Chelsea embark on mission impossible as Thomas Tuchel plays down his side’s chances of overturning the 3-1 deficit in Madrid – but Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid are going to have to ‘suffer’ to advance to the semi-finals
- Chelsea lost at home to Real Madrid last week, with Karim Benzema dominating
- Thomas Tuchel said after the first leg that he thought a comeback unlikely
- Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro said he could not believe Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea face a mission impossible at Real Madrid, but is daring to dream they can stage a stunning comeback to make the Champions League semi-finals.
The holders face the Spanish giants 3-1 down from last week’s Stamford Bridge first leg, with manager Tuchel claiming only ‘a fantastic script’ will see them through.
Just five times in Champions League history has a team progressed in the knockout stages after losing a home first leg.
Thomas Tuchel played down the chances of his Chelsea side overturning the deficit
Chelsea are also facing Madrid at the Bernabeu, unlike last season when they met at the La Liga leaders’ 6,000 capacity Alfredo Di Stefano training ground while their iconic arena was redeveloped.
Tuchel said: ‘Can it be more different? It is one of the biggest challenges to perform as the away team at the Bernabeu and it is even more difficult if you have to earn a certain result.
‘If you need to win with a minimum of two goals, or even a three goal difference, then it makes it almost impossible. But it’s still worth trying.
‘The challenge is incredibly high. We need nothing else than a fantastic script to overcome this.
‘It’s always allowed to dream and it is sometimes important to imagine things and to dream about it, but it will not shift the focus from the fact that we need to deliver and be ready.’
Having dismissed Chelsea’s hopes of going through following the first meeting, after Saturday’s 6-0 win at Southampton Tuchel upgraded them, though only as far as saying they have ‘not the biggest chance’.
Karim Benzema wheels away after scoring at Stamford Bridge in the first leg last week
But Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti and midfielder Casemiro were not buying Tuchel’s downplaying of his team’s prospects. ‘We can’t trust the words of Tuchel. We are talking about the reigning champions,’ said Casemiro.
Former Blues boss Ancelotti added: ‘Chelsea are coming here to fight to get through. They know it’s difficult but they will try — that is the spirit of big teams, they never give in.
‘They have so much quality and the only way to prepare is to expect a Chelsea that will be better than last week.
‘We know we will have to suffer to get through, but we are ready.’