11th April, 2022
Thomas Tuchel said it will be “almost impossible” for Chelsea to avoid a Champions League exit but they must dream of fighting back to knock Real Madrid out.
A Karim Benzema consigned the holders to a 3-1 defeat in the first leg of the quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge last week.
Chelsea responded to that loss by hammering Southampton 6-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, while Madrid stayed on course to be crowned LaLiga champions with a 2-0 victory over Getafe.
The Blues, who will be without injured record signing Romelu Lukaku due to an Achilles injury, have a mountain to climb at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday and Tuchel is realistic over their chances of progressing to the last four.
But the German expects his side to put up more of a fight than they did in London last week.
He said: “It’s one of the biggest challenges to perform as an away team at the Bernabeu. If you have to win by at least two goals, it is very difficult, almost impossible. We need to overperform.
He added: “We never manage our input and effort by chances we have for a result, we never did and will not start tomorrow by giving less because it’s very unlikely we will make it.
“It’s unlikely, but we will try, we will play to our full limit. It’s a big night and a big match and we wll try to be in better shape and in a better condition than in the first leg.”
Tuchel says Chelsea must arrive in the Spanish capital with the belief they can pull off a stunning comeback.
“We need nothing else than a fantastic script,” he said. “The task is incredibly high after the first leg. You’re always allowed to dream and sometimes it is important to imagine and dream about things, but it doesn’t change the fact we need to be ready to deliver.
“We will try hard, it’s worth trying. Hopefully, we can fulfill our dream, but realistically we have to invest a lot.”
Cesar Azpilicueta is available after testing negative for COVID-19, while Callum Hudson-Odoi remains sidelined with an Achilles injury and Ross Barkley is out due to illness.