Thomas Tuchel was happy to snatch an away goal from Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid in Spain, with two particular aspects of his side’s display pleasing him most.
The Blues drew 1-1 at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, with Karim Benzema cancelling out Christian Pulisic’s early strike. The American gave the Blues a 14th-minute lead with an accomplished finish. However, Benzema was on hand to smash home from just a few yards out to ensure it is all to play for in west London.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Tuchel said: “We started the game very very well, with a lot of courage and quality.
“We deserved to win the first half, we had chances. Unfortunately they scored from a set-piece and they had nothing else, we didn’t allow any chances.
“It was a disappointing score at half time. We had to stay calm and not lose confidence. The second half was very tactical, you could feel that we are a bit tired. We only had a few days to recover from another tough away game. We have to live with 1-1.
“The goal was well deserved and we should have scored at least one more. We conceded more or less out of nothing and that can always happen against individual quality.”
Azpilicueta rues missed opportunity
Meanwhile, Blues skipper Cesar Azpilicueta rued what he feels may have been a missed opportunity against Real: “I think we started really well for the first 20-25 minutes, we got the goal and I think we could have scored more. They got back from a set play.
“It is just the first half, we knew against Real Madrid it would be tough.
“We started with courage, we had to perform at our best level. The semi-final of a Champions League asks you to play your best. We missed that little last pass where we could choose the best option.
“I think in the overall analysis we performed well.
“Benzema scored a great goal, he is a very good striker. He dropped, he got the ball and got that goal. We have to be aware for the next game.
“As a unit I think we are all improving and all growing.”