Chelsea quick to banish blues

Sports | REUTERS 9 Apr 2021

Coach Thomas Tuchel praised his Chelsea side for overcoming the shock of last weekend's 5-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion as they beat Porto 2-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Against struggling West Brom, Chelsea conceded more than double the amount of goals they've allowed in their previous 14 games under Tuchel. But they looked like their usual selves against Porto, with goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell putting them on course for a semi-final place.

"We had a lot of excellent results together, then we had a loss together and then a reaction after a loss together. That brings us closer together and increases the trust," Tuchel said.

"There'll always be setbacks in sports. The biggest challenge is to bounce back."

Chelsea dominated both legs of their last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid but were on the back foot for large chunks against Porto. "There were many moments where we suffered," admitted Tuchel, who led Paris Saint-Germain to last year's final. "The spirit was good and it was an excellent result ... but it's only half-time."

At 22 years and 87 days, Mount became Chelsea's youngest goalscorer in a Champions League knockout game. "He has the right attitude. He is open and hungry to learn," Tuchel said.

Porto have not made it beyond the quarter-finals since 2004 but they took the game to their opponents in their home leg, which was played in Seville due to coronavirus restrictions in Portugal.

Coach Sergio Conceicao underlined the huge wealth gap between the two sides which saw Chelsea bring on some star names from the bench. He felt, however, that his side had played better than their richer opponents.

"We know Chelsea's strengths. They sent on Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud, N'Golo Kante and Thiago Silva - they have different weapons. But we were superior," he said.



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