London (AP) — Thomas Tuchel has no desire for crazy announcements ahead of the Champions League cracker. And even after Chelsea’s bitter and memorable 4-1 defeat in the Premier League, he doesn’t see the need for it.
No wonder: Tuchel knows how to succeed against the Royals. Whether as coach of Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain or Chelsea: Tuchel has never lost to record-breaking Real Madrid in the European master class. “We do what we always do to best prepare for the next match,” said Tuchel soberly.
The team’s next match with three German national players – Antonio Rüdiger, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner – after the first defeat against FC Brentford since 1939 is again this Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. The guests could hardly be better known – even compared to the sensational conqueror Brentford. Even if the star coach Carlo Ancelotti is not there. He had recently tested positive for the corona virus and initially did not fly to London on Tuesday.
Ancelotti absent – Benzema back
The experienced Italian was missing in the somewhat tedious 2-1 warm-up win. Instead, centre-forward Karim Benzema was back on the pitch and took the win with two penalties converted from three. During the 0-4 Clásico debacle against FC Barcelona, the Frenchman was still missing. The championship is probably hard to take from Madrid anyway. In the permanent prestige competition with the reborn Catalans, who want to win the Europa League title, Ancelotti and his professionals should also deliver internationally.
The Royals have won the Champions League seven times, the last time four years ago. But that’s not why Ancelotti is questioned.
“In the noble neighborhood around the Bernabéu, the first doubts are already spreading as to whether it would be good to extend the work with the coach, whether he will win a title or not,” writes ‘Sport’. Above all, his tactical errors in the Clásico weigh heavily. Players like former world champion Toni Kroos would no longer play the way they did in the first half of the season. Long-term speculation over Kylian Mbappé is unlikely to foster calm. He’s coming, isn’t he?
Difficult conditions for Tuchel
But Tuchel had anything but quiet weeks. Harsh penalties for club owner Roman Abramovich’s alleged closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin are not making work on Stamford Bridge any easier. However, Tuchel remains cool and focused. After the bankruptcy, he gave his players a day off. “No need to worry”, it’s defeat, also noted the “Independents” and evoked parallels a year ago.
Back then, a 14-game unbeaten streak for Chelsea ended with a surprising 5-2 win at home to West Bromwich Albion. At the time, Tuchel was undeterred and four days later Chelsea won the quarter-final first leg against FC Porto 2-0 en route to the semi-finals, in which the Blues drew 1-1 in Madrid and 2-0 at home against FC Porto. Real prevailed and Tuchel continued to polish his princely record against the royal family. In the end, the Londoners won the Champions League title as well.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220405-99-803961/2