Six months ago, Thomas Tuchel had never won a match against Pep Guardiola. Since taking over Chelsea, he’s done so twice, masterminding impressive victories against some of the coaching game’s crème de la crème, including Guardiola. Twice.
That said, beating Manchester City for a third time in less than two months won’t be easy, straightforward, or simple, especially as they still represent the ultimate benchmark we are still striving to reach.
“Man City are the benchmark. Again they are the champions. They are the benchmark in Europe and in this league. We are the guys who want to hunt them and want to close the gap. We are the guys to challenge them.”
Of course, City are not unbeatable, as we’ve proven quite clearly. And that surely gives the squad the requisite confidence to approach this final with the necessary intention. More so than any amount of skill, it’s the mental aspect that will be most crucial of all.
“We are aware that we closed the gap to Man City for two games. We did it in a very short period of time and it’s not so long ago. We know that anything can happen, especially in a final, in all directions.
“Luck has a huge part, and the mental approach. Who can handle the pressure? And the little details. Who can release the pressure better? Who has the first positive moments maybe in the match? And to adapt constantly on what happens is very, very important. But I think it helped us a lot to bond, to grow and arrive with a lot of self-confidence.”
Chelsea have not been getting very lucky lately, but by taking care of the other aspects — mentality, effort, tactics — we can hopefully generate a turnaround in that trend as well.
“The experience helps. It gives us not an advantage, but it helps us to arrive with confidence and to be well aware of what is needed to have a chance to beat them.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Telegraph
Clear eyes; full hearts.