Chelsea have beaten three La Liga teams to reach the third final of the Champions League – Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says Manchester City are the “benchmark” after his side won a famous win over Real Madrid to reach an all-English Champions League final.
The Blues defeated the 13-time European champions 2-0 on Stamford Bridge and won 3-1 overall.
Chelsea will face Pep Guardiola’s side in Istanbul on May 29.
“It’s really huge, so I’m absolutely thrilled with the spirit and the great recognition for this team,” said Tuchel.
“I will always say it, for me Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the benchmark and we wanted to close the gap with Manchester City.”
The final at the end of the month marks the fourth time Chelsea and City have met this season.
While City won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League before Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard, Chelsea Guardiola’s hopes of quadruple with a 1-0 win in the FA Cup semi-finals on April 17th.
City maintain Chelsea in the league on Saturday and know the win will earn them a third division crown in four seasons.
“We played that one game in the semi-finals with a very impressive performance and we need it again,” added Tuchel when asked about his thoughts on an all-English Champions League final.
“It gave us confidence and confidence for every game after that because it’s the highest level you can face.
“We had big challenges in the Premier League and we came out very strong and showed our mentality and quality in all these games.
“So yes, we will arrive in Istanbul with confidence and a positive energy. Without injuries, just the positive energy to win, to be one of the participants. We want to arrive with a clear focus to win.”
“The sacrifice was worth it”
Chelsea were ninth in the Premier League when former Borussia Dortmund and Paris St-Germain boss Tuchel took command in January.
Chelsea are not only fourth with a three-point cushion in fifth place at West Ham, but will also face Leicester City in the FA Cup final on May 15 and can now look forward to a third Champions League final.
After losing to Manchester United on penalties in Moscow in 2008, they beat Bayern Munich four years later in Munich.
“We are now in two finals and the sacrifice I personally made has been worth it from day one,” added the Chelsea boss.
“I’ve been part of a great club from day one and felt very supported from day one. I’m very grateful to be on the sidelines with this team.
“This was an energetic performance full of positive attitudes and hunger.
“We showed spirit, we fought hard and got through the moments of suffering. We showed a great reaction in the second half and our heads never went down even after the great opportunities we missed.”
“We have always remained positive and have continued to work.”
“I screamed a lot”
After the first leg in Madrid ended 1-1, Timo Werner scored Chelsea’s first goal on a famous night for the Blues before Mason Mount finished 3-1 with his late second place overall
“I’ve screamed a lot in the last 10 minutes,” said German striker Werner, who spent the last 20 minutes on the sidelines after being replaced by Christian Pulisic. “I didn’t have a voice.
“When we started with the manager, we were ninth in the league and now we’re doing everything – on the way to the top four we can win the Champions League and the FA Cup.”
“Chelsea could win both Champions League” analysis
Former Chelsea and Scotland winger Pat Nevin speaks on BBC Radio 5 Live
Although Manchester City can win the Premier League title against Chelsea on Saturday, it’s a far bigger game for Chelsea.
This could be the biggest season in all of Chelsea’s history. They both won the Champions League – male and female – win the FA Cup and finish in the top four.
On the flip side, they couldn’t win absolutely anything and they could blow it and miss the top 4 – and miss the Champions League next season.
In this weekend game against Manchester City, Chelsea cannot take their foot off the gas.