Chelsea had beaten Manchester City just twice in nine tries following our last title win in 2016-17 — including a 6-0 defeat at the Etihad in 2019 — but we’ve now beaten them twice in the last three weeks and are set to face them in just about three more weeks in the Champions League final.
Beating City three times in a row may be statistically unlikely, but as both coaches have pointed out, each game has to be taken on its own merit and circumstance. It’s one thing to knock out City from the FA Cup or to win a game that was taken by both teams as an opportunity to rotate. We won’t know if we’ve actually closed the proverbial “gap” until next season’s league campaign, though we can certainly take heart from the knowledge that we can in fact beat them and not just randomly.
“Surely it is not a disadvantage to us to have this experience in such a short time to have the possibility to beat them twice.
“We know very well that if you play a final, the context is very special. You have to fight for every centimetre and little advantage that you can win that game.”
For Tuchel, that’s the belief that we must take with us from these two games into the final at the end of the month — while focusing on the tasks at hand in the meantime of course.
“It gives us the true and genuine belief that we can do it because we have already done it. We will try to conserve this feeling and momentum for our arrival in Istanbul.
“We arrive with our target and clear objective to win. The best way to play a final is through confidence and I think we can conserve the feelings from these matches.”
Chelsea have plenty of things left to fight for before the Big Ears, including the FA Cup trophy and securing a top-four finish, but if we can keep building and keep surfing this wave of momentum, we just might make these next few weeks truly historic.
“Every game is a decisive game because, in all competitions, we have to fight hard to fulfil our goals, to reach our goals and dreams. [But] the team is living up to it in an impressive way and we have to keep on going.
“Now that we have caught this momentum and worked so hard for it. Our job is not done in the FA Cup, Champions League or Premier League. We are in the middle of it and have to keep on going.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Goal
Five games. Why not us?