Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes his team should have no fear in the Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Chelsea won 3-0 on aggregate thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri, extending their unbeaten streak to 13 games in all competitions since Tuchel took over as coach in January.
With the draw set for Friday, holders Bayern Munich and Premier League champions Manchester City are among the teams remaining in the competition, but Tuchel believes Chelsea has won their place among Europe’s elite.
“The most important thing is we deserve this,” said Tuchel. “They play with a special bond and results like this give you a certain edge to achieve special things.
“I’m sure no one wants to play against us. This will be a difficult challenge… But on we go, no need to be afraid. We take what we get.”
Tuchel was pleased with his team’s control of the game against Spain’s LaLiga champions but noted there was still room for improvement.
“We need to improve in counterattacks, we have to be more forward-thinking, use our speed and exploit spaces,” he said. “We are looking to be more clinical and precise.”
Since joining Chelsea, Ziyech has fallen short of hopes, but Tuchel was pleased by the Moroccan yesternight.
“He suffers a bit with our style, he needs to adapt … but I am super happy, this was reliable from him,” Tuchel said.
On Sunday, Chelsea, who are currently fourth in the Premier League, will play Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarterfinals.