Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea can take Real Madrid defeat with ‘pride’ and they ‘deserved to go through’… as he FUMES at Polish referee for ‘laughing and smiling’ with Carlo Ancelotti at full-time
- Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday after losing to Madrid
- Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has said he is proud of his side despite their loss
- Tuchel said his side played a ‘fantastic game’, which ended 3-2 in Madrid’s favour
- Karim Benzema scored an extra-time winner to secure Real Madrid’s victory
- The Real Madrid star scored a hat-trick in last week’s Champions League first leg
Karim Benzema broke Chelsea’s hearts to send the holders crashing out of the Champions League in the cruellest fashion on a night of incredible drama at the Bernabeu.
Trailing 3-1 from the first-leg, Chelsea were just 10 minutes away from pulling off a sensational miracle in Madrid after forcing their way into a 3-0 lead.
But Real sub Rodrygo made it 3-1 on the night with his first meaningful touch to force extra-time and Benzema, Madrid’s hat-trick hero at Stamford Bridge, had the decisive say in the rollercoaster return with a 96th minute header to send the La Liga leaders through 5-4 on aggregate and leave Carlo Ancelotti hailing ‘the magic’ of the Bernabeu.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has ‘no regrets’ after his side’s Champions League exit in Madrid
The Spaniards will now face Manchester City or city rivals Atletico in the semi-finals.
With the odds stacked against them Chelsea produced a heroic performance to outclass Madrid, dominating the game for most of the night.
But they were left to rue the controversial decision to rule out Marcos Alonso’s second-half goal and two mistakes, when they gifted their hosts possession, that preceded Madrid’s clinically-taken goals.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said: ‘We are very disappointed and very proud at the same time because we played a fantastic match.
‘In the end we were unlucky. We deserved to go through after this performance and match today but it was not meant to be. You need luck in games like this and it was not on our side.
‘Over both legs and for sure today we deserved to go through. Unlucky but there are no regrets. These are the kind of defeats that you can take with pride. You accept as a sportsman.’
Goals from Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger early in each half put Chelsea up on aggregate
Karim Benzema headed the winner in extra-time to take his side through to the semi-finals
Goals from Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger, from a debatably-awarded corner, hauled Chelsea level on aggregate.
Alonso then thought he had put Chelsea ahead only to see his goal chalked off following a VAR review though not a pitchside check by referee Szymon Marciniak.
Tuchel said: ‘I did not see the goal but I’m super disappointed that he did not come back to check it and in a match like this you should stay the boss and not give decisions to someone in a chair who is isolated from the atmosphere and from the way the referee has a certain style and the things he allows and does not allow.’
Tuchel was also furious with Marciniak at full-time, saying: ‘I was disappointed that the referee had a good time with my colleague Carlo Ancelotti.
‘I know Carlo Ancelotti is a gentleman and nice guy but when I wanted to say thank you for the match I see him laughing and smiling and laughing loud with the opponents coach.
‘I think this is the very, very wrong time to do this after the final whistle, 126 minutes and one team giving their heart and fighting to the very last drop and you go as a coach and see the referee smiling and laughing with the other coach. I think this is very, very bad timing. I told him this.’
Timo Werner then did put Chelsea 3-0 up before Luka Modric set up Rodrygo’s equaliser with a sensational cross with the outside of his foot and Benzema struck in extra time.
As a result, Real Madrid progressed while Chelsea were dumped out of the Champions League
Nevertheless, Tuchel said he was ‘very proud’ of his team as they played a ‘fantastic match’
Tuchel said: ‘We scored four goals, had big chances to score even more. We were unlucky that’s why we’re disappointed. We got beaten by pure individual quality and offensive conversion of our mistakes. Unfortunately we had two mistakes after ball wins, the most crucial moments in games against Real Madrid.
‘They did not create a lot at Stamford Bridge but took every half chance and converted it. This was enough so you have to reduce your amount of mistakes and we could not reduce it to an absolute minimum over two legs that’s why the deficit was so high and when you come here and play a match like this and after the ball win we have two crucial ball losses that are maybe against very teams is a goal but with Real Madrid it’s possible.’
Madrid manager Ancelotti said: ‘The magic of this stadium helps a lot to never give up. We never give up.
‘At the Bernabéu you can never think that everything is lost. I can’t explain it, but the Bernabéu, there is this magic that helps you.
‘I am very happy to reach the semi-final with this team, with this club, suffering a lot, yes. But the more you suffer, the happier I am.’
Modric said: ‘In the end we showed great character, desire and togetherness to manage to turn it around. A defeat that is very sweet.’