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‘We never let them breathe’ – Tuchel revel in Chelsea’s Champions League win at defensive Atletico Madrid

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel expressed his joy at his side’s performance against a defensive side Atletico Madrid, as the Blues claimed a 1-0 Champions League victory on Tuesday.

Olivier Giroud’s stunner in the second half was enough for Chelsea in Bucharest as they will take a big advantage in their home game in the round of 16.

Tuchel said the Blues expected their opponents to be able to settle in defensively and that he was happy to have managed to break through Atletico’s heavy backline.

What Tuchel said

Talk to BT Sport, the Chelsea boss said: “Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved.

“We wanted to dominate in the opponents’ half of the field, never lose our focus, not make easy mistakes and always be aware of fast counter attacks for all their quality.

“It was a very disciplined performance – a deserved shutout. It is hard work, a team effort – the basis of a great victory.

“We knew it [Atletico packing their defence] could happen. We told the guys if this happens maybe it’s our quality and respect. We wanted to be brave and play in their half of the field.

“We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high. That’s what we did very well. We never let them breathe or go out for counterattacks We have a great reward with that.

“It’s one of the toughest challenges to open a defense like Atletico.”

Tuchel’s strong start at Chelsea continues

Since the former Dortmund and PSG boss replaced Frank Lampard last month, he has won six and drew two of his eight appearances in charge of Chelsea.

Defense has been a strong point for Tuchel, with Chelsea having conceded only twice in those eight games. Only Jose Mourinho has had a better defensive start as Chelsea boss.

Tuchel also became the third Chelsea coach to win their first Champions League game when that game was in the knockout stage, after Roberto Di Matteo and Guus Hiddink also did.

What’s next for Chelsea

The suddenly rising Blues face a tough league run, as they face Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Leeds in their next four Premier League games.

Tuchel’s side will then face Atletico in the second leg on March 17.

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