Champions League: Chelsea belong among Europe's elite says Tuchel ahead of semi vs Real Madrid
"The main lesson is that we can trust ourselves and we have the right to be in the semi-final," Thomas Tuchel told a news conference ahead of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Wednesday. The tie is finely poised at 1-1 after a draw in Madrid last week.
Kai Havertz of Chelsea FC celebrates scoring his teams first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge on May 01, 2021
Chelsea's impressive away performance at Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final proved the team belong at the highest level of European football, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Tuesday.
Chelsea secured a crucial away goal in their 1-1 draw against the 13-times European champions in Madrid, to give Tuchel's side a narrow advantage ahead of Wednesday's second leg in London.
"The main lesson is that we can trust ourselves and we have the right to be in the semi-final," Tuchel told a news conference. "We deserve to be there.
"It's the second leg, the decisive one, so to arrive with a certain level of belief and self-confidence is absolutely necessary. Otherwise we have no chance against a team like Real Madrid."
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts during the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid.
Image credit: Getty Images
The German, who replaced Frank Lampard in January, added that the biggest challenge his team faced was to forget the first-leg scoreline.
"The challenge is always over two games, you play the first game and then you start at 0-0 again," he said.
"I don't know any other way to prepare a match than to encourage my team to go out and try to win."
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic will miss the game with a hamstring injury, while defender Antonio Rudiger will have to wear a protective face mask if he is in the squad.
Real have injury issues of their own, with Raphael Varane out for 10 days and Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal both out for the season.
Their skipper Sergio Ramos, also missed the first leg, but Tuchel fully expects the centre back to feature at Stamford Bridge.
"I think that he will start, we will prepare for that," Tuchel said. "Does it change a lot for Real Madrid? Yes, he's their captain.
"So it changes a lot but we cannot lose our heads about this decision. We should be self-confident and have no fear to face this challenge."
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Chelsea announce future board meetings will have supporter presence
Chelsea will have a supporter presence at their board meetings starting from July 1, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
The decision comes after Chelsea faced intense criticism from its supporters for their involvement in the attempt to create a breakaway European Super League last month. The club withdrew from the project within 48 hours of the initial launch.
Chelsea said three supporter advisors, picked through an election and selection process, will attend the meetings to ensure "general supporter sentiment" is taken into account as part of the club's decision-making process.
"The club will now consult with the Fans' Forum and several non-official supporter groups to discuss the club's proposed process for picking the three supporter advisors," Chelsea said in a statement.
"Criteria for nominations as well as final selection will ensure that the supporter presence is representative of our supporter base generally and is inclusive and diverse."
Chelsea, however, confirmed supporter advisors will not have any voting rights and will not participate in any meeting relating to "players, staff, the academy and related matters".
The club said a new selection of supporter advisors will be made before the start of each season.