This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel praised his players after the English club took control of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Atlético de Madrid.
Olivier Giroud’s impressive launch secured a 1-0 win over Atlético in the opening match of Tuesday’s European game, the match played in Bucharest due to coronavirus travel restrictions between the UK and Spain.
Chelsea dominated proceedings against the LaLiga leaders as Tuchel continued his hot streak since replacing Frank Lampard last month.
Former Paris Saint-Germain manager Tuchel has conceded just two goals in eight games as Chelsea manager; the only coach in the club’s history who has conceded fewer goals after eight games in charge is José Mourinho (one).
2 – Thomas Tuchel has conceded just two goals in eight games as Chelsea manager; In the club’s history, the only coach who has conceded fewer goals after eight games in charge is José Mourinho (one). Master class. pic.twitter.com/fkvHRIwEfT
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 23, 2021
Tuchel credited his players after the game, telling reporters: “I am very happy for my players and the team for such a great reward. In fact, we can read from the score line that we have the result against the best opponents.
“It was very important that we were absolutely focused during the 96 minutes. We also accept that it is very difficult to create chances, but we did all that and it was a very good team effort ”.
While Tuchel became the second manager in Champions League history to lead two different clubs in a single season after Ronald Koeman in 2007-08 (PSV and Valencia), the Chelsea striker Giroud claimed a record of his own.
At 34 years and 146 days, Giroud became the oldest player to score a Champions League knockout goal for Chelsea, and the oldest to do so for an English team since Ryan Giggs (37) with Manchester United. in April 2011.
Giroud’s spectacular goal in the 68th minute was initially canceled for offside before VAR intervened.
Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 23, 2021
“I’m not proud of [Giroud’s goal] because I had nothing to do with it, ”Tuchel said. “So it was not my achievement. You can be proud.”
Tuchel added: “If you see it daily, you can’t be surprised. He is totally fit, his body is in shape, and his physique is at the top level.
“Mentally I have the feeling that he enjoys every day being a professional soccer player at this level and this is the level he needs. Train like a 20 year old, like a 24 year old. He is a boy who has a good mix of seriousness and playfulness in training.
“It is always positive and it is an important factor for the group. He starts, when he comes from the bank, he has all these qualities and he’s good like that ”.