London (AFP) – Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea want to “prove a point” in their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid as they seek to bounce back from their shock 4-1 defeat by Brentford.
The European champions lost for the first time at the weekend since owner Roman Abramovich announced he was selling the club last month, collapsing after taking the lead in their Premier League match.
Now they are preparing to go head to head with the Spanish league leaders for the second year in succession after winning last year’s semi-final 3-1 on aggregate before beating Manchester City in the final.
Tuchel suggested 13-times winners Madrid were not the powerhouse they once were when they won three consecutive Champions League titles from 2016 to 2018, but said they still had bags of experience.
“I think it’s normal that cycles like this change at some point and this is what… happened to them,” he said at his press conference on the eve of Wednesday’s match.
“But we should be very aware that teams with this kind of experience, this kind of flair and this kind of quality can produce special performances and special nights and special occasions.
“For us it’s also a pretty special occasion to play against Real Madrid in a quarter-final. That’s why we feel also pretty excited and we don’t lose too much sleep to think about where they are in Europe.
“We want to prove a point tomorrow again. We want to prove it to ourselves and that’s the target and the occasion is special and the opponent is special.”
Tuchel said he did not have concerns over the commitment of defender Andreas Christensen, who is understood to be close to completing a free-transfer move to Barcelona.
“Maybe it is a bit more challenging for him than normal, in a moment where everything is clear or where you are fully committed to your club you play for at the moment, which is obvious, but maybe he cleared his future,” said the Chelsea boss. “I don’t know it yet.”
He added: “He is our player and we want to have the most of him and he needs to be focused. This is his job. He needs to be determined and this is what we expect from him and I think we can expect it.”
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