Thomas Tuchel: Chelsea ‘accept’ Porto defeat en route to Champions League semi-finals

A 1-0 defeat by the Portuguese side on Tuesday was not enough to prevent the Blues from progressing

Thomas Tuchel (centre left) at full-time in Seville, where Chelsea defeated Porto over two legs
Thomas Tuchel (centre left) at full-time in Seville, where Chelsea defeated Porto over two legs

Thomas Tuchel has said Chelsea will “accept” their defeat by Porto in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg, with the result failing to prevent the Blues from reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.

A superb overhead kick by Mehdi Taremi in added time meant Porto emerged 1-0 winners on the night but 2-1 losers on aggregate as Chelsea booked their spot in the final four.

Following their success in Seville, the Premier League club will take on either domestic rivals Liverpool in the semi-finals or Spanish champions Real Madrid. Real take a 3-1 aggregate lead over Jurgen Klopp’s side into Wednesday’s second leg.

“We accept it,” Tuchel said of his side’s loss to Porto, which marked only the second time that Chelsea have lost since the German coach joined the club in late January.

“It was a tough, tough fight, maybe on the television not so nice to watch.

“Very fast game, very tense game. They are a very aggressive team and they attack in a very fluent and aggressive way. They change positions all the time. You have to adapt to many movements, but with every minute we did it better and better.

“We defended very, very well, deserved a clean sheet. We had the better chances but had to hang in there. We had a plan defensively, also a plan offensively.”

Porto earned a 0-0 draw with Premier League leaders Manchester City in the group stage and eliminated Italian champions Juventus in the last 16 to set up their meeting with Chelsea, meaning the Primeira Liga’s titleholders were full of belief that they could overcome Tuchel’s team.

It wasn’t to be for Sergio Conceicao’s side, however, despite Taremi’s late, impressive goal.

“Normally Porto are a team that can make other teams under-perform. It happened against City, against Juve, so you have to accept that things are hard,” Tuchel said. “But part of performance is not to let others perform and we did this today.

“Until the shot in the last minute we did not concede any big chances. At the sideline, it was a pleasure to watch the fight. We deserve to go through.”

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