Thomas Tuchel has said Chelsea need a “fantastic script” if they are to give the Champions League another dramatic storyline by pulling off an unlikely comeback in their quarter-final tie with Real Madrid.
The reigning champions trail 3-1 on aggregate before Tuesday night’s second leg at the Bernabéu and Tuchel remains skeptical about his side’s chances of reaching the last four. The German declared the tie to be all but over in the immediate aftermath of last week’s first leg at Stamford Bridge, and while Chelsea raised their spirits by thumping Southampton 6-0 at the weekend their manager was realistic about his side’s slim hopes before facing Real again.
“We need nothing else than a fantastic script if we want to be able to overcome this,” Tuchel said. “The challenge is incredibly high given the circumstances of the first leg and where we play and against whom we play. It’s always allowed to dream and it is sometimes important to imagine things and to dream about it, but it will not shift the focus from the fact that we need to deliver and be ready tomorrow.
“It’s worth trying in sports. It’s a beauty of the game that everything is possible always. We will try everything and from there we see. Hopefully belief grows within the match by our actions and hopefully we can fulfill our dream. But realistically we have to invest a lot and be at our very top level.”
Tuchel added that Chelsea’s chances of beating Carlo Ancelotti’s side rest on them refusing to accept the tie is over. “What chance do we have?” he said. “Not the biggest chance. But we never manage our effort and belief by the chances we have for a result. Trying means that we will play to the full limit. We will try to be in better shape and better condition than in the first match.”
Chelsea travel to Spain without Ross Barkley, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku, who has an achilles problem. Cesar Azpilicueta is available after recovering from Covid-19, while Tuchel must decide whether to stick with Timo Werner after the striker’s double against Southampton.