Tuchel hungry for more after Champions League masterclass

Chelsea outplayed City on Saturday and could have won by a bigger margin
Last Updated 30 May 2021, 01:09 IST

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he was hungry for more after delivering the Champions League just four months after taking charge with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City on Saturday.

The German got the better of City's Pep Guardiola for the third time this season with a masterful tactical game plan that his team executed to perfection.

Kai Havertz's first-half goal secured the win that vindicated Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's decision to sack club great Frank Lampard in January and install Tuchel.

While Tuchel's other two victories over City came in the FA Cup semi-final and the Premier League, Saturday's triumph in Porto was on an entirely different level against a team that was being trumpeted as the best in club football.

Yet with the celebrations in full flow, Tuchel was already plotting more silverware for a young team that has emerged as the most likely challengers to City's domestic dominance.

Read more: Chelsea's chaos conquers Manchester City’s plan

"The level is set and once the celebrations are over and we've all digested this experience, it's the moment to grow, to use it to become better," Tuchel, who finished on the losing side in last year's Champions League final when Paris St Germain were beaten by Bayern Munich in Lisbon, told reporters.

"It's absolutely crucial that we do that. It's a big challenge to stay hungry and go for the next one.

"I feel hungry, part of a really ambitious club and a strong group that supports my beliefs in football perfectly."

Chelsea outplayed City on Saturday and could have won by a bigger margin than Havertz's first Champions League goal had they been a little more clinical.


"It was a huge achievement to arrive in the final and even bigger to fight our way to the Cup," Tuchel said.

"We knew we needed a top level performance and a strong bond to have a chance to win the match and this is what we did.

"I'm almost speechless. Very happy to share this with the guys. The effort was huge to overcome some difficult moments with a fantastic attitude," he added.

When Tuchel took charge in January, Chelsea's season seemed in freefall. They were ninth in the Premier League and, despite a plethora of expensive talent, lacked identity and confidence.

The transformation has been incredible.

First of all Tuchel instilled some organisation and made Chelsea tough to beat, with his side keeping 12 clean sheets in his first 14 matches in charge in all competitions.

He proved more than a match for the likes of Liverpool's Juergen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's Jose Mourinho in league wins and outsmarted Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone in the last-16 of the Champions League.

Tuchel has also harnessed the attacking potential of young talents such as Mason Mount and Havertz, made French World Cup winner N'Golo Kante the beating heart of the team and helped German defender Antonio Rudiger rediscover his best form.

With Mount superb against City, as were English full backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell, Tuchel's impact at Chelsea might also help England to glory at next month's Euro 2020 finals.

Delivering the Champions League, Chelsea's second, so early was probably even beyond the expectations of the London's club's owner Roman Abramovich whose ruthless sacking of Lampard angered fans. But once again he has come up trumps.

"I spoke to the owner on the pitch, it was the best moment for our first meeting – or maybe the worst because it can only get worse now," joked Tuchel.

(Published 30 May 2021, 01:09 IST)

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