This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed
Thomas Tuchel has ruled that his Chelsea players must now be “very careful” with their recovery ahead of the Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid in midweek. The Blues picked up all three points on the road at West Ham this evening, a result that is likely to prove invaluable come the end of the season.
Chelsea knew that they had a chance to extend their lead over Liverpool to four points in the race for the top-four after they drew with Newcastle earlier today.
And that is what Chelsea did courtesy of Timo Werner’s first-half strike and the Blues are now in the driving seat in the race for Champions League qualification.
Now attentions turn to the first leg of their semi-final with Real Madrid, ahead of next week’s trip to the Spanish capital.
After another closely-contested encounter and gruelling week, Tuchel is now cautious that his players need to get their rest in.
“Today we played at a high, high level against a strong opponent. It was a good response.
“We only have two days to recover. We need to be very careful now in the recovery process.”
Real Madrid are currently fighting it out for the La Liga title and therefore cannot afford to rest players ahead of the meeting with Chelsea.
Tuchel acknowledged the prestige of the tie but is confident his players have what it takes to get the better of the 13-Champions League winners.
“It’s clearly something very special,” Tuchel added on the tie.
“They’re the biggest club in the last 10 years of the Champions League.
“To arrive with the confidence and the trust in ourselves that we can perform in these matches is a good feeling.”