Thomas Tuchel has reacted to Chelsea’s ‘tough’ Champions League draw after the holders were drawn to face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
Chelsea will take on Real Madrid in the last eight of the Champions League with the tie a rematch of last season’s semi-final showdown, in which the west Londoners progressed 3-1 on aggregate.
The Spanish side are now under the management of former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti and are ten points clear at the top of La Liga, with Tuchel insisting his side face a ‘big challenge’ to reach the semi-finals.
“Tough one. The challenge cannot be much higher than playing the second leg in the Bernabeu with spectators,” Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final with Middlesbrough.
“It is a big challenge and also there’s big excitement around this match and fixture. We know what is coming and it will be a tough challenge.”
Each of the Premier League sides avoided each other in the quarter-final draw, with Liverpool set to take on Benfica and Manchester City drawn to face Atletico Madrid.
Tuchel admitted he was pleased to avoid English sides in the last eight, though Chelsea will face the winners of the tie between Manchester City and Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals should they progress.
“Not important [to avoid English opposition] but it is a European night and it is always nice to play European teams, and not play English teams at this stage, because you play so many times in domestic competition.”
The current sanctions placed on Chelsea mean it is unclear whether fans will be permitted to attend the game at Stamford Bridge, a situation Tuchel hopes can be resolved.
“It would be a disadvantage [not having any fans],” he said. “In general, this game is for the spectators. The game can change so much with spectators, so hopefully we find a solution.
“Everybody at the club and on the board will fight for a chance. I am not sure how big the possibility is. These games, any game, is for the spectators. It’s a different game when the crowd is in the stadium.”