Thomas Tuchel praises players after midweek epic and says cup semi-final comes at the right time

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Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea’s Champions League exit ‘tastes bitter’ after three goals at Real Madrid were not enough to keep them in Europe, but ‘fantastic’ display is a ‘huge confidence boost’

  • Chelsea were beaten on aggregate by Real Madrid after epic on Tuesday
  • Chelsea face Crystal Palace in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday
  • The Eagles or the Blues will face either Manchester City or Liverpool in the final 

Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea have been left with a weird feeling and bitter taste after their Champions League exit.

But Tuchel believes having an FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace next up is ideal to help focus his players’ minds again and try and overcome their sense of disappointment.

Chelsea suffered heartbreak in Madrid in midweek, producing a brilliant performance to win 3-2 after extra time at the Bernabeu, but going out at the quarter-final stage on aggregate.

Thomas Tuchel and his side were left heartbroken after being narrowly beaten by Real Madrid

Thomas Tuchel and his side were left heartbroken after being narrowly beaten by Real Madrid

Tuchel said: ‘I think we are all a bit in between. Confidence wise I think it’s a huge boost but still it’s a disappointment to go out of the Champions League at the quarter finals, just not like a big drama and also not in this kind of way, but still it is a disappointment because we feel we could be one of the four teams in the semi-finals.

‘That’s a bit of a weird feeling because we had a huge task to go to Madrid. We needed to win by a minimum of two goals to make it to extra time, maybe even three goals, we were three goals ahead. 

‘In a knockout game in the Bernabeu, this was a fantastic performance and stays like this but still it tastes bitter because we are out of the Champions League and over both legs we did too many individual mistakes, too many mistakes were punished by individual quality so it still a little bit in between for me.

‘But we bounce back from the two results and two performances against Brentford and Madrid at home. We won both games after that and there is a big knockout game coming at Wembley which in my opinion is a good thing because there is a huge reward coming with it.

The German said ahead of his side's FA Cup semi-final that it comes at the right time following the Madrid epic

The German said ahead of his side’s FA Cup semi-final that it comes at the right time following the Madrid epic

‘It is not a normal game in the Premier League to collect points.

‘It’s straight away another knockout match. I think the players are also a bit in between. We haven’t talked too much with them. We have some training time before Sundays match and we will use it to sweat it out, digest it and be ready for Sunday.’

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