Tuchel lauds "very brave" Chelsea after semi-final win

Tuchel lauds "very brave" Chelsea after semi-final win

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was as pleased with his team's performance after ending Manchester City's quadruple bid as he was with their making the FA Cup final.

The Blues won in an empty Wembley to set up a match against Southampton or Leicester next month, just days after both sides advanced to the Champions League semi-finals.

After making eight changes for Saturday's semi-final, City looked exhausted and disjointed, and Hakim Ziyech's second-half strike was enough to give Chelsea a deserved 1-0 victory over the Premier League leaders.

"If you play against Pep you know that you play against the highest level of Europe because wherever he was at the sideline – Barcelona, Bayern (Munich) and now Man City – for years he was the benchmark with his teams," Tuchel said.

"And he is again. You can see that with the Premier League.

"Our target was to close the gap for the 90 minutes because it's possible in football and if you arrive in good momentum, we can make this happen.

"I am very, very happy and proud with the performance of our team because we played with a lot of courage, we were very self-confident and played very brave with the ball and against the ball.

"We had a very good start to the match, the first 35 minutes of the first half and the first half of the second half.

"We deserved the win, which is most important. We were very active, we did not get passive and we deserved the win against, like I said, maybe the best manager and clearly one of the best teams.

"We are very happy with the performance and it will be a huge boost for our self-confidence and for our progression for our development because we arrived also with a young team and young players.

"It's important to have these experiences together and the most important now is to enjoy it today, let the players feel it.

"From today, it's the past and we need to perform in a crucial week in the Premier League."

Chelsea will return to Wembley on May 15, while City will face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final the following weekend.

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