, I am here to win games and as a result, win titles. This is what I demand of myself so why should we now say anything different?

"But, honestly, we can talk for hours and hours but tomorrow is the game to play and there is no tougher match than the next game, there is no tougher obstacle than the one in front of you and we should not get lost in dreams, hopes and speeches or whatever.

"We are here to perform in the second leg of the quarter-final, this is what we do and then hopefully after tomorrow we can talk about a semi-final."

Goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell secured Chelsea's first-leg win and they are yet to lose a game in this season's competition.

Porto, meanwhile, have only won once in their past 20 knockout games as the away side, while only four teams have previously progressed in this competition after losing a home first leg of a tie without scoring.

Still, Tuchel believes Porto have an easier challenge as they can only go all out for victory in Seville, where the first leg was also held due to coronavirus restrictions.

"We don't approach games like this [passively] or change the approach," Tuchel said. "For us, it is important that we focus on us, play the best game possible as this increases the chances to have a result.

"In terms of a result, it is easier for Porto because they need to score three goals to get through, for them if it is clear. For us, if we start in this way then we could completely lose our heads. I hope we embrace the challenge and feel it."

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