September 22, 2021

Top 4: Chelsea, Leicester clash again tonight

May 18, 2021
Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel with some of his players ahead of Real Madrid clash.

Thomas Tuchel is optimistic Chelsea will show their resolve after back-to-back defeats for the first time in his tenure and secure Champions League qualification.

Chelsea host third-placed Leicester tonight [8:15pm Nigeria time] knowing a victory would see them leapfrog the Foxes, before travelling to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Tuchel said he had “no regrets” about his side’s FA Cup final defeat to Leicester on Saturday, but conceded Liverpool had increased the pressure after goalkeeper Alisson’s last-minute winner at West Brom on Sunday moved them to within a point of the Blues.

“The setback was the Arsenal game [a 1-0 defeat last week],” said the Chelsea head coach.

“It is our fault that it is so close again. We let the door open and Liverpool put a foot in the door.

“This is what they do, this is a strong team.

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“We had a huge effort to overcome them and to close the gap to overtake them. This is what we did and we can be aware of this huge performance that we did so far. But we want to finish the job.

“We are in the lucky situation that we can rely on ourselves and don’t have to look at other grounds.”

Tuchel, whose side face Manchester City in the final of Europe’s top-tier club competition, said he was “fighting hard” to recover momentum and confidence within his side.

“The margins are so tight in football for wins and losses. It’s easy to handle your self-confidence when you win but nobody needs to be afraid of the situation,” Tuchel said as the German admitted doubts were inevitable.

“If we bring out the same performance as in the final, the same work rate and energy, improve with details in the match, we are able to win games. We are aware we need momentum and luck in any match for results.”

Tuchel insisted there was nothing “personal” in his decision to omit joint top-scorer Tammy Abraham from his matchday squad in the defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ side at the weekend.

“It’s just on the amount of people I can nominate for a game,” he explained. “I decided to start with Timo as the No 9 and we had Kai and Oli who can play No 9 so we decided not to have three No 9s on the bench.

“Since I arrived here everybody deserves to be in the squad. I understand his frustration and this was not the first time. We have other guys with the same situation.

“This is not the moment to complain and this is not the moment to explain too much. This is the moment to live in the moment and these are the decisive two weeks of the whole season.”

Meanwhile, Tuchel is hopeful Antonio Rudiger, who is out of contract next summer, commits his future at Stamford Bridge after being an integral member of his squad since his appointment in January.

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