Chelsea lost for the second time under Thomas Tuchel in a forgettable Champions League quarter-final second leg, going through with an aggregate win that has allowed midfield prodigy Christian Pulisic to speak of their confidence.
USA sensation Pulisic could have scored twice, including being put clean through on goal in the second half, only for Iran international Mehdi Taremi to halve the deficit and give Chelsea the briefest of scares with a spectacular overhead kick in added time at the end of the match.
Porto failed in their desperate searched for a second, chasing an even later repeat of the drama that saw them knock out Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the previous round.
“It was a tough tough fight. Honestly.” For both matches, we overcame a strong side and the semi-finals is a big achievement.” He looks calm and composed, but inside Thomas Tuchel must be absolutely delighted! 🔵🙌🎙 @TheDesKellypic.twitter.com/NZAFMiubwc
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 13, 2021
Instead of suspensions for a red card, they should make players watch a full replay of Chelsea vs Porto instead as punishment.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 13, 2021
Chelsea’s stars did not sound unduly worried by the frenetic ending to the game. “We knew they were going to put a lot of pressure on us,” reasoned Pulisic, eyeing a final four showdown with either Real Madrid or Liverpool, who start the second leg of their quarter-final tomorrow night with Madrid 3-1 ahead.
“They were down two goals from the first leg so we knew they were going to come out flying and we couldn’t panic at any point. I don’t think we did.
“We were very steady at the back, we didn’t give them any massive chances. They scored an incredible goal but, all in all, we were happy with the shift we put in.”
“There’s a lot of confidence – we have a great team, a very confident bunch of guys.
“We’re very excited, whoever our next opponents are going to be. We’re going to go in and try to win this thing.”
A first appearance in the semi-finals since 2014 looked unlikely until Tuchel turned Chelsea into a more formidable-looking proposition.
“He’s had a big impact,” England midfielder Mason Mount told BT Sport about the German boss.
“It’s difficult to come in midway through the season but we knew from day one what he wanted, we’ve all implemented it in the game. We work hard in training, we’ve been performing at a high level so we need to continue that.
“We could have played better but our performance was at the back of our minds and getting through to the semi-finals was at the forefront of our minds.
“We’re buzzing. We’re in a good position, we know we’re playing well. The focus in every game is 100 per cent.
“We’re going into each game with confidence that we’re going to win. We’ve got a big end to the season.”
Chelsea are a point behind fourth-placed West Ham and two behind Leicester ahead of them in the Premier League.
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This article originally appeared on RT Sport News