Thomas Tuchel believes his new-look Chelsea boast the “edge and glue” to turn into real Champions League title contenders.
Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri struck as Chelsea dispatched 10-man Atletico Madrid 2-0 in Wednesday’s last-16 second-leg conflict at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues dumped out LaLiga’s leaders 3-0 on combination to achieve their first Champions League quarter-final since 2014, with Tuchel extending his unbeaten begin at Chelsea to 13 matches.
Eagerly awaiting Friday’s last-eight draw, Tuchel insisted Chelsea should concern nobody within the competitors – and hailed his squad’s bristling spirit as essential to their continued European possibilities.
“An important is that we really feel we deserve this,” mentioned Tuchel. “An important is that we give the suggestions for the fellows what they did right here by way of high quality and depth.
“It is most essential you are feeling it and that nobody has to persuade you. You should really feel it.
“They play with a particular bond and performances and outcomes like this provide you with a sure edge and glue to realize particular issues. You possibly can solely obtain this by outcomes and experiences.
“I am fairly certain nobody desires to play in opposition to us. It is a super-difficult problem forward as a result of we’re already within the final eight.
“It is a huge step, however no must be afraid, we take what we get and put together as greatest as doable.”
Atletico had Stefan Savic despatched off late on for elbowing Toni Rudiger off the ball, and the Madrid males have been effectively crushed within the occasion.
Chelsea have registered 11 clear sheets in 13 matches with out defeat since Tuchel took the helm from Frank Lampard.
N’Golo Kante conjured one of many seminal performances of a profession that already boasts two Premier League titles and a World Cup win.
The low-key Frenchman dominated from first to final on the base of Chelsea’s midfield, leaving Tuchel in awe of the 29-year-old dynamo.
“If you happen to play with NG you at all times play with a minimal half a person extra; that is distinctive,” mentioned Tuchel.
“It’s a pleasure to be his coach, he’s a giant present for me, a man so, so humble, and who’s such a giant helper on the pitch.
“However do not underestimate his high quality in passing, dribbling and escaping the stress. Mateo Kovacic and him wanted to step up as we speak as a result of we missed Jorginho.
“So that they knew we’d depend on them, they usually delivered.”
Disillusioned Atletico coach Diego Simeone doffed his cap to Chelsea, then insisted his aspect will refocus on chasing the Spanish league title.
“I believe it’s a must to congratulate your opponent when they’re the higher group,” mentioned Simeone.
“We aren’t afraid within the slightest of what comes subsequent; we have at all times struggled this season within the Champions League.
“It has been a tricky marketing campaign for us, and naturally we weren’t the most effective group as we speak, Chelsea have been.
“Now we have to enhance. We go once more from Friday and push on with the identical motivation and dedication and the identical enthusiasm as we glance to give attention to the subsequent sport.”
Chelsea host Sheffield United within the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday; kick-off is at 1.30pm. In the meantime, Atletico Madrid are at residence to Alaves in La Liga at 5.30pm.
Champions League key dates
Quarter-finals first legs: April 6/7
Quarter-finals second legs: April 13/14
Semi-finals first legs: April 27/28
Semi-finals second legs: Could 4/5
Ultimate: Could 29 (Atatürk Olympic Stadium)