Thomas Tuchel hails Chelsea’s ‘brave’ defence after FA Cup semi-final win against Man City

‘We were not lucky to escape with a clean sheet, we worked hard for it’

Andrew Gamble
Saturday 17 April 2021 21:16
<p>Antonio Rudiger and Thomas Tuchel</p>

Antonio Rudiger and Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel praised his side’s defensive efforts as they defeated Manchester City1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

A scrappy encounter was settled early in the second half when Timo Werner teed up Hakim Ziyech to score and end Manchester City’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.

Tuchel said: “A good defence is also having the ball and possession. It is a very good clean sheet. We were not lucky to escape with a clean sheet, we worked hard for it.

“The guys are ready to cover for each other if anyone loses a duel. We wanted to be brave today with the ball and against the ball and we did it. [I’m] so happy.”

The German manager, who took over from Frank Lampard midway through the season, continued to heap praise on the Blues for their impressive performance.

“It feels fantastic because we were playing the best team in Europe right now and we managed to close the gap for 90 minutes. At the end of each half we had to suffer and we also needed a bit of luck but it was a deserved win. I am so proud because it is so hard against City, you have to be on your top level.”

“It was a very, very strong performance and I am very proud of my team.”

The winning goal was created and finished by two summer signings in Werner and Ziyech, and Tuchel was pleased with their ability to wreak havoc on City’s backline.

He added: “It was very nicely played. We escaped the pressure and we had a deep run from Mason [Mount] and the run from Timo. Hakim could finish from Timo’s delivery, which was crucial because it was decisive.

“We had a big chance with Timo, a big chance with Ziyech and two offside goals, so it would have been possible to be more calm in that last 15 minutes, but I like the effort and hard work.

“It was a good mix between ball possession and defending.”

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